Egg donation can be a miracle for couples facing fertility troubles. Screening for egg donation involves different tests performed on possible donors to know whether they qualify to donate eggs, to ensure the probability of safe and healthy babies. Fertile eggs from a young, healthy donor bring a higher success rate. The screening process may vary depending on the state and country of residence.
Egg Donation Screening Process
Normally, the donor should be between 21 to 31 years of age, but the quality of the eggs is important. In order for an egg donation to be successful, the egg donor must be fertile. The candidate will also be assessed to ensure that she is healthy so that there are fewer risks.
The Initial Assessment and Health History
Questions are asked in detail about the possible egg donor’s medical history, including the medical history of family relatives, to try to rule out any potential health risks and genetic diseases.
State laws prohibit egg donation from a donor under the following circumstances:
- If within one year the donor had acupuncture, tattooing or any type of body piercing without ensuring that there were sterile techniques used to do the procedure.
- The involvement with prostitution within five years of the application for egg donation.
- The donor injected drugs within the last five years of the application for egg donation.
- If there has been more than one sexual partner within the last six months before the application
The Psychological Test
Before the physical exam and blood test, the donor will be advised about the side effects and any possible risks that the procedure could involve.
It is important for a potential egg donor to disclose any information about a past or present psychological disease, as it could be inherited.
The Physical Exam
A physical exam is performed which always includes a pelvic (lower part of the abdomen between the hip bones) exam.
An ultrasound (use of ultrasonic waves to diagnose an internal body structure) of the pelvic area including the ovaries and uterus is performed. It is crucial in egg donation that the donor is able to produce healthy eggs.
Blood Test and Other Tests
Some screening programs will do an alcohol or drug test without any prior warnings.
The screening process for egg donation involves a blood test to determine the blood type. In addition, it includes the testing for infectious diseases, as these illnesses or the viruses that could cause the diseases, could be passed on from the donor to the egg recipient. This testing is done normally with the pelvic exam and blood work.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the infectious diseases that are tested for with a small accumulation from the cervix during the pelvic examination.
Hepatitis B and C, along with Syphilis, HIV (with written consent) and Rh incompatibility are tested with blood tests. The HTVL-1 (Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus that could be linked to certain cancers) may also be checked through blood testing for egg donation.