Egg donors are women who agree to donate their eggs with altruistic intents or donate them for a fee.
The most sought-after donors are the ones between the ages of 21-30 years. If a donor is above the age of 35 years, their response to the fertility drugs may not be adequate or the quality of their eggs may be compromised. This may result in an absence of pregnancy, miscarriage or birth defects. Sometimes women who have had children or who have previously donated eggs are preferred.
In the case of donation for reproductive purposes, donors with above-average height, good looks and talent are in demand. Matching is usually done by ethnicity, skin, eye and hair color, height and body- build. In some instances the donor may be a relation, but in the vast majority of cases they remain anonymous.
There exists a huge dearth in the availability of egg donors, and scientists have hit upon the idea of ‘egg sharing’ to resolve it. The method involves using the extra eggs that result after an egg collection. In some countries, such as India, a donor may be a woman who is undergoing IVF. The expenses for her procedure are met by the donee, in return for the donated eggs. Here, the options for the donee are curtailed and she may have to settle for the eggs of a sub fertile, sometimes an unattractive, woman. Some women also agree to donate their extra eggs towards research.
A donor may be required to undergo physical and gynecological examinations before being selected, and, to re-schedule her life, to meet the demands of the protocol. A psychological evaluation is also undertaken to assess the ability of the donor to withstand the pressures of the physical and emotional aspects of donation.