An important step in the egg donation process is choosing a donor. At the Family Fertility Center, we respect that the process of determining the right donor is a uniquely personal decision. Our physician and the egg donation team will assist in the decision-making process. There are two basic types of egg donors:
Known donors are most commonly sisters, but also can be cousins, nieces, friends, and sometimes acquaintances identified by you. Known donors must pass minimum screening criteria. They may be compensated or non-compensated depending on your agreement with them.
Recruited Anonymous Donors
Recruited donors are usually young women with excellent reproductive potential who are compensated for their time and efforts in assisting other patients in becoming pregnant. Recruited donors may be found through egg donor agencies or through the Family Fertility Center Egg Donor Program.
How are donors screened?
Family Fertility Center follows the guidelines of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the regulatory rules set by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the screening and testing of all egg donors. Prospective donors complete a detailed questionnaire that is reviewed by our team. Our physician screens the donor’s medical history and family history for birth defects or hereditary diseases via a comprehensive family history assessment. The prospective donor also must undergo a physical exam, cultures and blood tests to rule out the presence of infectious diseases, such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. In addition, our donors are tested for their blood type and are screened for ethnic specific genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis for Caucasians, Tay Sachs disease for donors of Jewish descent, sickle cell disease for African-American donors, and certain hemoglobinopathies among specific ethnic groups.
Using a Donor from the Family Fertility Center Egg Donation Program
There are several benefits to choosing a donor from our pool. We have a highly selective comprehensive screening process. This means that you are unlikely to experience the disappointment of carefully choosing a donor from an agency, only to find out the donor is ineligible once she is medically screened. Additionally, you will have the ease and simplicity of working closely with one center for all of your needs during the egg donation cycle. Finally, using a donor from our pool is often more economical than working with an agency because there are no extra agency fees to pay.
Choosing a Donor from an Outside Agency
We work collaboratively with many outside egg donor agencies. Outside agencies recruit and partially screen donors. The agency assists couples in identifying possible donor matches from within their pool. We are happy to assist you in coordinating a donor egg cycle with a donor from an outside agency. One benefit of using an outside agency is the overall larger pool available to you. There are several agencies in the eastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and western New Jersey area. Couples may find donors meeting their own specific criteria more efficiently by working with an agency.
If you are interested in using a donor from an outside donor agency, we recommend that you ask the agency about their policies and procedures for recruitment and medical screening. Donors from outside agencies must have a mental health screening arranged through the agency and must meet specific criteria for eligibility, such as recent infectious disease screening before proceeding with a cycle within our Center. Once selected, the donor still must undergo an examination, including blood test, pelvic ultrasound and physical examination, performed by physicians in our office prior to cycle planning.