Selecting an egg donor can be one of the biggest decisions you make on your fertility journey. Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be. The ELITE IVF team is here to help provide you with the support and information you need to navigate the process with ease, and reduce your stress along the way.
When you are ready, you and your partner can begin discussing the qualities you want in your future child and begin moving forward with the process of choosing an egg donor.
The Process of Selecting an Egg Donor
The first decision involves whether you want a known donor or an anonymous donor. A known egg donor may be someone you know, or may be a person selected through an egg donor agency who is willing to remain in contact with you and potentially meet the child someday.
An anonymous donor also involves choosing the donor through an egg donation agency. However, you do not have contact with this person or know more about them besides the information displayed on their profile. (i.e. you will see their photo, know about their personal and medical history, but will not be given their actual name, or place of residence or other identifiable information which would compromise their privacy). Anonymity helps donors to donate, and therefore the standard around the world in egg donation is to provide a measure of privacy and anonymity to willing egg donors.
Each egg donor goes through a very thorough screening process involving physical and emotional evaluation. This is completed before you even view their profile. It further allows you to focus on other aspects, such as personality, blood type, physical features, and ethnicity.
This is considered one of the most critical elements for couples selecting their egg donor. Ideally, you may want your egg donor’s features to match those of your family. For example, if your family is predominantly blue-eyed and brown-haired, you may want to find an egg donor with similar features.
However, for some, appearance may not be as much of a concern. Being flexible on the appearance of a donor will allow intended parents to be matched quicker to an egg donor. For these aspiring parents, other factors may matter more, such as the ones listed below.
On the egg donor’s profile, you are able to view their answers to specific questions, which can give you insight regarding their personality type. Most doctors or fertility teams recommend choosing an egg donor who you feel you can relate to and/or generally like.
When examining your potential egg donor’s medical history, you want to ensure it aligns with the male partner’s medical history. Your fertility doctor will be able to offer more information related to you and your specific situation, helping you make the best decision.
Generally, there are benefits to having the same blood type as your child (and thus, your egg donor) but it does not have any impact medically on the success of an egg donation treatment. (i.e. not having the same blood type makes no difference on the efficacy of your pregnancy). The benefits are mostly cosmetic, for example if you prefer that your child never finds out that they were born from an egg donation. A more practical benefit however may be if your child ever needed blood transfusion for any reason, you could be a donor — if you are actually a match since having the same blood type as your donor does not actually ensure that your child will have the same. This is something to keep in mind when browsing through profiles.
The first step is to search for a local donor. This is because it is usually more affordable to find a donor nearby. If a local match is not an option, it is possible to search on a wider, national scale or even international scale. This is where ELITE IVF, as a cross border egg donation specialist, can make your life a lot easier with access to a wide global donor pool. Your ELITE IVF team is available to help you explore these options and make the best decision for your family. The total treatment cost using an international donor may actually be the same or less as a local one, when accessed through a specialty agency such as ELITE IVF.
Consider Repeat Donors
A repeat donor is a woman who has already been through the process at least once before. This means they know what to expect and have responded well to the medical procedure. By selecting a repeat donor, you may feel more reassured that the process will go as smoothly as possible and its outcome will be more predictable. An exception to this rule will apply when the egg donation program can guarantee you a clinical outcome. For example, frozen egg banks in the USA often guarantee that out of a batch of 6 frozen donor eggs, you will be assured at least one blastocyst. At ELITE IVF for example, we guarantee 12-16 eggs and at least 4 blastocysts to be achieved as a result. Be sure to ask your ELITE IVF representative about the “Frozen Embryo Program”.
Managing Your Stress & Taking Your Time
Before making this important decision, you may benefit from talking to a therapist or counselor, especially those who specialise and understand the fertility journey of IVF patients and allow yourself to have an appropriate amount of time to process and reflect. It’s absolutely normal to feel a range of emotions. After all, choosing an egg donor is not a decision you want to rush — it should feel right, and you should feel comfortable. Yet, it can be an emotional process for both partners, which is why it’s crucial to take your time.
When you are ready, you can begin exploring your options. Sometimes, making a list of requirements before looking at donor profiles can help you narrow down your search, making it a smoother process for both you and your partner.
Two important questions to discuss with your partner are: 1. What aspects are you negotiable on? 2. What aspects aren’t negotiable?
Knowing this, and making sure you are aligned on your priorities can make choosing an egg donor that much easier.
Ideally, you may want to focus on more than one particular trait, but rather a group of characteristics you prefer. Your checklist can then act as a guideline in this way.
At ELITE IVF, your fertility team will assist you in the donor matching phase by carefully listening to your needs and outlining your criteria for finding that perfect match. A personalized and customized search will then be initiated and a select group of donor choices closest matching to your needs will be presented to you. This process will save you time in searching, and speed your time to treatment. From there, you can continue your fertility journey and look forward to building the family you have always dreamed of. Get started today by filling out our online form.