For Recipients: Medical Conditions and Egg Donation

As much as a recipient of an egg donation desires the procedure, there are several medical conditions she could have that would prevent her from being able to choose the option. Because inserting the egg and carrying a child can cause serious strains on her body, egg donation may simply not work. Below are a few medical conditions that may prevent a woman from becoming a recipient of a donated egg.

Uterine Scarring or Damage

Despite coming from another person, a fertilized egg nevertheless requires a uterus in which to grow. Women with a scarred or damaged uterus will be unable to carry a child. If your issue in becoming pregnant is not an inability to produce fertilizable or even any eggs at all, the problem may be an inhospitable uterine environment, which means that egg donation will not work. This may be resolved by using a surrogate, however.

Serious Hormone Deficiencies

A recipient with serious hormone deficiencies may not be able to carry a child. In a normal pregnancy, hormones prepare the uterus for implantation and are essential to growing a healthy baby. A woman unable to produce hormones on her own or to replicate them using drugs most likely cannot become pregnant or maintain a pregnancy. Therefore, egg donation is not an option.

Uterine or Other Tumors

Whether or not they are cancerous, the presence of tumors on a woman’s uterus, ovaries or anywhere else in her body may prevent her from being a recipient of an egg donation. These tumors may be large enough to prevent her uterus from properly stretching, may force her cervix to open early or may otherwise impede her body’s natural and necessary processes for pregnancy. Any tumor serious enough may first have to be removed or, if it cannot be removed, would necessitate hiring a surrogate to carry the fertilized donated egg.


An extremely overweight woman most likely will not be approved to receive a donor egg. While this is not true across the board, more likely than not a physician will not implant a donated egg into a woman whose weight poses serious risks to herself and a child. Excess weight can cause many medical conditions, such as gestational diabetes, which could be fatal to both mother and child. Typically, this problem can be reversed with weight loss.

Heart Deformities or Problems

A woman with a serious heart deformity or other problems may not be eligible to become pregnant, and therefore not receive a donor egg. A heart that has trouble pumping enough blood or that provides too much to the mother might be unable to sustain a pregnancy. Additionally, many blood thinner and pressure drugs could seriously harm a child or cause a miscarriage. Unfortunately, heart problems are extremely difficult if not impossible to cure, and so the recipient’s best option might be to hire a surrogate or adopt.

While the only requirements for an egg donation recipient are that she is under fifty years of age and in good health, there are several medical conditions that may prevent her from actually becoming a recipient. Some of these conditions are reversible, but others prohibit pregnancy altogether, whether natural or from artificial implantation.  

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