Egg Donation: Fulfilling a Dream
For many of us, children are an important part of our dreams for the future. For some families, turning the dream into reality isn’t as easy as it is for others; adoption, or remaining childless, have been the only options until fairly recently.
The past 25 years have brought about changes in the struggle against infertility, including sperm donation, surrogacy, and egg donation, among others. If you have the desire to assist families living with infertility, you may want to consider egg donation, and if so, you should first learn a little about the general egg donation requirements. The specific requirements vary depending on the clinic you’re working with, but they tend to fall into similar categories: age and education; lifestyle and health; time. Let’s look at each category, and remember, since the requirements will vary, you should check the clinic website for specifics.
Age and Education
The age requirement is typically 20 to 28, with little “wiggle room,” and more than a high school education. There is a minimum acceptable education level, but more education is a definite plus.
Lifestyle and Health
Non-smokers are preferred, as are those who only drink socially. Donors should also have no history of substance abuse or use of illegal drugs. Weight and height aren’t critical unless they’re out of proportion; being either significantly overweight or underweight can be a hindrance. Donors must have both ovaries, and for birth control, should not be relying on a hormonal IUD or a contraceptive implant.
Before applying to be an egg donor, investigate your family history. Hereditary genetic disorders such as Huntington’s disease would be disqualifying. Ideally, a donor will have a family history of good health, with neither the donor nor any close family member having a history of depression, or psychoactive drug use. If selected as an egg donor, your egg will provide half of the genes for a new human being, and it’s important that your half be mentally and physically healthy!
Egg donation takes more than a sincere desire to help an infertile family grow. It takes an investment of time. Will your job, or if a student, your class schedule, allow the time necessary during the 6-10 week process? Donors will be scheduled for between 6 and 8 visits to the clinic during that time period, so carefully consider your time constraints, and whether there is a best time to donate, as well as a worst time.
Are you committed to helping an infertile individual or couple fulfill the dream of becoming parents? If your answer is yes, learn about the process, look into egg donation requirements, and if you’re a match, you can make a dream come true!