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There are two types of donor cycles. In an anonymous cycle the donor and recipient do not meet, nor do they have access to identifying information about each other. However, there are some recipient couples who are uncomfortable with the use of eggs from an anonymous donor. These couples will recruit a close friend or family member to be their oocyte donor, and proceed using a directed donor. The screening process is the same for both types of donations and follows the guidelines set forth by the American Fertility Society. The screening is extensive but is designed to optimize safety for donor, recipient and offspring.
In our program donors are required to be between the ages of 21 and 33. They must give informed consent prior to beginning therapy and if married, the husband’s consent is also required. They must have regular menstrual cycles and have no history of genetically transmissible diseases, sexually transmissible diseases or cancer. They must also have no history of alcohol or substance abuse. They must be willing to undergo extensive screening and be willing to use barrier contraception for at least two complete menstrual cycles.
When a potential donor has been identified, she is first asked to complete a detailed questionnaire which gives us general information about her personal and family health history. The questionnaire gives us information regarding all members of the donor’s family from her grandparents’ generation to that of her children, if applicable.
When the completed questionnaire is received an RN, and a physician review it.
If the health history is negative for genetically transmissible diseases and the reproductive history is acceptable, the donor is contacted and an initial interview is scheduled. During this interview an RN outlines the donor cycle in detail and discusses all medications, side effects, risks and precautions. All procedures are reviewed. If, after talking with the RN, the potential donor wishes to participate, she is referred to a psychosocial consultant.
During this interview the donors may ask any questions regarding the psychological ramifications of ovum donation. Virtually every donor we see envisions this process as a compassionate, altruistic act and her portion of the donation merely the donation of a few cells, much like blood donation. After thorough psychological screening, each donor is required to complete the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. This series of simple true/false questions provides us with information about the donor’s personality traits. All of this information is very helpful when matching donors and recipients. The final step in the screening process is a meeting with one of the physicians. At this time the potential donor is counseled regarding possible risks and side-effects, and any final questions about the procedure are answered. A physical exam is completed, the donor is tested for sexually transmissible diseases, and blood type is determined.
When all of the results of the screening have been received and found to be in order, the approved donor is ready to be matched with a recipient! Matching donors and recipients is a very exciting part of the egg donation process. It is especially important to us that recipients are completely comfortable with the donor they chose.
Every couple has a different set of criteria for making this extremely personal choice. Importance may or may not be placed on any number of things, ranging from physical characteristics to blood type to personality traits. You will work closely with the psychosocial consultant prior to making the decision. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your wishes with an IVF nurse and we will work closely with you to help you find the right donor to meet your needs.
Potential recipients will be provided with information about the donors as they become approved. All non-identifying information regarding a donor’s age, physical characteristics, educational background, occupation, fertility history is shared with the recipient couple. After reviewing the information carefully, the couple has the option of accepting the donor, or waiting for the very next available candidate.
For more information, please check out our Informational Videos.