LGBTQ: Egg Donor Program

Some women are unable to conceive because they cannot produce healthy eggs and gay men require donated eggs for use in their family building. The Egg Donor Program at The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services can help these individuals, as well as those with unsuccessful super ovulation therapies, early onset of natural menopause or surgically induced menopause, premature ovarian failure, abnormal eggs, repetitive failures with In Vitro Fertilization, and for those women who carry genetic abnormalities or genetically transmitted diseases.

The Egg Donor Program at The Center assisted in the conception of the first child born from a donor egg in New England in 1987. Since then, we’ve helped women conceive with eggs donated by both identified and anonymous donors. Identified egg donation uses eggs donated by a person known to the recipient such as a sister, other relative, or friend. Anonymous egg donation uses eggs donated anonymously, most commonly from women recruited specifically for egg donation. Anonymous donors at The Center are compensated for the time and effort involved with each completed cycle.

Before donors are accepted into our program, they must undergo various screening, counseling and psychological evaluations. We screen all egg donors according to guidelines recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

Potential donors must be between the ages of 21 and 32 and be non-smokers. Candidates fill out a questionnaire reviewing their medical and family history and social habits, all of which are reviewed by one of The Center’s physicians to determine the donor’s acceptability and ascertain potential risk for significant medical or genetic disorders.

The potential donor and her partner are then invited to one of our informational sessions to learn about all kinds of topics related to egg donation, including any associated risks. The next step is to then undergo various tests for transmitted diseases and genetic disorders.

Following the medical tests, potential donors are evaluated with psychological tests and counseled by our psychologist. During this session the psychologist and potential donor will discuss the emotional, psychosocial, ethical and legal issues that pertain to egg donation and evaluate the donor’s psychological well-being and preparedness to cope with the stress of being a donor. Counseling allows the donor to explore the effect her donation may have not only on herself but on the recipient and the potential child that is conceived. The psychologist also meets briefly with the potential donor’s partner to ensure the partner understands and supports the process.

Recipient(s), or those receiving the donated eggs, are similarly screened and tested. A similar questionnaire that reviews complete medical and genetic history is filled out to help us ascertain risk for medical or genetic disorders. During various sessions with one of our physicians and with our psychologist, patients are counseled on all their options for family building, the screening process of the donor and any limitations, issues to consider in donor selection, helping children to understand about donor conception, the medical procedure required of the donor, the synchronization of cycles and all IVF laboratory procedures. The recipient or the woman receiving the donated eggs must also have a complete physical examination.

Maintaining Confidentiality

We assure our patients that our team provides thorough screening of all donors and preserves the confidentiality and anonymity of both the donor and recipient. We protect both parties’ identities and both must also agree not to seek identifying information concerning each other.

If a patient bears a child from anonymously donated eggs, we will provide the donor’s complete genetic and medical history as well as extensive information about her background including educational and work history, personality characteristics and her reason for becoming a donor. We also will offer a brief statement some donors write to the potential children, which a patient may choose to share with the child.

To make an appointment or for more information about our Egg Donor Program and our full range of fertility services, please contact us or call The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services at 844-HOPEIVF.

For more information about egg donor success rates at The Center, please click here.