Qualifying criteria

Some agencies or clinics are looking for specific physical traits that meet the demands of their clientele, so criteria differ from agency to agency.  Typically most agencies exclude donors who have serious mental health conditions (such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia) and/or a family history of genetically-linked medical conditions.  Donors who are between the ages of 21 and 31, were born female, and who are in good mental and physical healthy will be initially included in the screening process, but may be excluded later due to other reasons.

Questions to ask:

What are clinics or agencies looking for in an ideal candidate for egg donation?

There are a number of general qualifications for women considering egg donation. While these qualifications may vary from agency to agency, age restrictions are common, usually ranging from 21-31, although some agencies accept egg donors at age 18. Older women considering egg donation are usually not accepted because the number and quality of a woman’s eggs decline after her late 30s. Most agencies require that you have a good family health history.

Conversation: The risks of proven fertility

Agencies, clinics, and couples might prefer women who already have children because she is more likely to provide viable eggs, since she has proven to be fertile through conceiving her own children.

An egg donor whose cycles have resulted in a pregnancy is often asked to donate again. Recently, a call for greater scrutiny of egg donation practices has been called for by researchers. “Some clinics and agencies may be minimizing risks in recruitment ads and websites, incentivizing repeated donations, or overstimulating donors for the benefit of recipients and clinic success rates,” according to OBGYN News.

Can I be rejected by a clinic or agency? Can I be excluded from the process?

Although one agency may reject your application to be a donor, it is possible that another agency may accept your application. If your family’s health history includes genetic diseases you may not qualify for donating for fertility purposes, but you might be sought after for research purposes, depending on the genetic disease.

Consideration: Getting reasons for exclusion

Candidates not accepted by a particular agency should be informed of the reasons for the rejection, however your agency may choose to withhold the reasons why you were not accepted. Sometimes a donor may be rejected because their traits do not match what a particular agency or their clientele are looking for in a donor, such as specific religious background, hair color, education, etc. In other instances, an egg donor’s medical history does not meet their standards, or a certain genetic predisposition (e.g. breast cancer, endometriosis) may put the candidate at risk.

What would exclude a potential donor?

Professional guidelines for exclusion from egg donation, set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) include, but are not limited to, a woman who:

• Has had or currently has a serious psychological disorder,
• Abuses drugs or alcohol
• Has two or more first-degree relatives who abuse drugs or alcohol
• Currently uses psychoactive prescription medications
• Exceeds body weight limit or maximum BMI (body mass index).
• Has significant stress in her life (due to family commitments, unstable marriage or relationship, past or current physical/ sexual abuse with no professional treatment)
• Is not mentally capable of understanding or participating in the egg donation process.
• Engages in high-risk sexual practices
• Is at a high risk for STDs/HIV (Intravenous drug abuse, exchange sex for money or drugs, having sex with a person who uses drugs or is suspected of having HIV, AIDS, or Hepatitis).