For fertility patients who are choosing an egg donor, the health of the donor is a critical concern. One way recipients can be assured of the health of the donor is to work with a fertility clinic that provides genetic testing to ensure donors will not pass along conditions for which they are carriers. These should be one of the routine tests provided by the clinic.
Choosing an Egg Donor
It is best to choose a clinic that:
conducts a phone consultation between the prospective donor and a geneticist, in which the geneticist recommends tests for the most common conditions based on the donor's ethnic background
performs the genetic tests recommended
requires tests showing that these conditions are not present in order for the donor to be admitted into the donor program
At InVia Fertility Specialists, we take all of the above steps. In addition to tests recommended base on ethnic background, we do a general panel testing all donors for:
Fragile X Syndrome
Sickle Cell Disease
Fanconi Anemia Group C
Niemann-Pick Disease Type A/B
Mucolipidosis Type IV
Unless any of these conditions run in your family, you may not have heard of them. These conditions are all autosomal recessive, meaning that both partners have to be carriers of this condition for their child to have the possibility of being affected by the disorder. For example: if the mother is a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis and the father is not, the child has a chance of being a carrier, but not of being affected by Cystic Fibrosis.
If testing shows a prospective donor to be a carrier of any of these conditions, she is immediately removed from the program. We do not proceed with the egg donor cycle, and we discuss and explain these results to the donor as well as the intended recipient. The donor is then referred to a genetic counselor to discuss the implications of her test results.
Vicki Meagher has worked with InVia Fertility Specialists since 2006. She is our Third Party Coordinator, so she works with our patients that need an egg donor, sperm donor, gestational surrogate, or any combination of the above. She recruits and screens the egg donors for our in-house donor program as well. She loves working with intended parents and is passionate about third party reproduction and the important role it plays in helping patients achieve their dream of starting or extending their family. She is a member of SEEDS - the Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy.