Recipient Frequently Asked Questions

Donor Screening & Selection

Can I see a photo of the donor?

We do not show adult photos of our egg donors. We do publish baby photographs of our donors on the egg bank database.


Will the donor know if a pregnancy occurred?

We do not inform donors of the success or failure of the donation. However, we do invite some donors to make additional donations. These donors may conclude (correctly) they are being invited back because they initiated a pregnancy.


What are your requirements for donors, and how are they screened?

Women ages 21-30 answer our advertising and apply to the egg donor program. The donor team reviews the donor applications and profiles and selects the profiles of young women likely to pass screening. Donors must meet certain height and weight requirements. Educated donors are strongly preferred. Donors are subjected to genetic, medical, endocrinological, psychological, and ultrasound testing to determine if they are eligible. Included in the psychological consult is a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory / Personality Assessment Inventory (MMPI/PAI). Eligible donors are also screened and interviewed by one of the MyEggBank partner physicians. All donors who pass screening meet FDA standards.


What information is given to me about the donor?

You will receive a copy of the donor's profile, family medical history, and genetics report.


How can I assess the personality of my donor?

Every donor who is approved and listed on the web site has gone through a full battery of psychological tests. We are not in a position to make a full assessment of the donor's personality beyond that which we can read in the psychology report. Be assured, however, that all of the donors are screened very carefully and that donors at risk for any kind of psychological problem are excluded prior to treatment. On a less formal note, the donors should all be considered highly motivated, energetic young women who are acting in part for altruistic reasons.


Are all your donors college-educated?

No, but we have a strong preference for college educated donors. Our donors who have not graduated from college generally have some other highly desirable trait(s) to make them candidates for our program. We review each egg donor's personal background/history thoroughly before accepting her into our program.


Does the blood type of the donor matter?

From a medical point of view the donor’s blood type is not important. Pregnancy implantation rates and potential complications are not influenced by the donor’s blood type. Intended parents who choose not to disclose the use of donor egg to their children may wish to select a donor with a blood type that complements the female recipient.


What is the difference between fresh and frozen donor cycles?

Fresh egg donation cycles involve stimulation of the donor, retrieval and insemination of her eggs, with transfer to the recipient, all within a few weeks time.

With a frozen donor egg cycle, donors have been treated in advance, with the eggs collected and frozen for future use. Recipients using frozen eggs will select their donor, as the eggs are needed.


How does the matching process work?

With fresh egg donation cycles, the donor coordinators and physicians try to find and offer the closest possible match to what the recipient desires in her donor.

The MyEggBank website contains a database of information about all of our available egg donors. Recipients will have the opportunity to review the available donors and forward their selection choices to the donor coordinators.


What is the time frame involved for a cycle?

Once a match has been made (which can take 6-9 months in traditional donor programs), a traditional fresh donor cycle takes about six weeks (from first injection to the pregnancy test). Frozen donor cycles through a MyEggBank network provider take about four weeks to complete.


Are there any restrictions on who may use frozen eggs?

Generally speaking, all patients with diminished ovarian reserve or egg quality can use frozen eggs. There are a few exceptions, however. Couples that require sperm retrieval by TESE or TESA, couples where the total motile fraction is less than 1 million sperm, or patients who want PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) performed on their embryos cannot use the egg bank (these patients will need to use a fresh egg donor). The reasons for this exclusion are two-fold: 1) The initial six (6) donor eggs provided that are thawed do not provide enough eggs to assure a quality outcome if the couple has severe male factor infertility or desires PGD. 2) The cost associated with purchase of additional eggs for patients with severe male factor or genetic testing brings the cost of a frozen cycle up to that of a fresh one, so we do not recommend using the egg bank in these situations. For severe male factor and genetic diagnoses, fresh cycles prove to be far more cost efficient even if the initial expense is higher than that for frozen eggs.


Can I be a recipient if I have had my fallopian tubes removed or am menopausal?

Yes.


Do I need to reveal to anyone that I used donated eggs?

Pursuing donor eggs as a treatment option is a very personal decision. It is patient preference to share this information with others. We do recommend sharing this information with your OB/GYN, as he/she will be continuing your care once you are discharged from our practice.

Current data from psychological journals on this subject suggest disclosing this information to the child at the appropriate time in the future.


Genetics

Which genetic disorders are MEBNA donors routinely screened for?

Genetic screening is performed on MEBNA donors for all genetic disorders recommend and/or required by leading medical organizations including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG). Click here to see a list of the disorders donors are tested for. Additionally, a high-resolution karyotype (chromosome test) is also performed on all donors. Individuals with abnormal results on any of these tests are not accepted as MEBNA donors.


Can I request that the donor have additional genetic testing?

MyEggBank will absolutely consider additional genetic testing of donors in the case that: 1) the intended father/sperm donor is a known carrier of the recessive disease screening is being requested for, and 2) the genetic disease in question if of high clinical impact, meaning that the disease has a significant impact on life expectancy and quality of life. Providing the above criteria are met, MEBNA will make every effort to arrange additional genetic testing for the donor of your choice. Additional genetic testing is at the recipient’s expense. Please contact mebcoordinators@myeggbank.com if you would like to request additional genetic testing.


What medical/family history information will I have access to about the donors?

MyEggBank provides a complete Genetics Consult report for each donor. This report details the donor’s medical information as well as a three-generation family history as elicited from a board certified genetic counselor. If it is the opinion of the genetic counselor that a donor’s family history poses serious increased genetic risk to the donor’s offspring, the donor is not accepted. If the genetic counselor believes that the medical or family history modestly increases risk of certain treatable conditions above general population risk, this information will be specified in the Genetic Consult report.


What does “residual risk” mean?

No genetic testing has a detection rate of 100%. There will always remain a small possibility that a person could carry a mutation that is not detected by the testing performed. A residual risk is the chance that the donor could still carry a genetic mutation even though the test result was negative or normal for that condition. The residual risk is interpreted by the testing laboratories and is based on the donor’s ethnic background, the mutations analyzed, and how commonly the mutations occur in the population tested. We have chosen a genetic laboratory which uses the technologies with the highest detection rates across every disease the donors are tested for, thus minimizing residual risk.


What is PGS testing?

Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) refers to testing of IVF embryos for chromosome abnormalities. Chromosome abnormalities (aneuploidies) occur randomly in embryos and are not typically inherited from one of the parents. The main risk factor for a chromosome abnormality in an embryo is the age of the egg donor. MEBNA selects egg donors ≤ 31 years of age to ensure the lowest rate of aneuploidy possible. However, there is still some percentage of embryos that will be chromosomally abnormal at a rate estimated to be 20-30%. MEBNA’s statistics suggest that most couples will get 2-3 good quality embryos from the standard lot of 6 eggs. As a result of the high pregnancy rates for MEBNA embryo transfers without PGS, and the additional cost and risk to the embryo caused by PGS, MEBNA typically does not recommend PGS for IVF cycles using frozen donor eggs.


Can this be done on my embryos if I use an MyEggBank donor?

It is always at the discretion of the recipient and their fertility center whether or not PGS will be performed on embryos created from donor eggs. For standard MEBNA cycles PGS is not recommended and the process of PGS will invalidate the guarantees offered by MEBNA. For patients who feel strongly that they want to do PGS on donor embryos we recommend that patients choose MEBNA’s Euploid Embryo Guarantee Agreement. As compared to other MEBNA packages this package includes 8 cryopreserved donor eggs and MEBNA guarantees at least one “euploid” embryo result from PGS testing. If for any reason creation of the embryos does not result in at least one Euploid embryo, additional eggs will be thawed, fertilized and tested at no additional cost to the patient until a euploid (“normal”) embryo is identified.


What is the difference between PGS and PGD?

PGS tests for chromosome abnormalities, which occur randomly and are a risk for all pregnancies. PGD refers to genetic testing of the embryo for specific genetic diseases that a child is at risk for based on known gene mutations that the parent(s) carries. If there is not a known genetic mutation carried by the parent(s) PGD is not indicated.


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