It's hard to know what you should be looking for when choosing an egg donor. There are many variables involved, and there is no simple answer to this question. However there are some considerations you definitely shouldn't overlook.
All of the remaining decisions are left to the recipient. We encourage recipients to think about the following questions when choosing an egg donor:
Does an Egg Donor's Looks Matter?
To some couples, choosing an egg donor who looks most like the female partner in the relationship is important. They want a donor who would blend with their family and raise the least amount of questions. Not everyone decides to disclose to their family that they have used an egg donor, and they certainly aren’t going to tell everyone they meet.
If both intended parents are blondes, choosing an egg donor with black hair probably isn’t a good idea. This includes height, weight, body size, complexion, ethnic background and physical characteristics.
What about the Egg Donor's Family Medical History?
Family medical history seems to be the second most important thing I have noticed couples interested in when choosing an egg donor. All donors are prescreened by a genetic counsellor and potential egg donors with a significant family history are automatically eliminated. However, no one’s family medical history is completely clear, and donors are not exempt from this either.
The key is to find a donor who does not have the same illnesses or conditions that the recipients have. If the donor’s family has a history of elevated blood pressure, and the recipients do as well, that might not be the best match.
Is My Egg Donor Intelligent?
Education is another thing that is looked at by recipients. They want to see that the donor did well in school and tried her hardest. Whether they believe intelligence is passed on genetically or they just think that she will also apply herself with the same dedication in her cycle, I do find it to be important to many recipients.
Am I "Comfortable" with My Egg Donor?
Some couples are looking for that mysterious "spark". Whether it is an answer she provides, the way she smiles, or something that just can’t be put into words, it’s there and the recipients know they have found the right donor for their cycle.
Has My Egg Donor Donated Before?
Donors who have previously had a successful cycle have the advantage of the physician being able to use the same stimulation protocol that has previously worked. Why argue with success?
However, studies have shown that the pregnancy rates with "first-time" versus "repeat" donors are similar. The one definite advantage of using a "repeat" donor is that if her screening tests have already been done and are current, it may reduce the cost of the cycle.
Choosing an Egg Donor: It's Your Decision
At the end of the day, no one can give a recipient the perfect answer about their donor. Ultimately it’s entirely up to them and they are the ones who have to be comfortable with their decision. No one can tell them it’s right or wrong when they know they have found the perfect fit.
Learn More about Getting Pregnant with an Egg Donor
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.