Here’s Why An Egg Donor Is Used In Surrogacy

People are learning more about egg donors and surrogates.

Media reports claim that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have a surrogate carrying their third child. Since this news went public, people want to learn more about surrogacy. Another topic they are researching is egg donation.

When someone decides they medically need to pursue surrogacy to help build their family, in addition to choosing a surrogate, another step in the process is whether they need an egg donor.


Who Considers An Egg Donor?

Every situation is different as to why a woman may need an egg donor. Examples of this include the following:

  • Low ovarian reserves or poor quality
  • Ovarian failure triggered by premature menopause
  • A genetic disease which could be transmitted and passed to a baby

Research shows that women who are forty years and older may decide that using donor eggs is a safer health option for them and their future child. Studies explain how the number of egg retrieval procedures increased over the years for assisted reproduction. People working in this industry suspect that these numbers may continue to rise particularly for same-sex husbands achieving parenthood through surrogacy.


Learning More About Egg Donor The Process

When an individual or couple decide they need an egg donor, the next step is finding a reputable surrogacy and egg donor agency. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not the egg donor. She has no genetic ties to the baby she is carrying for her intended parents.

Many surrogacy agencies will have a donor database for its intending parents to review. Photos of the donor at various stages of her life, a video, and background information is available at most agencies.

When intending parents choose a donor, the agency will check on her availability. If the donor is ready to move forward, the fertility center will receive her profile. If she has been a donor before, the agency will send the clinic her profile and medical records of her cycles.

Around this timeframe, donors need to have a recent Pap smear with results done in the last 12 months. It’s possible that a clinic may want a repeat Pap smear.

If the donor is still eligible, her records go to the clinic where specialists will approve her based on her profile or both her profile and medical records. If she passes this stage, the donor is now a good choice for the intending parents. However, donor agencies are quick to point out that even if a woman passes this phase, she is still not medically cleared. More tests are needed.  Once the agency receives the donor approval, a confirmed match between the donor and intended parents is next. After this stage, a formal agreement is drawn up.

Next on the donor “to-do” list are medical appointments, a panel of genetic tests, FSH levels, AMH for follicle sizes, and a vaginal ultrasound. Generally, results are ready within two to three weeks.

When a donor receives medical clearance, intending parents are one step closer to having their baby.