What disqualifies you from donating eggs? If you are unsure whether you are eligible for this role, read on. We are here to answer all your questions about egg donation disqualifications.

Many women want to become egg donors—and our team is so grateful for this! Without the altruistic nature and giving hearts of these donors, we wouldn’t be able to help as many families dealing with infertility.

We wish we could match every hopeful egg donor with a family, but due to the complex nature of fertility treatments and childbearing, there are several regulations about who can legally become an egg donor.

If you are reading this, you likely want to know if there are any egg donation disqualifications that may impact your application. To help you navigate this, we have created a full guide of egg donation disqualifiers. Once you’ve confirmed that you fit all the requirements, we can help you begin your application and match with a family!

The Importance of Understanding Egg Donation Criteria

Egg donors play a crucial role in many families’ stories. Donors undergo a procedure to remove their eggs or oocytes. These gametes are then “donated” to another family. The donated eggs will be implanted into a gestational carrier— either the intended mother or a surrogate. Most donors cherish their experience and often return for another cycle with a new family.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by a long list of rules and what disqualifies you from donating eggs. However, these were developed to protect everybody involved in the family-building process: the donor, intended parents, and, of course, the coming baby.

Keep in mind that egg donation is a substantial investment for everybody involved. For intended parents, this is a significant financial and emotional investment, which often begins after a long and challenging period of searching for fertility-related answers and support. Similarly, donors invest a significant amount of time and both physical and emotional energy into this process. Maintaining these egg donor disqualifications and rules helps ensure that all this hard work comes to fruition sooner and easier.

Navigating the Egg Donation Eligibility Criteria

What disqualifies you from donating eggs? The most common and concrete disqualifications for donating eggs tend to fall into three categories: health, lifestyle, and legal:

Key Health-Related Egg Donor Disqualifications

  • Medical/Health Background. In general, successful egg donor applicants are in good physical health. Following a match with intended parents, you will undergo extensive medical screening to confirm this. Several genetically transmitted and infectious diseases will render you ineligible for egg donation, including HIV. If you have had an STD diagnosis within the last year, you will not be able to become an egg donor yet. However, there may be some flexibility in the future.
  • Medications. Women currently taking certain types of hormone therapy or birth control, like Depo Provera, will not be eligible for donation. It may be possible to donate eggs again in the future when you are no longer on these medications.

Lifestyle-Related Disqualifications for Donating Eggs

  • Smoking/Tobacco Use. Looking for a reason to kick your smoking habit? Any type of tobacco use (including vaping) is prohibited for egg donors. However, if you quit for over two months, you will be able to apply!
  • Drug Use. Any type of recreational drug use disqualifies you from donating eggs. This includes cannabis, even in states where it is legal. You will undergo drug testing after matching, so you must be honest about drug use. Otherwise, you will not be reimbursed for travel and/or medical costs.
  • If you consume alcohol, consider this before applying to become an egg donor—you will be asked to abstain from drinking altogether during certain portions of your donor cycle.
  • Breastfeeding. If you are still breastfeeding your little one, egg donation will have to wait. Once your baby has been weaned, you are welcome to apply.

Legal and Regulatory Egg Donation Disqualifications

  • Age. Many people have straightforward conceptions in their 30s and beyond. However, age does play a substantial role in egg quality. To ensure success for intended families, the current age cutoff for egg donation in the US is 29. All egg donors also must be adults—nobody under the age of 18 can legally enter a donor contract.
  • Weight/BMI. All eligible egg donors have a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 19 and 29. Of course, people of all shapes and sizes have healthy, uncomplicated conceptions. However, as with age regulations, certain legal regulations are in place to ensure a higher success rate. These rules also exist to protect your health; the medication required ahead of retrieval can potentially trigger conditions (like Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) in donors outside of the required range. Egg quality and overall fertility are also potentially affected by BMI.

The Path Forward for Prospective Egg Donors

Now that you know what disqualifies you from donating eggs, you have a good idea of whether you fit our requirements. If the answer is yes, and you are hoping to become an egg donor, let’s get started! Extraordinary Conceptions provides a helping hand each step of the way, from applying and matching with a family to receiving proper support on your donor journey. We know that this experience, while exciting, can be intimidating—and we are here for you for the whole journey.

Ready to get started? Email [email protected] to chat with our team—we can answer all of your questions and help you get started today.