Fembryo Fertility Clinic Blog

How to choose an egg donor

One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your future family

How to choose an egg donor

If you’ve decided to enlist the help of an egg donor to have a baby, selecting that donor becomes one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your future family.

In South Africa, egg donation is well regulated to protect both recipients and donors from exploitation. You can count on your donor being a healthy woman, aged between 18 and 35, who has undergone psychological and medical assessments to ensure that she is healthy, fit, and mentally ready for the donation procedure.

Furthermore, you’ll get to select a donor based on extensive information. You’ll learn everything you need to know about a potential donor (other than her identity) to make a good decision. Physical, personality and character traits, a family history spanning two generations, education, interests, social and professional aspects, medical details and even photos of the donor as a child will be made available to you to help you find someone who closely matches your own uniqueness. The only choice you can’t make is the gender of your baby.

If a friend or family member volunteers to donate to you, she will still have to meet the criteria set out for anonymous donors and will have to undergo the same assessments to ensure their suitability. It’s advised that both donor and recipients undergo counselling to understand the full nature of the procedure and agreement, and that a binding legal contract is drawn up and signed. This is the best way to protect everyone involved.

Fembryo will provide you with counselling and legal consultation throughout the donor selection process. Here are a few things you’ll need to think about ….

Factors to consider when selecting a donor

Anonymous donor or known?

The pros of having a known donor are that you have more information about that person’ s identity, genetics and attributes. You will probably also have a relationship with them that will continue throughout your child’s life. But, anonymity helps avoid future conflicts, pressures or misunderstandings about the role the donor plays in your child’s life.

Fresh or frozen eggs?

Freshly donated eggs increase your chances of a multiple birth, but you will have a limited number of eggs available to you since the donor’s cycle has to be in sync with yours. As for frozen material, this option gives you extra chances of implantation and there is always a wider range of donors available. The good news is that there is no significant difference in success rates, whether fresh or frozen eggs are used.

Medical and mental health considerations

If you use a reputable donor bank, your donor will have been screened and cleared as fit to donate. These screenings include a medical overview, a family medical history, blood tests to eliminate infectious diseases, psychological evaluation and genetic testing. One important item to check is the donor’s blood type. Recipients and donors must have compatible blood types.

Where to begin?

Instead of getting lost in a donor database, it is recommended that you begin by writing a description of your child. Agree on physical characteristics, personality, interests, talents and abilities you’d like to see and then use this as a guide to filter through the many donors available.

The most important piece of advice we can give you when it comes to donor selection is to take as much time as you need. Look at the donor profiles, talk to your partner, your family, your friends or your fertility specialist. Choosing a donor is a highly individual decision and what matters most is that you are completely secure in your decision.