Once you decide that egg donation is the right path to parenthood for you, you will need to choose an egg donor. At Pinnacle Egg Bank, we guide parents through the entire process from finding an egg donor all the way to embryo transfer and pregnancy, if required, through our Pinnacle Fertility network clinics. We will provide insight on choosing an egg donor and work with you to determine the most important factors for your donor egg pregnancy journey. Read on to explore factors to consider when choosing a donor.
1. Egg Donor’s Appearance
Donor appearance is a very personal criterion. Many intended parents choose donors with similar ethnicity, hair color, eye color, or height and body build. While choosing an egg donor who looks like you increases the chance of your baby having similar features, our genetic makeup comes from multiple generations of ancestors. A child whose parents both have dark, curly hair can still turn out to have straight light-colored hair.
On the other hand, you may have an idealized picture of your future child. They may be tall, or athletic, or talented artistically and musically. There’s nothing shallow about this: all parents have images of the child they hope to have. If particular features or characteristics are important to you, you can select an egg donor with the requisite qualities.
Another factor is the donor’s level of education or academic ability. Whether or not children inherit intelligence from their genetic mothers is a matter of debate, but there’s no harm in considering the donor’s intelligence.
2. Your Egg Donor’s Personality
An egg donor’s profile isn’t just a list of genetic and medical traits; it is a glimpse into the donor’s personality and life. The profile provides information on what she was like as a child, what it was like growing up in her family, what her favorite book or movie is, what her goals are in life, and why she wants to be a part of another person’s fertility journey.
Some intended parents favor egg donors who share their personality traits. Others consider donors with very different personalities, hoping that the donor egg will pass traits to their children that they may not possess themselves. Some intended parents do not have specific personality traits in mind but prefer to choose an egg donor who shares their general worldview.
An egg donor’s personality does not guarantee that a child will share that personality, as nurture is as important as nature when it comes to personality formation. Ultimately, intended parents choose a donor with whom they connect on a personal level.
3. Egg Donor’s Medical History
Egg Donors go through a thorough medical, genetic, and psychological screening process. Candidates with serious inheritable medical, genetic or psychological conditions will not qualify as egg donors. If a donor has conditions with mild symptoms or unproven genetic risk or mild symptoms she may still qualify to become an egg donor. In these cases, such conditions will be disclosed to intended parents.
4. Does Egg Donor Blood Type Matter?
Some intended parents place importance on egg donor blood types. The most common reason for this is the belief that if the egg donor’s blood type matches one of the intended parent’s blood types, the baby will inherit the same blood type. Matching blood types can be beneficial, as the parent could donate blood to their child if needed. However, keep in mind that the baby will inherit only one AB0 genes from each parent (or an egg donor and a sperm source), and their blood type will most likely not match.
Some parents do not want the fact they conceived through egg donation to be public knowledge. Choosing an egg donor whose blood type matches yours or your partner’s can help protect your privacy, although the advent of easily available DNA tests has made this consideration less important.
5. Epigenetics And Donor Egg
While scientific advancements have made egg donation, surrogacy, IVF, and other fertility treatments safe, common, and largely successful, there are still limitations to this science. Although the term “designer baby” is often used in the media, it’s not possible to truly design every aspect of your future child. You can select your egg donors based on various characteristics, but there’s no guarantee your child will possess the exact traits you want.
Your child’s genes are not the only factor that influences their development. Research suggests that a birth mother’s uterine environment plays a key role in the overall health of their growing baby, influencing the child’s brain development, immune system function, metabolism, and more. The psychological well-being of the birth mother may also impact the baby.
The science of how a person’s environment influences their genetic expression and development is called epigenetics. Scientists are learning just how important a baby’s environment (both inside and outside of the uterus) can be. We invite you to learn more about this subject by reading our blog; Donor Eggs Epigenetics – will the baby look like me.
6. Choosing A Proven Egg Donor
Only 3% of all applicants qualify to become egg donors at Pinnacle Egg Bank. Stringent medical, genetic and psychological criteria and screening along with extraordinary expertise in egg donation has resulted in our birth rates from donor eggs consistently in the top 1% of clinics in the US.
Many women using donor eggs have struggled with infertility in the past and prefer to choose a donor whose eggs have proven successful for multiple intended parents. Previous egg donation outcomes are important, and a good indication of the quality of donor eggs, but are not superior to eggs retrieved from first time donors.
7. Choosing The Best Egg Donor Agency
Choosing an egg donor agency is as important as choosing the right egg donor. The quality and services offered by fertility clinics and egg donor agencies can vary greatly. Choosing the right program increases your chances of a successful outcome while ensuring you receive compassionate and professional care. The right egg donor service provides you with peace of mind during your exciting but sometimes intimidating journey towards parenthood.
Pinnacle Fertility has an in-house egg donor program to ensure the best outcomes for our Intended Parents and best care and experience for our egg donors. There are many reasons why we have one of the highest success rates of IVF with donor eggs in the country, but the main one is something no other egg donation programs have: our team.
- Our Medical Director: Dr. John Jain is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and a pioneer in the field of Reproductive Medicine. He personally oversees medically screening and treatment of all egg donors throughout the egg donation process, assuring their safety and that quality eggs are retrieved.
- Our Egg Donors: We are extremely selective when it comes to the egg donors we work with and accept less than 3% of applicants into our egg donation program. Many of our egg donors are proven donors (meaning their previous egg donations resulted in pregnancies) and all donors are already medically pre-screened. Our egg donors choose to work with us because they have become part of our Pinnacle Egg Bank family and know and trust our medical and nursing staff who know most by name. You can view profiles of our donors available for fresh and frozen cycles online at no cost, at Pinnacle Egg Bank.
- Our in-house Embryology Lab: Through their truly exceptional skills, passion, and cutting-edge technology, our embryology team are pivotal in maintaining high birth rates from our egg donor cycles.
- Our fertility nurses look after our Intended Parents and Egg Donors to make sure each cycle goes as planned and are available 24/7 as needed.
- Our Egg Donation Program Coordinators: Best in class in delivering a seamless customer service experience, our Client Relations Managers will not only work with you to understand your needs and priorities in choosing an egg donor; they do their utmost to make the process as stress-free as possible. Because they meet and build relationships with most of our egg donors before matching, they provide real insight into donor profiles and who they really are as people.
Like many other fertility decisions, choosing an egg donor is personal. Knowing which factors are important to you and working with a trusted doctor will help you feel confident about your decision.
You can view profiles of our egg donors available for fresh and frozen donor cycles online at Pinnacle Egg Bank and our FAQ section offers a lot of useful information about using donor eggs.