Egg Donation

Through continuing advances in reproductive medicine, the estimated 10 to 15% of couples who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy have a number of new options. Some of these options involve a third person in the pregnancy process -- a healthy, young woman who is willing and able to provide special help so that a couple may become a family. One such way is through egg donation.

What is egg donation?
Egg donation is the process through which a woman donates her eggs for the benefit of an infertile couple. The donated eggs are fertilized in the laboratory with the husband's sperm, and his wife carries the pregnancy. This may be the solution for couples in which the wife has absent or poorly functioning ovaries, is over the age of 40, or has a history of genetic diseases, which could be passed onto her offspring.

Donor types:
There are two major types of egg donors. The first is a “Designated Egg Donor”. The designated egg donor is usually a friend or relative of the recipient. While certainly possible, this form of egg donation is usually discouraged. Your physician will address the reasons for concern.

The second type is an “Anonymous Egg Donor”. This is the most common type of egg donor. These egg donors are women who have offered to donate their eggs anonymously with reasonable reimbursement. The anonymous donors are obtained through advertisement and word-of-mouth. Many of these egg donors have had friends or relatives who have experienced infertility.

Excellent egg donors

  • 18 to 31 years of age (Required for anonymous donors)
  • Completed childbearing
  • No family history of genetic diseases
  • No history of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Partner agrees to the procedure

Non-accepted egg donors

  • Less than 18 and greater than 40 years of age
  • Family history of significant genetic diseases
  • History of active sexually transmitted disease
  • Partner does not agree to the procedure

Inadvertent Consanguinity:
It is theoretically possible that an egg donor could donate enough times to statistically increase the risks of half-brothers and sisters (same egg donor mother but different fathers) could meet and reproduce. According to existing guidelines, it is recommended that we limit a single donor from producing no more than 15 offspring per 500,000 population. We here at SRMS limit a single donor to no more than six successful donated offspring. Please recall that we here at SRMS cater to a large population conservatively estimated at over 1,000,000 throughout Southwest Florida, not including other states and countries. According to guidelines, we could easily have over 30 offspring per egg donor before retiring the donor.

Transmission of Infections:
The donor and recipients undergo exhaustive evaluation of potentially transmittable diseases. It should be recalled that the egg donor is only donating a dozen or so single cells (eggs) and that the transmission of diseases requires a certain level of inoculum well beyond these numbers. The transmission of any diseases from a donor to a recipient is a very rare event and it is uncertain if it has ever happened in the past. That stated, the potential for transmission of currently known and unknown diseases is theoretically present. To keep perspective, it is far more likely the egg recipient will have exposed herself to a much greater inoculum and risk of infection through past and current sexual partners. In summary, the probability for transmission of disease is quite remote and is minimized through careful laboratory testing of the egg donor.

We invite you to visit the other links at the general navigation section including "Florida Statutes", "Finding Your Egg Donor", "Donating Your Eggs" (general information) and of course, "Search Egg Donor Data Base".

Updated 1/12/10

© 2011 Specialists In Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, P.A. |

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.