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Using Donor Eggs

If you are unable to use your own eggs to become pregnant, you may choose to use donor eggs from a known or anonymous donor. Our fertility experts at the Women & Infants Center offer compassionate care to help you navigate the process.

A lab technician uses fertility tools

Reasons to Consider Using Donor Eggs

Donor eggs may be the right option for your fertility treatment for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Age: A woman’s egg quality naturally declines with age. Women over 35 (and especially those over 40) often have more difficulty becoming pregnant and have more miscarriages related to chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Premature menopause: Some women go through menopause early, before age 40, because of cancer treatment or other medical issues. Because the ovaries no longer release eggs regularly, women who experience early menopause often have difficulty becoming pregnant.
  • Risk of transmitting inherited conditions: Women who have certain genetic conditions may choose to use donor eggs to avoid passing the condition to their children.

Using Donor Eggs: Why Choose Us?

When you come to the Fertility & Reproductive Medicine Center for treatment using donor eggs, you will find:

  • Prescreened egg donors: You can choose to use eggs from women in our egg donation program. Since 1991, we have worked with women who donate their eggs to help others realize their dream of having a baby. Our program provides rigorous medical and psychological screenings before accepting potential egg donors into our program. Learn more about our program for becoming an egg donor.
  • High success rates: Using donor eggs substantially increases your chances of a successful pregnancy. Our doctors typically see pregnancy rates of 65 percent or higher for women using donor eggs – even those who would have less than a 5 percent chance with their own eggs.

Using Donor Eggs: What to Expect

If you’re interested in using donor eggs to achieve pregnancy, our fertility doctors and their teams help you through the decision-making process. Steps along the way include:

  • How to find a donor: An egg donor can be someone you know or an anonymous woman. If you are looking for an anonymous donor, you can choose from our local pool of donors. These women have already passed our rigorous medical and psychological screening process. If you choose a donor from an outside agency, she will have to go through our comprehensive screening before we can begin a cycle. However, the availability and selection from outside agencies is sometimes quicker than getting matched within our system.
  • What to look for in a donor: Ideally, an egg donor should be between 21 and 34 years old to ensure the best quality eggs. You may also want to consider other characteristics – such as physical traits, ethnic background, family medical history, education and personality. Our team will help connect you with the ideal donor from our screening program to help you build your family.
  • Fresh and frozen eggs: Using fresh eggs requires syncing your cycle with the donor’s, whereas using frozen eggs allows for more flexible timing. If you are interested in frozen eggs, we have a partnership with MyEggBank to help you find a donor. This option is typically quicker and less expensive.
  • Fertilizing the donor eggs: Your doctor uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) to fertilize the donor eggs with sperm from your partner or a sperm donor. The resulting embryo (or embryos) are transferred to your uterus usually within 5 days of egg retrieval.
  • Psychological counseling: The decision to use donor eggs can be an emotionally difficult one. We require both partners to meet with one of our psychologists to help you work through any issues that come up during this process.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University fertility and reproductive medicine specialist at the Women & Infants Center, call [Dynamic_Phone_Number].