Are you an egg donor? If yes, then there are some questions that you will have thought of at least once.
“How many eggs can I donate?
Can I donate eggs more than once?
Will being a donor impact my fertility?”
If you have these questions when thinking about egg donation, know that you are not the only one. Several women who wish to donate their eggs ask their doctors these questions to understand more about egg donation.
In this article, let’s look at all you need to learn about multiple donations and whether it affects your fertility. Ensure you know all about it before you decide to donate your eggs.
Can I Donate Eggs More than Once?
If your first egg donation went smoothly without any complications, then yes, you can donate more than once. But, just to be safer, doctors will check your health before considering you a candidate for repeat donor.
What is the Maximum Number of Times I can Donate?
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, women can only donate eggs up to six times in their lifetime.
- This restriction was mainly brought up for two reasons:
- To maintain your health: Although no evidence exists that multiple donations can affect fertility, doctors suggest no more than six donations to avoid short-term risks like infections.
- To prevent inadvertent consanguinity: This is a condition when children born from these donor eggs marry and procreate with someone who is their genetic half-sibling.
Who is Eligible for Multiple Donations?
Not every woman is eligible to become an egg donor. There are some criteria that each woman has to meet when applying to become a donor. Your doctor will take a screening test to determine whether you meet those criteria.
The criteria that have to be met to become an egg donor are as follows:
- The woman should be between the ages of 21 and 30. This is the age when the eggs will be of the highest quality.
- The woman should have completed college or is currently enrolled in college.
- The woman must have regular periods every month.
- The woman must not have any genetic or other health conditions.
- The woman must follow a healthy lifestyle.
- The woman must be stable both mentally and physically.
What Happens During Egg Donation?
The process involved during egg donation is almost the same as the ovulation induction that happens during IVF.
Every month, the ovary releases around 10 to 20 eggs in the follicles. But only one or two mature and reach the fallopian tubes for fertilization. The rest are absorbed by the follicles and expelled during menstruation.
During egg donation, you will be given fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries to mature all 10 to 20 egg follicles. Once matured, your fertility doctor will collect all of them through a minor vaginal procedure.
You will be under mild sedation during the entire procedure. So, you don’t have to be afraid of pain.
Once the eggs are retrieved, they will be stored through cryopreservation techniques or donated to a family that requires them.
Will Being a Donor Impact My Fertility?
This is a common question that all women have before deciding to donate their eggs. They will be afraid that the egg donation procedure might affect their future fertility.
The answer to this question is NO. Egg donation won’t affect your fertility in any way. As we have seen above, egg donation will only stimulate and mature the eggs the body would otherwise have absorbed.
So you don’t need to worry about egg donation affecting your fertility or depleting your egg count.
Whether you wish to become an egg donor or not is your wish. But, if you want to become one, make sure you and your body are in the optimum condition to withstand the ovulation stimulation and egg retrieval procedures.
Listen to your doctor’s advice and follow all the recommended medication and lifestyle changes. Also, take note of your health and stop if you can’t donate anymore.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can donate eggs more than once. You can donate again if your first donation procedure goes well without complications. For health purposes, doctors suggest women only donate six times in their lifetime.
There is no specific number of donor eggs you need for IVF. But, statistics show that having 6–8 donor eggs can ensure you have at least one or two good quality embryos.
Hormone injections are given to the egg donor to stimulate multiple egg ovulation. These injections allow several eggs to grow at once in addition to the one egg that women naturally produce each month.
Once the eggs are mature, the fertility specialist schedules the surgery for egg retrieval. These eggs are then frozen for later use.