Donor Oocyte Program

A need for egg donation may arise for a number of reasons. Infertile couples may resort to egg donation when the female partner cannot have genetic children because her own eggs cannot generate a viable pregnancy, or because they could generate a viable pregnancy but the chances are so low that it is not advisable or not financially feasible to do IVF with her own eggs. This situation is often, but not always based on advanced reproductive age. It can also be due to early onset of menopause, which can occur as early as their 20s. In addition, some women are born without ovaries, while some women’s reproductive organs have been damaged or surgically removed due to disease or other circumstances. Another indication would be a genetic disorder on part of the woman that either renders her infertile or would be dangerous for any offspring, problems that can be circumvented by using eggs from another woman. Many women have none of these issues, but continue to be unsuccessful using their own eggs—in other words, they have undiagnosed infertility—and thus turn to donor eggs or donor embryos.

Ideally, donors should be aged between 25 and 40 years, and have completed their own family. Prior to proceeding with donation, all potential egg donors (and their partners, if applicable) will undertake a minimum of two counseling sessions and screening blood tests, and will complete a Genetic and Medical Health Questionnaire. Where there is a family history of genetic or medical conditions, a clinical geneticist provides an assessment of potential risks to future offspring.