For some patients, the path to parenthood requires help from an egg or embryo donor. Using donor eggs in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is common if you have diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), are a woman in her upper 30s-40s, have had multiple failed IVF cycles, or other reasons which you can learn more about here.
Patients can use known or unknown (anonymous) donors. All egg and embryo donors undergo extensive physical and mental screening before being accepted as egg donors.
Egg donors are young healthy women typically between 21-31 years old. Some donors are local and live around the Orlando, Florida area and others are from all over the U.S.. Recipients are generally older women who have diminished ovarian reserve and have not been able to conceive using their own eggs.
As a prospective egg donor or recipient in the Florida area, it’s normal to have a lot of questions.
Egg Donation in Orlando, Florida: Process & FAQ
Why does egg donation exist?
With egg donation, women who cannot have children using their own eggs are able to have children. While the baby is not genetically linked to them, the baby will be genetically related to their partner, and the woman can carry and deliver that baby herself. She will also be able to breastfeed the baby if she chooses.
Who should donate their eggs?
Typical egg donors are between 21-31 years of age. They are generally healthy and have no history of sexually transmitted diseases or infectious diseases. An initial blood screening would also show evidence of good egg quality and quantity. Generally, donors are also compelled by the idea that they are helping a couple complete their family and find the activity rewarding.
Who should use donated eggs?
There are several types of women who would make good candidates for donated eggs – women who suffer from diminished ovarian reserve (meaning they have very few eggs), women who have struggled to produce good quality embryos during previous IVF cycles, women who are older than 45 years old, and women who want to avoid transmitting a genetic disease to their offspring.
How often can you donate your eggs?
In the U.S., women can donate their eggs 6 times.
How much do you get paid to donate your eggs in Florida?
Women who donate their eggs in or around Florida are compensated for their time and effort.
Compensation depends on the egg donation center and typically varies between $5,000 – $10,000 each donation cycle. Each egg donation center is different, but typically donors can donate up to 6 times.
Are there risks to egg donation?
While egg donation is very safe, as with any procedure, there are associated risks. For example, the donor will receive medication to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. In a very small percentage of patients, the donor may show signs of hyper-stimulation. With the latest protocols, this occurs less than 1% of the time.
The extraction of the eggs is done under anesthesia and is considered a minor surgical procedure. This procedure has minimal risk as no incisions are made and the procedure takes approximately 15 minutes. The eggs are extracted using a transvaginal approach under ultrasound guidance.
How often is egg donation successful?
Yes – pregnancy for women using donor eggs – no matter the age – hovers between 55 and 65 percent, whereas pregnancy rates for women using their own eggs begin to decline at 35 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For example, a 44-year-old woman has less than a 10 percent chance of getting pregnant using her own eggs, but a 65 percent chance using donor eggs.
What do recipients know about their donors?
Maybe more than you know about yourself. Donors are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B & C, Syphilis, and are screened for genetic disorders. Aside from knowing the donor’s medical profile and details like height, weight, eye, and hair color, the recipient will also know the donor’s family history, their profession, and will get a pair of photos – one of the donors as a toddler and the other as an adult.
What’s the difference between known and anonymous donors?
Known donors are ones that are known to the recipient – for example, a sister, cousin, or friend. Anonymous donors are unknown to the recipient and are recruited by a medical facility, an agency, or a donor egg bank.
What is the difference between frozen and fresh donor eggs?
Frozen donor egg banks have eggs that have already been retrieved and are available immediately for use. They have been screened and available as soon as you have made your decision as to which donor eggs you would like. They are sold in increments of six or seven eggs. If you are interested in having more than one child from the same batch of eggs, you will most likely need to buy more than one batch.
Fresh donor cycles take more time. The donor needs to be identified, undergo screening and then start her IVF cycle, which can take two weeks. If you decide to use a fresh egg donor, it can take three to six months to complete the process.
However, you do get all of the eggs that the donor produced in that cycle – typically 15-20 eggs. The likelihood that you will have excess embryos available for additional siblings is much greater with fresh donor eggs than with frozen donor eggs. Learn more about fresh versus frozen eggs in our deep dive.
Is there any way for the children of egg donors to meet the donor?
Currently, there is no registry that exists to link donors with children born from their eggs, but the medical facility may ask donors if they wouldn’t mind being contacted by their offspring in the future. That said, an egg donor registry may exist in the near future.
Is egg donation growing in popularity?
Yes! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2005 to 2014, the number of IVF cycles with donor eggs increased by approximately 27%. In 2014, there were nearly 20,500 cycles involving donor egg – that number shot up to more than 208,000 in 2014. To put it simply, about 1 in 10 IVF cycles involve a donor egg today.