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How are Egg Donors Selected

 
General medical screening: You will have a physical examination, including a pelvic exam. Blood will be drawn to check your hormone levels. Ultrasound (which uses sound waves, not X rays) will be used to examine your uterus, ovaries and other pelvic organs. These tests might reveal an existing health problem. If anything is found, ask about your options for treatment (either from the program or another health professional).

You will complete a detailed medical and psychological history about yourself and close blood relatives. It will include questions about your use of cigarettes, alcohol, and both prescription and illegal drugs.

Infectious disease screening: When blood or tissue is transferred from one person to another, it can carry viruses or bacteria. To minimize the risk that a donor egg could cause illness in the recipient, donors are tested for a variety of infections. During your pelvic exam, you will be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Blood will be drawn to test for syphilis, hepatitis B and C, and HTLV-1 (a very uncommon virus that is associated with some cancers). You will have a blood test to see if you have been exposed to HIV.

According to State regulations, you may not donate eggs if you have injected drugs or been engaged in prostitution within the last five years. You are not eligible to donate eggs if, within the last year, you have been diagnosed with syphilis or if you have received acupuncture, a tattoo or body piercing without being certain that sterile procedures were used. If you have had more than one sexual partner in the last six months, you are not eligible to donate eggs.

Screening for inherited disease: Most programs try to learn all they can about a donor's genetic make-up in order to minimize the chance that a baby will have a birth defect or serious inherited disease. You will be required to provide your complete medical history. You will be asked medical questions about your biological parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. The program will want to identify if you had:

  • Any birth defects that required surgery or resulted in medical problems (such as a cleft lip, spina bifida or a heart defect).
  • Certain genetic disorders (such as Huntington's disease, hemophilia, Tay Sachs disease or sickle cell anemia).
  • Inherited diseases that are of special interest to a recipient because of her own family history.
  • Any major medical problems, surgeries, mental retardation, or psychiatric problems.
  • Has a serious psychological disorder.
  • Abuses drugs or alcohol or has several relatives who do.
  • Currently uses psychoactive medications.
  • Has significant stress in her life.
  • Is in an unstable marriage or relationship.
  • Has been physically or sexually abused and not received professional treatment.
  • Is not mentally capable of understanding or participating in the process.
  • If any blood relatives have serious psychiatric disorders


 
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