How is an egg donor selected?
It might surprise you to know how extensively a potential egg donor is screened before being selected.
Some states have enacted strict laws to protect couples from receiving donated eggs with potential health risks.
You may have seen an ad online or in a newspaper; or, you may have heard about egg donation and contacted an agency on your own. Either way, in most cases, you will be interviewed over the phone first. If you sound like a possible candidate, the agency will send you paperwork to fill out and return.
If their criteria is met at that level, you will be called in for an in-person screening. That is the time a staff representative will explain everything involved in becoming an egg donor. This is a good time to get all of your questions answered. It is also the best time to make your decision based on the information provided.
The general medical screening includes the following:
1. Physical examination including a thorough pelvic exam
2. Ultrasound of all female sex organs
3. Blood tests
4. Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing
5. Syphilis, Hep B, and HTLV-1
6. Blood test for HIV
7. Infectious disease screening
8. Testing your sexual partner for HIV
9. Screening for inherited diseases
Usually an agency will try to determine your sexual activities; whether or not you have practiced prostitution; your drug use; your alcohol use; your smoking habits; family history of degenerative diseases like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer; whether or not you are taking prescribed drugs such as anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication.
If you cannot answer any of these questions, you will not be chosen as an egg donor.
The tests that are required vary from state to state.
You will receive a psychological evaluation. This benefits both you and the agency. It is the time when you can assess whether or not you can handle the various personal and ethical issues surrounding egg donation. This evaluation would also include an assessment of your support system—your family situation.
You might be asked to take some psychological testing. Because the program requires the donor to follow very strict instructions, you will be evaluated for your ability to commit to the rigors of the procedure.
Dr. Christine Strong, NMD
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