If you have a genuine desire to help someone create or add to their family, becoming an egg donor may be a great fit for you! You’ve probably taken a look at the requirements to become an egg donor, but what are some of the disqualifications for donating eggs?
Can you be 18 and donate eggs?
No. While some agencies may allow women as young as 18 to donate, FSC only accepts egg donor candidates between the ages of 21-31.
Egg donor age requirements are important to ensure a successful outcome for our recipient parents. Egg donation is a huge commitment and we want to be certain our egg donors can handle both the physical and emotional aspects of the journey.
When you’re 18, you have lots of things to think about in terms of your education, work opportunities, family, friends, and other life demands. Being tied to an egg donation process can be pretty time-consuming, and it requires at least three months’ commitment from start to finish.
The egg donation process will also involve taking fertility drugs, going to regular appointments, and liaising with your agency. Though age doesn’t always equal maturity, women under 21 may not be able to handle all the responsibilities that go along with the egg donation process.
For these reasons, FSC only accepts egg donor candidates between the ages of 21-31.
Can you donate eggs after tubal ligation?
Yes! A tubal ligation (otherwise known as having your tubes tied) means although you can’t get pregnant, your ovaries still function normally. A tubal ligation only affects your fallopian tubes, so you’ll still be able to produce eggs.
Since eggs are retrieved directly from the ovaries before they are released into your fallopian tubes, having your tubes tied does not impact your ability to donate eggs.
Can you donate eggs if you’ve had depression?
This is a tricky one. Mental health struggles are common these days, and we all have brushes with depression occasionally. Although many women who have experienced situational depression can successfully become egg donors, good mental health is an important requirement for becoming an egg donor.
All prospective egg donors must undergo a thorough screening, including a psychological assessment with a qualified mental health professional. This entails undergoing an evaluation of your mental stability and psychosocial health, including your family’s mental health history.
You’ll also be asked about stressors in your life and any difficult or traumatic experiences, your interpersonal relationships, sexual history, psychiatric and personality disorders, and any instances of substance abuse. All of these things can affect your coping skills and motivation to donate.
Some mental health disorders, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are genetic, so there is a risk of passing them on through your eggs.
In addition, antidepressant medication can affect both your fertility and the impact of fertility drugs. If you’re actively taking antidepressant medication, this would disqualify you from donating your eggs.
If you’re not sure whether you qualify, get in touch! We’re happy to let you know whether you are a good candidate to become an egg donor.
Can you donate eggs if you’re overweight?
Being a healthy weight is very important when you’re an egg donor. At FSC, we require donors to be within a BMI of 18 – 28.
Egg donors who are at a healthy weight tend to have fewer complications and more successful egg donations. Research has shown that women with a high BMI may not respond as well to fertility treatment.
A BMI over 30 is considered obese, and obesity is associated with infertility and poor pregnancy outcomes. One study showed that a woman’s chances of getting pregnant decline for every BMI unit over 29. Women with a BMI between 35 and 40 have a 23-43% lower chance of getting pregnant than women with a BMI below 29.
Researchers have also found that even when overweight women have regular cycles and no obvious fertility problems, they still struggle to get pregnant. The heavier a woman is, the more her fertility may be impacted.
Not sure what your BMI is? Use our BMI calculator to determine your current Body Mass Index.
Can you donate eggs with an IUD or while you’re on Depo-Provera or Norplant?
This is a common question, as many women prefer to use an IUD, contraceptive shots, or hormonal implants over the contraceptive pill.
Birth control pills or hormonal patches
Using birth control pills or other contraceptives like the Nuvo Ring or hormonal patches will not prevent you from becoming an egg donor. These are temporary methods of birth control that are easily discontinued in order to begin the egg donation process.
If you have been using the Depo-Provera shot, you will need to refrain from any shots for at least 8 months prior to applying. We cannot accept egg donors who are currently on the Depo-Provera shot.
Norplant, Implanon or Nexplanon
If you currently have a hormonal implant such as Norplant, Implanon, or Nexplanon, you’ll need to be willing to remove the implant in order to be accepted into our egg donation program.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
As for becoming an egg donor with an IUD, it all comes down to whether your IUD is hormonal or non-hormonal.
Brands such as Mirena are called hormonal IUDs. They use slow-release hormone therapy to prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus in the cervix, which reduces the chance of sperm fertilizing an egg. IUDs also suppress menstruation by thinning the lining of the uterus.
If you are using a hormonal IUD and having regular menstrual cycles, you will need to have it removed in order to become an egg donor. The IVF doctor can do this at your medical screening before you begin your injectable hormone treatment.
However, if your Ovarian Assessment Report (OAR) shows that your ovulatory egg supply is low, you may need to take some time to allow your normal menstruation cycle to return.
These include devices such as Paraguard. Non-hormonal IUDs are made out of copper, which naturally prevents pregnancy. These devices don’t have to be removed as they do not interfere with your hormones or your regular menstrual cycle.
Can you donate eggs with PCOS?
Maybe. In general, PCOS would disqualify you from becoming an egg donor. However, your eligibility would have to be determined by a physician.
PCOS affects one in five women, so it’s not rare. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common causes of infertility. While some women with PCOS may have no problems conceiving, it may cause some women to develop fewer follicles on their ovaries, hindering their chances of producing an egg. Severe PCOS may also cause problems with ovulation, so it’s important to consult with your gynecologist before applying to be an egg donor.
On a positive note, studies have shown that egg donations from women with PCOS had no difference in the number of eggs retrieved, nor were fertilization and implantation rates for the recipient affected. Research also shows women with PCOS require significantly less gonadotropin than egg donors without PCOS, so it may even work in your favor!
Can you donate eggs if you’ve had an STD?
Maybe. During the egg donor screening process, you’ll undergo FDA-mandated testing for sexually transmitted diseases including:
- HIV-I and HIV-II
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Testing positive for any of these STDs would disqualify you from becoming an egg donor. However, if you’ve had Chlamydia or Gonhorrea more than a year ago, you may still qualify to become an egg donor.
Can you donate eggs if you have herpes or HPV?
Herpes or HPV will not necessarily disqualify you from becoming an egg donor unless you’re in an active outbreak. These diseases are not transmittable through your eggs, so clinics will generally accept donors who have herpes or HPV.
Get in Touch with Family Source
If you have more questions about whether you qualify to become an egg donor, just get in touch with the team at FSC. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!
PS. Even if you have circumstances that prevent you from being an egg donor, you may still qualify to become a surrogate if you have at least one child. Though the two options have many similar requirements, they also have vastly different qualifications!