The Complete Guide to the Egg Donation Process

The egg donation process is an increasingly popular option for couples and women struggling with infertility. 93% of fertility clinics in the United States offer egg donation services, and Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility is no exception.

While the egg donation process certainly has its merit, aspiring parents mustn’t get swept up in the promises of egg donation without fully understanding their options. This is why the science behind the egg donation process is the driving force behind the way Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility consults its patients.

In this guide, readers can expect the following:

We debunk the three common myths associated with the egg donation process.
We dive into the 5-steps behind the egg donation process. This covers everything from legal considerations to scientific procedures.

Debunking the Myths of Egg Donation

First thing is first, let’s debunk a few myths about the egg donation procedure. After all, a lot of fertility clinics take a business-first approach to consulting their patients, which is often to the detriment of aspiring parents who happen to be in a vulnerable place in their fertility journey.

Myth #1: The egg donation process is at least $20,000-$30,000.

The cost of egg donation can reach as much as $30,000, but as you’ll see in the following sections, many variations within the egg donation process can inflate or deflate the total cost. This primarily includes determining the source of the egg donor, and the logistical variables like location and travel costs that come with that person.

Myth #2: If you’re struggling with getting pregnant, an egg donation is your only option.

At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, we exhaust all options before advising that patients seek a third-party donor. We don’t assume that age or a decreased ovarian reserve negates the ability of a woman to use her eggs to get pregnant. We like to discuss with patients IVF treatments that use your eggs first, before even discussing an egg donor.

Myth #3: There are a lot of legal processes involved in egg donation.

This is not necessarily true, as often the legal work is already taken care of at the point of donation. You’ll see as we get into the process how the legal aspect of egg donation often takes care of itself regardless of the option you select.

The Complete Egg Donation Process

At Arizona Center for Reproductive Infertility and Endocrinology, we take a science-based approach to working with our patients. You’ll never see our clinic recommending gimmicky procedures to vulnerable patients. We take a science-based approach and lean on clinical trials to guide our recommendations.

To that end, Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility leans on a five-step process for egg donation.

Step 1: Initial Screening

In the beginning, Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility likes to determine conclusively that an egg donation is truly necessary. It doesn’t need to be stated that most aspiring parents want to be able to have their “own kids,” meaning the pregnancy occurs from their biological eggs. Therefore, Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility wants to exhaust other options before turning to a third-party egg donor through the IVF process. This all gets done at the initial screening and consultation.

Step 2: Source the Donation

If IVF with a patient’s eggs proves to be unsuccessful, and it’s determined that an egg donation by a third party is necessary, a patient’s options as far as sourcing the egg donation then become a personal, financial, and logistical decision. In the opinion of Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, there are three primary sources of egg donation.

Option #1 – A Known Donor
A family member or close personal friend can be an egg donor. A key advantage to having a relative donate their eggs is that it can help lower the cost of the overall procedure if they choose to waive a donation fee. For reference, at Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, our IVF procedure is a $5,300 fee not including the costs of the egg donor, the donor’s medication, logistics related to any travel, and agency or donation bank markup. With a known donor, it stands to reason that a family member might simply offer the eggs for free, taking much of the financial stress off of the situation.

Furthermore, a family member possesses many of the same genes, meaning the baby will likely inherit many of the traits that it would had it been your eggs in the pregnancy. Financially and scientifically speaking, this option is desirable because from a family member you will be able to receive all the eggs from the donor’s cycle, unlike an egg bank’s frozen eggs (more on that below). If you have someone in your life willing to donate their eggs, Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility will bring them in for a screening, and hopefully, as a team takes as much stress as possible out of this delicate process.

Option #2 – An Anonymous Donor:
At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, we regularly meet with donors who are screened for family history, and any history of disease or drug use. Just like how we do with sperm donors, we screen and clear our egg donors, and from there try to match them with those receiving the donation with as many physical traits as possible (if desired). As with a known donor, a patient will receive all the eggs from an anonymous donor’s cycle to boost the number of eggs, increasing the odds of a pregnancy. However, this option usually incurs a fee on top of the base $4,500 IVF fee, making an anonymous donor a mid-tier option cost-wise.

Option #3 – Egg Bank:
Much like sperm banks, egg donation banks make it possible to coordinate your donation from anywhere in the world. These egg donation agencies allow aspiring parents to pick and choose the physical traits they desire and have the eggs frozen and shipped to their location for the IVF procedure. While this sounds like an ideal option, keep in mind that these agencies must pay their donors, and markup the services for their own company’s profit. With the potential need to coordinate the logistics of shipping the eggs to your location, the cost can quickly escalate.

From a scientific standpoint, this process also has its drawbacks. Namely, the risks of freezing and shipping the eggs, then having the clinic thaw and fertilize any surviving eggs, and then develop those surviving eggs into embryos and establish a pregnancy leave a lot of room for error. This is evidenced by the fact that only about 50% of these types of donations result in pregnancies. According to Dr. Gelety, the Head Doctor at Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, egg donations from an egg bank are “the most expensive, and the least effective” option.

Step 3: Documentation
Once you’ve selected your donor type, it’s time to ensure that any legal documentation has been taken care of. As we said earlier in the article, the “legal” components of an egg donation are not as prominent as they’re often made out to be (myth #3). Remember the three main sources of donation and ask yourself the motivation for any of them dragging a donation through a legal process:

  • A known donor, like a friend or family member, likely won’t require a long legal process. If they do, then they may not be the right family member or friend to have to be your egg donor.
  • An anonymous donor, like the vetted, approved donors enlisted through Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility is going to have the legal work already done before the donation.
  • An egg bank will also handle the legal aspects of their donors to ensure a smoother process for the recipient.

Regardless, as you’re going through the process, make sure to confirm that no paperwork or legal steps are required by the clinic or agency that you’re working with. By and large, if you’re going through a loved one or reputable donor, this should be a quick check of a box before we get into the procedure itself.

Step 4: Stimulation of the Donor’s Ovaries
Next, the scientific process truly gets to take over. In the case of a donation where a known or anonymous donor is providing the eggs, and the eggs are not being purchased from an egg bank, the woman donating the eggs must be scheduled for ovarian stimulation.

Ovarian stimulation is done with the intent of sourcing multiple, healthy eggs for an IVF treatment. The stimulation process takes place over a few weeks. In the beginning, the donor begins preparing her ovaries for stimulation by taking oral estrogen, or estrogen-progesterone pills. These are similar to what is found in standard birth control pills.

As the donating woman nears her cycle, and at a time specified by the doctor, the donor has FSH and LH injected into her ovaries to make multiple eggs develop. Remember that a woman’s body normally only prepares 1-2 eggs per cycle, so by injecting the FSH and LH you are boosting the size of the follicles to help boost the quality of the retrieval.

While this is happening, the donating woman may be given medication that delays their ovulation, since the eggs being donated must be retrieved before the cycle. This only needs to happen until your follicles have reached the required size, and at which point the donating woman is administered an hCG shot, which is the final medication given that triggers the eggs for retrieval.

Step 5 – Retrieval!

The fifth and final step in the egg donation process is egg retrieval. This is generally done 1.5 days (~36 hours) after the hCG shot has been administered. During egg retrieval at Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the donor is administered conscious sedation. Once the sedation has been administered, the patient experiences a painless procedure in which a small needle punctures the follicle in the ovary where the eggs are located, and is extracted.

Once this is complete, the woman receiving the donation goes under a normal IVF procedure using the donated eggs.

Although there are a few known side effects to egg donation, this is a safe and common procedure.


Remember, if you are struggling with infertility, the first thing you should do is seek a medical screening to determine whether your eggs are not viable for pregnancy. Only then should you consider alternative options like egg donation. There are a lot of predatory tactics at fertility clinics that put profits before science and offer procedures that have not gone through proper clinical trials or peer review.

At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, we are committed to helping women and couples who want to get pregnant using a science-first approach, and that starts with looking at your unique case and circumstances.

If it’s determined we need to explore an alternative option like egg donation, we then proceed with the process. If you have any questions, get in touch with us by sending an email to schedule an appointment. You can also follow us on social media.


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Egg Donation Side Effects

While deciding to become an egg donor is an incredibly rewarding choice, it’s important to fully understand the potential egg donation side effects involved. To briefly summarize the egg donation process, screening typically takes place to determine if the donor is suitable. Once accepted, a donor will undergo a series of tests that involve ultrasound monitoring and blood tests. You will then be required to administer a series of injectable medication daily to stimulate egg production. Regular visits are also required to monitor progress before the eggs can be retrieved. If you’d like to learn about egg donation in greater detail, read our blog post on how long the egg donation process takes

As with any medical procedure, egg donation does have its potential complications. Many women feel very minor or no discomfort during the donation cycle, while others have varying symptoms that generally resolve after egg retrieval. Side effects and health risks are rare but possible. Regardless, these are the egg donation side effects you should know and discuss with your physician to make an informed decision. 

Medication Side Effects and Risks

Egg donation side effects include weight gain, mood change, bloating, pressure, abdominal pain and swelling, breast tenderness, and moodiness from the hormone medications, which will go away by the next menstrual period. The blood tests and hormone injections are usually well tolerated. However, some women experience pain, redness, or minor bruising at the injection site. Allergic reactions to injection are rare.

During an egg donation cycle, there is a small risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS can occur after egg retrieval and it involves the enlargement of the ovaries, significant increases in fluid retention within the abdomen, and concentration of the blood within the blood vessels.

Mild OHSS can lead to discomfort which typically resolves within several days. In very rare severe cases, about 1 percent of donor cycles, hyperstimulation could lead to enlarged ovaries and an increased susceptibility to develop blood clots. If hyperstimulation, resulting in blood clots, does occur, some cases may require hospitalization for additional monitoring to ensure the situation doesn’t worsen. While the condition is serious, it usually lasts no more than a week.

Procedure Health Risks

Transvaginal ultrasound is the method used for egg retrieval. The risk of severe complications from this procedure is rare — about 1 in 1,000. In the unlikely event this does occur, complications include bleeding, infection, and injury to the bowel or blood vessels. Surgery may be needed to repair damage to internal organs or to control significant internal bleeding, in extremely rare situations. 

While time isn’t a side effect, it is still important to remember the fact that egg donation is a lengthy process. You will receive compensation for your time and generosity, but do keep the time commitment in mind if the time aspect is not convenient for your schedule. 

Egg donation involves undergoing a medical procedure with side effects, just like any other medical procedure. Many women who decide to become egg donors feel gratified to give someone a second chance at parenthood. Egg donation helps other women achieve their dreams of raising their own children. Learn more about our egg donation process. If you have any further questions, call us at (520) 326-0001 to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our friendly fertility specialists. We’re here to discuss your situation at length so you can understand the options available to you no matter what stage of life you’re in. 

Graphic with a team photo of the fertility clinic, next to a headline and a phone number

How Long Does It Take to Donate Eggs?

Egg donation is a selfless decision that can change the lives of couples or individuals struggling with infertility. Choosing to become an egg donor allows someone else to experience the joys of parenthood. You will also enable someone to experience the gift of pregnancy and childbirth. Those considering donating their eggs might find it helpful to know how long the process takes. The full duration from start to finish largely depends on if you choose to donate fresh or frozen eggs. 

The Initial Screening Process

Both fresh egg donation and frozen egg donation start the same way. Female egg donors between the ages of 19 and 29 must undergo a complete medical history and physical assessment, as well as STI testing, chromosome analysis, screening for inheritable diseases, and a psychological evaluation. All medical testing will be completed to determine whether or not you are eligible for egg donation. The medical screening you will receive before egg donation is free of charge, and you may request the results of all your medical tests for your records or to give them to your doctor. This process usually takes a few weeks to complete. 

Frozen Egg Donation

Once you are accepted into the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility’s egg donation program, you can begin the process at any time and opt not to wait to get matched with a recipient. This is a great option because the egg donation process can be a better fit for your schedule. 

To begin, you will first be required to take oral contraceptive pills to prevent your hormones and ovaries from ovulating while you wait to start stimulation. After 2-3 weeks, you will come in for bloodwork and an ultrasound. If everything is in order, you can start to take the fertilization medication, which will stimulate multiple eggs to grow and mature in your ovaries. You will take fertility medication for about 10-14 days. During this time, you will also come in for daily monitoring appointments to check on your ovaries. When the time is right, you will receive the HCG trigger shot, which will get your body to release multiple mature eggs from your ovaries. Egg retrieval will begin 34-36 hours after you receive this shot.

For those opting to donate frozen eggs, the egg retrieval process takes around 2 weeks. However, the full process, including screening, can take up to a month and a half. 

Fresh Egg Donation

Many donors prefer to meet or have an idea of which couple will be receiving their donated egg. The matching process will require additional medical screening to go over your menstrual cycle, lab and blood work, and medications. You will also need to review a legal contract with the receiving couple. The time this process takes depends on how quickly appointments can be made, the time it takes for the lab work to be processed, and how long it takes to get legal contracts drawn and signed. The egg retrieval process can begin once all the necessary work is completed. The egg retrieval process is largely the same as the retrieval process for donating frozen eggs. The full process from start to finish can take anywhere from 3-4 months.

If you elect to wait to begin the process until you’ve been matched with a recipient, keep in mind that retrieval can take longer. This process requires that the menstrual cycles of both donor and recipient be in sync before the retrieval can begin. Ensuring the cycles of both the donor and the recipient are matched up can be quite challenging, which is where our fertility specialists at The Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility can help. 

While donating eggs may seem like a lengthy and involved process, a good portion of that time is spent waiting between tests and appointments. Becoming an egg donor can be a rewarding and even empowering process for many women. You can feel proud knowing that you are offering a couple another chance at having a child when they when they may not have other options. To see if you qualify for our egg donation program, please submit an online application. If you are interested in learning more about egg donation, visit our website

At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we are committed to helping couples looking for assistance in getting pregnant and pride ourselves on guiding them every step of the way. We are happy to discuss your unique situation at length and help you discover the most suitable solution to meet your individual needs. We’ve tailored our services to cater to women regardless of what phase of life they are currently in. Learn how we can help you. 

Top 5 Reasons to Become an Egg Donor

A significant number of couples struggle to conceive each year. Visiting a fertility clinic like the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility can provide alternative ways to get pregnant. One of these options is IVF or in-vitro fertilization using donated eggs. Egg donation is life-changing all around. It’s a process that gives a couple or a single woman struggling with infertility a new opportunity to start a family. It is a chance to play a key part in bringing new life to this world while giving another woman the experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, even when her own eggs are not a viable option. 

Here are the benefits a potential egg donor should consider before deciding whether or not egg donation is right for them: 

1.) Help Others Start a Family

Infertility can be soul-crushing news and even more difficult to bear when paired with the added stress from previous efforts to get pregnant. This diagnosis can seriously shift a family’s hopes and visions for the future. But through egg donation, you can significantly alter a couple’s life by playing a part in their journey to parenthood and giving them the ability to conceive. Egg donation is a truly selfless act that helps couples achieve their dreams of having children and experience the joys of parenthood. The gift of a chance to give birth is priceless and is something that will have a lasting impact for years to come. 

2.) Gain Insights into Your Fertility

If you decide to undergo the process of egg donation, you will need to complete several medical and physical tests to ensure your health. These tests may seem like a lot of work, but after completing the tests, you will have comprehensive insight into your own health and fertility which will better equip you to prepare for your own future — whether that includes children of your own or not. 

3.) Preserve Eggs for Yourself Too 

Many women are not ready to have children yet but may want to have the option later on in life. When you choose to donate eggs, you may be given the option to freeze some of your eggs for yourself. Since the retrieval process is the same for egg freezing and egg donation, it may make sense to consider doing both at the same time. 

4.) Access to Free Health Screenings 

Again, the process of egg donation requires multiple health screenings and physical tests. These include screening for STIs, chromosome analysis, identifying inheritable diseases, and psychological examination. These screenings and genetic testing processes may otherwise cost thousands of dollars but are free of charge to you as a donor. You will be receiving free health screenings with the added benefit of gaining more knowledge about your health, genetics, and fertility.

5.) Receive Compensation 

For many couples, the chance to experience pregnancy and childbirth is priceless, but monetary compensation for egg donation can go a long way toward helping you financially. In addition to receiving medical testing and examination free of charge, donors may receive a number of other medical and financial benefits. Some women can earn up to thousands of dollars donating their eggs. The amount of compensation varies depending on the vitality of the eggs,  previous history of successful pregnancies, and donor demand.

Egg donation is a decision that will have a significant positive impact on aspiring mothers-to-be struggling to conceive. Any woman in good health from the ages of 19 to 29 can be an egg donor. To see if you qualify for our egg donation program, please submit an online application. If you are interested in learning more about egg donation, visit our website
At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we believe that all couples deserve to know the joys of raising a child. Give us a call at 520-326-0000. We are happy to discuss your unique situation at length and help you discover the most suitable solution to meet your individual needs. We offer a wide range of services that cater to every woman no matter where they are in life. Learn how we can help you.

The Two Sides to Egg Donation: Why Being a Donor Will Change a Recipients Life

When you choose to donate eggs to a woman or couple struggling with infertility, you begin an incredible journey. Imagine the joy you will bring into someone’s life by giving them the chance to have a baby they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Egg donation is a selfless way to help someone else achieve their dreams of becoming parent. 

For people with ovaries who don’t have their own viable eggs, donor eggs are often the only option for them to carry a pregnancy. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we rely on healthy donors to supply these eggs. 

Donating your eggs can be a life-changing experience—you’re certainly going to change the life of the couple that receives your eggs.  

Reasons to Donate  

There truly are so many reasons to donate eggs. Each donor will have her own personal reasons and viewpoints, but we find that they often cite the following reasons.  

  • Altruism – Egg donation is a primarily selfless act. It gives you the power of improving the lives of others in a deeply meaningful and permanent way—which can lead to an immense sense of satisfaction and happiness. 
  • Empathy – Often, egg donors are already mothers themselves. They themselves know the joy and fulfillment that comes from being a parent and want to share that. Knowing that you can take away someone else’s sadness and stress creates a meaningful experience that may help you appreciate your own family even more. 
  • Kinship – Some donors know someone personally who has dealt with infertility. (Some may have even donated eggs to this loved one previously.) Witnessing that kind of pain may prompt you to consider donation as well. 
  • Advocacy – As an egg donor, you have the unique position to advocate for those people dealing with infertility. Infertility struggles—especially those that require egg donors—are rarely spoken about. By playing a part in someone’s journey, you may be bringing the issue to light to those around you or opening up a dialog that makes others feel heard and supported. 
  • Empowerment – Before the actual egg donation process, prospective donorundergo medical and genetic screenings. While this isn’t usually cited as a reason to donate, many women who do donate their eggs feel grateful for the knowledge they gain after the fact. Knowing more about your body and health can make you feel empowered.  

Becoming an Egg Donor 

Donating your eggs can be one of the most rewarding experiences, and while there are requirements in place to ensure donors are healthy and suitable, the screening process for becoming a donor is relatively easy. 

There are specific FDA rules and requirements—plus a few additional guidelines of our own—we follow when screening egg donors. For example, in order to be approved to donate you must: 

  • Be a non-smoker and free from drug use 
  • Have fewer than six sexual partners in your lifetime 
  • Have no history of an STD 
  • Have a BMI of 18-28 
  • Be 29 years of age or younger 
  • Have a flexible schedule 
  • Be willing and able to administer fertility medication and prescribed 

In addition to the above, each potential donor must pass medical evaluations, including a thorough history of your and your family’s healthy, in order to verify that you are well suited for the donor program.

At AZCREI, we truly value our egg donors and support them as much as we can. If you choose to go forward with this life-changing and incredibly rewarding decision of donating your eggs, we want to make sure you’re comfortable every step of the way. We’ll let you know what to expect throughout the screening process and walk with you from approval to retrieval. 


For more information on egg donation, contact AZCREI by calling (520) 326-0001 or visiting us online. To apply to become an egg donor with AZCREI, click here. 

Considering Donating Your Eggs? Everything to Know About Working With AZCREI

Conversations about infertility treatments almost exclusively focus on a woman or couple trying to have a baby—whether it be through ovulation induction, IVF, the use of a donor, or another strategy. Of course, the other side of all that is the incredible women who choose to donate their eggs so that another can experience the blessing of having a child.

Egg donation is giving the gift of a family to woman or couple who struggle with infertility issues; it helps make their dreams of parenthood come true. Donating your eggs is a powerful decision that has a long-lasting impact.

Some women are compelled to donate their eggs but hesitate because they’re afraid they won’t have enough eggs later in life if they decide to have children. That isn’t the case. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we follow the guidelines set by The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the governing body of reproductive medicine, which recommend no more than six donations in a woman’s lifetime. Dr. Gelety is always available to discuss these concerns—or any others—and answer all your questions before we begin the procedure.

Our team is here for our egg donors just as much as we’re here to support prospective parents. We want to make sure you’re comfortable every step of the way. We’ll let you know what to expect throughout the screening process and walk with you from approval to retrieval. Here are a few things to know if you’re considering donating your eggs.


Our Egg-Donor Application Process

Once you’ve decided egg donation is the right choice for you, you can apply to become an egg-donor through our online form, which consists of roughly 20 questions.

There are specific FDA rules and requirements—plus a few additional guidelines of our own—we follow when screening egg donors. For example, in order to be approved to donate you must:

  • Not use marijuana
  • Have fewer than six sexual partners in your lifetime
  • Have no history of an STD
  • Have a BMI of 18-28
  • Be 29 years of age or younger
  • Have a flexible schedule

When you apply, we determine your eligibility based on the initial form. If you meet all requirements, we’ll send you an email to complete the rest of the application. Passing the first round of eligibility does not guarantee you’ll be able to become an egg donor.

The second part of the application is a bit longer. We ask about your family and health history, as well as your educational background. You’ll also have to complete an essay and send us a few of your baby pictures.

If you’re approved after this portion of the screening, we’ll add you to our “active” list, where recipients can view your information when seeking out a donor. Our clinic differs from most others in that we wait until you match with a recipient before retrieving your eggs; this is so we can do a fresh transfer and have the best opportunity for a successful pregnancy.


What to Expect from the Retrieval Procedure

After you’ve been matched with a recipient and asked to donate your eggs, we’ll ask that you let us know when you start your period, so we can begin the process. We’ll then give you medication to stimulate your ovaries to produce several eggs at once for retrieval. Many women worry about the hormone injections, but we make sure you know how to properly do it to minimize any pain; side effects with the medication are also typically mild, if any occur at all.

Once we start, you’ll have to visit our office regularly throughout your cycle for monitoring, like bloodwork and ultrasound examinations.

About a week after retrieval, you’ll come back to our center for a check-up and to receive your payment. At this appointment, we’ll ask if you’d like to donate again. Most women have a positive experience, especially with the knowledge they’ve helped make a family’s dreams come true, and are excited to for another opportunity to donate.

For more information on egg donation, contact AZCREI by calling (520) 326-0001 or visiting us online. To apply to become an egg donor with AZCREI, click here.

How to Know When It’s Time to Consider Using an Egg Donor

Every person’s journey to pregnancy and a baby will look different. Some couples are able to conceive naturally without a problem, others may need to go through hormone stimulation or in vitro fertilization. For some women, using an egg donor to achieve a pregnancy will be the best option.

Using an egg donor allows a woman to experience the joys of pregnancy and give birth to her own baby. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, we try to give women and couples as many treatment options as possible, and sometimes we do recommend using donor eggs to achieve a pregnancy. The procedure isn’t for everyone, since there are some emotional aspects that should be taken into consideration, but it can be a great solution for women who continue to struggle with infertility.

The use of donor eggs is becoming more common, especially with women who are over 40 years of age. In 2010, about 11% of all assisted reproduction techniques used donor eggs.

When you come to AZCREI for your initial consultation, Dr. Gelety will work with you to map out a treatment plan that you’re comfortable with; fairly often, it will include looking into egg donation as an option somewhere down the line. Here’s how to know if you are a candidate for donor eggs and when it’s time to consider moving forward with the treatment.


Who May Benefit from Donor Eggs

If you’re still struggling with infertility after several rounds of IVF, you may want to begin considering using donor eggs. Some conditions can prevent or hinder your ability to conceive, even after trying other infertility treatments.

One of the most common issues when it comes to fertility is age at the time a woman attempts to conceive. The average age of menopause for a woman in the U.S. is 61.5 years old, but some women experience it before turning 40. Women’s reproductive lives are limited, and there comes a point (menopause) when you’ll run out of eggs. Your eggs cannot be replaced once your reserve has been depleted. The quality of your eggs also begins to drop off as you age, so even if you do have eggs remaining, they may not be strong or healthy enough for a viable pregnancy. In these cases, if you have not already frozen your own eggs, using a donor egg may be the only solution.

Sometimes, medical treatments such as chemotherapy can lead to early menopause or ruin the health of a woman’s eggs. Once she goes through treatments, if she’s in otherwise good health, donor eggs would still allow her to become pregnant and carry a child.

Donor eggs can also be used to prevent the transmission of genetic conditions or diseases that may be passed from a mother to her offspring.

Same sex male couples and single men who want to become parents will need to use donor eggs (and a surrogate) in order to have a child.


Process Behind Egg Donation

The process behind using an egg donor to achieve a pregnancy is relatively simple.

You get to choose your egg donor—this can be a friend or family member, or an anonymous donor. Every donor is screened to ensure that she is healthy and doesn’t have any problems that could potentially be an issue for the pregnancy or baby.

From there, the process is very similar to IVF treatments. After you’ve chosen your donor, our team will follow you through your cycle, and when the egg is fertilized, you’ll come into the office for implantation—a procedure that feels comparable to a pap smear. Once you become pregnant, we’ll schedule a few more appointments with you to make sure everything is going smoothly, and then you’ll be able to see your obstetrician for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Our team offers support, care, and guidance throughout your pregnancy journey. Whether you choose to use an egg donor or not, we want you to feel comfortable coming to us with any of your questions or concerns. To make an appointment and learn about your options when it comes to egg donation, visit AZCREI online or call us at 520-326-0001.

3 Things to Consider When Choosing an Egg Donor

For some couples, the most successful route in achieving a pregnancy involves using an egg donor. At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we provide an extremely personalized service to those couples looking to use an egg donor to get pregnant. We’re able to guide both the couple and the donor through the entire process, making sure everyone’s expectations and goals in having a healthy baby are met.

While we take care of the medical aspects of the process, the couple plays the ultimate role in deciding who will be their donor. If you feel this is the best option for you, start with these three things to keep in mind as you begin the process of choosing an egg donor.


Health & History of the Donor

The most important characteristic to consider when choosing your egg donor is one you actually don’t have to spend too much time worrying about. All AZCREI donors are carefully and thoroughly screened for their health and suitability to donate. We’ll stress this before you even start the process of seeking an egg donor.

When we screen women who are coming through our donation program, we’re reviewing that they’re young, healthy, and that they would make a good candidate. Our screening process also looks at their mental and psychological stability as well as their genetic health. This ensures that you don’t have to worry about your baby inheriting any potentially harmful diseases or medical issues.

In fact, we screen three generations of the donor’s family—grandparents, parents, and siblings—to make sure there are no possibilities for disease or issues that could be passed on. While we do keep the donor’s identity anonymous, you are privy to their entire relevant medical history so that you can make an informed choice.

Known donors, like friends or family members, are required to go through the same rigorous screening procedures to ensure they will also be able to donate healthy, viable eggs.


Physical Characteristics

Of course, in choosing an egg donor, you get to decide the physical features and qualities of the donor. This part of the process can be overwhelming to some couples, so we suggest taking the time to discuss which attributes are most important to you and your partner before you start looking through our registry of donors.

Some of the characteristics you can choose in a donor include:

  • Appearance: height, weight, hair color, hair texture, eye color, etc.
  • Background: ethnicity, religion, education, etc.
  • Personality: intellect, interests, career, etc.

It’s typically easy for a woman to find a donor with an appearance and desired traits that are very similar to hers. While we do have our own registry to work with, we can expand our search to donors from other parts of the country in the rare cases there is difficulty finding a close enough match. Patients also have the option of using a family member; this route keeps the genetics within the family so the cosmetic match is even stronger.


Your Comfort Level with the Process

At AZCREI, we never push our patients to choose one procedure over another unless they are completely comfortable with the process. It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, your baby will have distinctive characteristics that he or she shares with the egg donor. It’s also imperative to keep in mind that at the end of this process, you will ultimately achieve your dreams of having a healthy, happy baby. And many times, we’re able to help our donors find such a close match, that it’s difficult to determine that a donor was used.

Our team offers personalized support, care, and guidance, so if you have any hesitancy or questions about the egg donation process, we want you to feel comfortable coming to us. We won’t pressure you into a decision; instead, we discuss your options and answer all your questions, equipping you with the information to make the decision that’s best for you and your partner.

To make an appointment and learn about your options when it comes to egg donation, visit AZCREI online or call us at 520-326-0001.

The 5 Things You Should Always Get to Choose About Your Egg Donor

When it comes to infertility treatments, many patients feel there is so much beyond their control. At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we give our patients as many options as possible and put them in control of their treatment plan and process.

Not every couple will need egg donation to achieve pregnancy, but those who may need an egg donor have complete control over the process and decision. With our years of experience, we’re able to guide our patients to the best decision, but ultimately there are several important factors they get to choose.


The One Thing Patients Don’t Have to Worry About

While there are many characteristics couples get to choose about their egg donor, they never have to worry about their health and suitability to donate. It’s important for patients to realize every donor is carefully screened before they are allowed to donate an egg.

When donors come through our program, we actually screen three generations of their family to make sure there aren’t any medical or psychological issues that may affect the donor’s ability to complete the pregnancy. Specifically, the genetics of the donor are checked to ensure there are no potentially inherited diseases that might be passed on or be harmful to the baby.

While we keep our egg donors anonymous, we provide our patients with all the information they would need to make an informed decision. Because we work so closely with our donors, we can confidently answer all of our patients’ questions about the donor, including what characteristics they should consider.

Here are five of the most important things patients do get to choose about their egg donor and the process.

  1. Hair Color
  2. Eye Color
  3. Weight
  4. Ethnic Background

It’s typically easy for most women to find a donor with an appearance very similar to theirs. In the rare case where we can’t find a cosmetic match, we can expand our search to donors from other parts of the country. And in the end, the match is usually so close that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to determine that a donor was even used.

Of course, patients also have the option to use a family member, such as a sister or cousin. With this route, the likelihood that the baby will look like the patient is very high since the genetics stay within the family, and are the same as (or very similar) to the patient’s. When a family member has been selected, they must go through the same meticulous screening process as our anonymous donors; we always make sure that they themselves are healthy and that their eggs will produce a healthy pregnancy.

  1. The Doctor and Center You Work With

Finally, you get to choose the fertility center and doctor to guide you through the process of choosing an egg donor. At AZCREI, we offer an unrivaled personalized service that helps our patients find their best match.

We have our own donor registry that we work closely with, so our patients can not only feel confident we working with them throughout the whole process, but we’re also caring for the donor the entire time as well. As we’re choosing donors, we’re looking for healthy women who will best be able to provide the desired outcome—a healthy, happy baby.

Since our center works directly with local donors, the cost is dramatically decreased. Our patients don’t have to pay third-party prices, but because we are so vigilant and careful with testing and choosing donors, quality is never an issue.

To make an appointment and learn about your options when it comes to egg donation, visit AZCREI online or call us at 520-326-0001.

The Process Behind Choosing an Egg Donor: What to Know and How It Works

When certain fertility challenges are present, egg donation may be the best option for a woman to get pregnant. Egg donation can give a woman the chance to experience the joys of pregnancy and give birth to a beautiful healthy baby herself. The process behind egg donation and choosing an egg donor is simpler than many people realize.

Who does egg donation work best for?

One of the biggest complications with fertility is that a woman’s reproductive life is limited. There comes a point in a woman’s life when she goes through menopause and she runs out of eggs. The average age of menopause for a woman in the United States is 61.5 years old, but when a woman experiences it early—perhaps due to leukemia, chemotherapy, or a hormone imbalance—it can be very devastating.

When a woman’s reserve of eggs has been totally depleted, they can’t be replaced. And it’s a very difficult problem to treat if her eggs aren’t frozen in advance. The eggs have to come from somewhere, and that’s where egg donation comes in. For women who have lost the function of their ovaries or who no longer have viable eggs, egg donation is a wonderful opportunity because there really is no other option; we have to have eggs to fertilize and implant in order to achieve pregnancy.

Where do the eggs come from?

Once we decide that egg donation is the best (or only) option for a woman to conceive, there are two options for obtaining eggs.

One possibility is using eggs donated by a family member, whether it’s a sister, cousin, or other relative. With this route, the genetics stay within the family, because the genetics are the same as (or similar) to the woman’s. When a family member has been selected, they are meticulously screened to make sure they themselves are healthy and that their eggs will produce a healthy pregnancy.

The other option is using an anonymous egg donor; because it’s anonymous, both the donor and recipient are protected. At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we have a pool of young donors who have been thoroughly screened to make sure they’re healthy and don’t carry any diseases or conditions that could potentially be passed on or transferred during the egg donation process. In the case of an anonymous donor, we can match the characteristics of the woman who needs the eggs as closely as possible, including height, weight, hair color, eye color, ethnic background, and even interests and education.

How does it work?

The egg donor goes through a process that is standard with in vitro fertilization. After screening, the woman goes through a short treatment of hormones, and then a procedure is done to retrieve the eggs. Once the eggs are retrieved, the donor’s part is done, but we will follow up with them afterwards to make sure their cycle is back on track and that they’re on appropriate birth control.

For the recipient couple, the process is very simple. We follow them through their cycle, until the embryos are created and then implanted. The embryos can be implanted immediately during a fresh cycle, or later if the embryos are frozen until the couple is ready. The receiving woman simply needs a short cycle of medication, and then comes into the office for implantation—a procedure that feels comparable to a pap smear. Once the recipient is pregnant, we follow them for a while to make sure everything is going smoothly, and then they’re referred to their obstetrician for the remainder of their pregnancy.

Is it safe?

Once the egg donor has been chosen, we bring them in to our center and do a full physical work up and screening which is actually mandated by the FDA. We check to make sure the donor is healthy and doesn’t have any problems that could potentially be an issue for the pregnancy, patient, or baby. Because we use young, healthy women as donors the chance of having a healthy baby is much higher than it would be with an older woman using her own eggs. The risks of down syndrome and miscarriage are substantially lowered.

Egg donation is a wonderful way for a woman to experience pregnancy and a couple to have a baby when other options have failed. To make an appointment and learn if egg donation can help you, visit Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility online or call us at 520-326-0001.