Andrew J. Levi - Park Avenue Fertility Logo

Types of Egg Donation

There are many options when it comes to using egg donation to conceive.

Egg donation is a widely popular option, largely due to boasting the highest pregnancy success rates compared to other methods of treatment. In many cases, the uterus and egg quality of a female patient may be the reason they are unable to conceive on their own. Sometimes, hormone treatments and other therapies may help in some aspects, allowing the couple to conceive, but there are times when a couple must consider using an egg donor to conceive when other options have not been successful for them.

Egg donors are females between the ages of 21 and 29 years old who have a healthy background and family history, who are willing to donate their eggs to couples who wish to conceive. These eggs are paired with sperm from the recipient’s partner, or donor sperm, to create a viable embryo that the female partner can then carry to term.

Using an egg donor transforms the case from an “infertility problem” to what we call a “sperm-meets-egg” case, where the healthy egg and sperm will ideally create an embryo that can safely carry to term. By using eggs that are healthy and highly capable of yielding a pregnancy, this method results in exceptionally high pregnancy rates—the highest of  all fertility treatments available today.

There are actually two types of egg donations that can be made, anonymous and direct, that allow couples to choose an option that is most comfortable for them.

Anonymous donation

The most popular option when it comes to using an egg donor to conceive is using an anonymous donation. In these cases, females have gone through our very thorough selection process, making sure they’re healthy, drug-free, and don’t have an unhealthy family history. These donors are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality that allows them to remain anonymous to the fertility patients seen by our office. By protecting their anonymity, we are able to gain access to their full medical and family history in order to create a comprehensive profile of the eggs. This allows couples to have full control when choosing the best donor for them.

Though these egg donations come from anonymous donors, these eggs will be fertilized with the sperm of the recipient’s male partner. This process gives couples the opportunity to conceive a child that is genetically linked to them through the father and carried by the mother.

Direct egg donation

Another option available to couples is a direct egg donation. Direct egg donations allow family members, like sisters or cousins, to donate their healthy eggs to the couple in need. These cases still require the donating family member to have a clean bill of health, but the resulting embryo will be genetically linked to both parents through the family donor.

One of the pros to direct donations is that the couple knows the donor and may avoid financial reciprocity because the donating family member is doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. Because they are a direct family member, our staff and the couple know their family history and shared genetics.

However, we always recommend attending counseling services when going through any type of fertility treatment, including direct donation treatment, since direct family donations may come with psychological complications that are avoided with anonymous egg donors.