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How to select donor eggs for IVF

The decision to use donor eggs for your fertility treatment is not always an easy one. This guide offers advice on how best to choose an egg donor and prepare for treatment.

Medically verified
Written by Apricity Team

Perhaps you already know that donor eggs offer you the best chance of becoming a parent. Maybe you’ve been through multiple rounds of IVF using your own eggs before reaching this point. Either way, using donor eggs on your journey to build your family can bring up complex feelings.

Selecting donor eggs for IVF may seem daunting however it’s completely normal to have concerns about finding the right match. At Apricity, we understand the many emotions that can arise when making this decision in preparation for IVF with donor eggs. That's why this guide offers advice on how to choose an egg donor and explains how our comprehensive egg donor matching process supports you in doing so.  

Can you choose an egg donor?

Selecting an egg donor is a flexible process - you can take as much time as you need to find the donor that is right for you. Some clinics have a list of donors that you can choose from although there may be long waiting times of a year or more. Others work with egg banks where you can choose frozen eggs. It is also possible for clinics to import donor eggs from abroad, although there are strict conditions that must be met for this. Some patients have a known donor, a friend or colleague for instance, who is willing to donate their eggs.

Apricity’s personalised 1:1 matching approach to egg donation puts you at the centre. We really take the time to get to know you and understand what you are looking for so that we can find the best donor for you. We have wonderful donor ambassadors continuously engaging with potential egg donors through various channels, and we continuously recruit new donors through online channels, groups, events and webinars,  so our waiting times to match with a donor are also much shorter than average. We have lots of donors come to us on recommendation from another who have had a good experience donating through Apricity.

How to choose an egg donor

There is no one right way to select an egg donor for IVF. However, many patients seek a donor that they have much in common with. Someone who they would likely be good friends with were they to meet. Considering the following aspects of a donor can help you in finding the right match:

Physical characteristics

Many people begin the IVF donor eggs process by focusing on the physical characteristics they desire in a donor. Often, these are similar to your own. 

Physical characteristics of an egg donor that you may want to consider include their height, weight, race, ethnicity, eye colour and hair colour. Age is also important as fertility declines with age, but all Apricity donors are aged between 18 and 35. 

Personality

When choosing an egg donor, you may also want an individual whose personality, values and approach to life align with yours. We provide donors with a lengthy questionnaire to complete called the Personal Profile. Questions donors answer in their Personal Profile include: ‘What made you donate?’, ‘What are your likes and dislikes?’, ‘What makes you angry?’ and, ‘If you had unlimited time and money, how would you spend them?’

The Personal Profile is an incredibly meaningful tool. We share it with you so that you can gain a detailed insight into the donor’s mind, and we also use the information to help hone in on your ideal donor match.

Hobbies and interests

We all have things in our lives that we’re passionate about or activities that we enjoy. You might be a keen baker, love reading or be a semi-professional football player, for example. Therefore, you may also hope that your donor likes these things too. 

All our donors share their hobbies and interests within their Personal Profile to help you get an even better understanding of who they are and what you have in common.  

Work and education

Some egg donor recipients like to know about their donor’s level of education and what they do for work. This may be because they have aspirations for their future children or simply want a donor who has shown dedication to their studies or career. Your donor’s highest level of education and what they do for work are included in the information you receive about your egg donor from Apricity. 

Medical history

The health of your egg donor is an important consideration as it can have the ability to impact the health of your future child. In the UK, all egg donors must be medically assessed before being accepted to donate. All egg donors undergo blood tests for basic blood typing, rhesus status (positive or negative), blood-borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections.

In addition, Apricity ensures that each of our egg donors:

  • Is healthy with no family history of serious or inherited diseases

  • Has a BMI between 18 and 35

  • Is a non-smoker

  • Does not take recreational drugs or excessive alcohol

  • Is not trying to become pregnant

  • Have a Karyotyping blood test 

  • Are tested for their carrier status for the most common forms of Cystic Fibrosis, Blood Group, and HBEL, which identifies carrier status of haemoglobin disorders such as Sickle cell anaemia, alpha and beta thalassemia

Childhood photo

Even with all of the above details about your donor, it can still be difficult to picture what these will mean for a future child. We ask donors to share a non-identifying photo of themselves as a baby or a toddler so that should you wish to see it, you can gain a better idea of how their physical characteristics may influence your baby’s appearance. Our donors are under no obligation to do this, but many choose to.

Support to find the right egg donor from Apricity

Using an egg donor can be a truly positive life-changing experience, as Becky, aka Defining Mum, shares. Selecting donor eggs for IVF is a pivotal part of the journey and is one that you want to feel supported in. That’s why when you sign up with us, you get six months of access to Paths to Parenthub, a community resource for donor conception run by Becky Kearns.

We have many years of experience helping individuals and couples create families through IVF using egg donation in the UK and it’s all based on a foundation of exceptional support. We have a team of egg donation specialists who are there to guide and advise with understanding and compassion at every step of the way.Overall, our IVF with donor egg success rates far exceed national averages.

In addition, we have a range of all-inclusive egg donation packages to meet the varying needs of individuals. Our 1:1 fresh egg donation package gives you the best possible chance of pregnancy success and creating a family with genetically related siblings in the future as all of the donor’s eggs are exclusively for you. We also have an  8 fresh egg donation package that guarantees you 8 donor eggs to use in a fresh egg donation cycle, with any remaining eggs used to create embryos for future use. If seeking egg donors for surrogacy, we support intended parents in creating their families too. 

Regardless of your path, we use our signature matching service to help you find the right egg donor for you. For more information or to get started on your IVF with donor eggs journey, you can book a free consultation with an Apricity advisor.

Written by Apricity Team

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Written by our group of fertility experts and doctors consultants

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