Requirements for Egg Donors based on ASRM Guidelines
Egg donation, also known as oocyte donation, is a form of in vitro fertilization (IVF) that uses the eggs that are retrieved from a third-party donor. The eggs retrieved from the donor are immediately put in the possession of the recipient/intended parent who can either use the eggs and fertilize them right away, or freeze them for future use. Donors may be compensated for their pain and discomfort and inconvenience. The process also gives an opportunity to infertile couples, same-sex couples, and singles who desire to have a child. Egg donation may be undertaken with directed (known) or non-identiﬁed (anonymous) donor.
In 2005, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued requirements for egg donors which include the following:
A physical exam
A donor questionnaire
Testing of the donor at an FDA-approved laboratory 30 days before, or up to 7 days after, the egg retrieval for the following:
- Gonorrhea and Chlamydia vaginal or urine cultures
- HIV-I and HIV-II
- Hepatitis B surface antigen and Hepatitis B core antibody
- Hepatitis C antibody
If testing is not completed prior to retrieval, the eggs will be frozen and quarantined.
In addition, there are also requirements in terms of eligibility. According to American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines, egg donors must be of legal age in their state and preferably between 21 to 34 years old. Regardless of age, she must undergo a psychological evaluation by a qualified mental health professional and the decision to proceed with such donor will be determined on an individual basis. Meanwhile, if the donor is 34 years old, it is important that her age is disclosed to the recipient as part of the informed consent discussion concerning the risks and the effect of donor age on pregnancy rates.
Furthermore, the ASRM also provides that egg donors should be healthy and have no history of hereditary disease. ASRM also recommends a pelvic ultrasound for the assessment of pelvic anatomy including the ovaries for a follicle count, and measurement of ovarian reserve serum biomarkers to anticipate the response to oocyte stimulation medication.
Psychoeducational evaluation and counseling by a qualiﬁed mental health professional and legal consultation is strongly recommended for all donors.
In addition to FDA requirements, here is an overview of the ASRM recommended procedures:
Infectious disease testing of recipient and recipient's sexually intimate partners
There are two types of egg donation procedures. If the directed donor tests positive or demonstrates a risk of communicable diseases, they are not prevented from participating in the process of directed donation, as long as the parties are aware of the donation’s risk and there is a consent to proceed with the donation. Meanwhile, they can no longer be eligible for non-identified or anonymous donation. ASRM recommends that donors may only donate up to six times. This limitation is per egg donor in her lifetime, and not per clinic. The egg retrieval procedure does not appear to have long term side effects, however, the limitation is intended to prevent any negative health impact or consanguity to prevent intermarrying of donor conceived children from the same donor.
The ASRM recommends attorney representation for directed egg donation. If you need help with egg donation, don’t hesitate to contact us now.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon without additional research or consulting an attorney. This article is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship with the reader.