Egg Health Information for Intended Parents

 

When beginning to think about the genetics for your child, the first thing to consider will be the quality of the egg provided to create an embryo. The majority of our intended parents will be looking for an egg donor and learning a lot about what constitutes good egg health.

In general terms, egg health tends to be linked to the age of the woman providing the egg. As a woman’s eggs mature, IVF success rates go down and probability for genetic disorders go up. For these reasons, egg donors in our system are aged 30 years or less. Other factors may also impact egg health including:

  • Environmental factors
  • Lifestyle factors including tobacco use and stress
  • Hormone influence, naturally occurring in the body as well as in the diet
  • Proper function of the circulatory system
  • A regular and healthy fertility cycle

We also know that several medical conditions can lead to eggs that are less fertile. These conditions can include endometriosis or certain genetic conditions. In general, women are only considered to have poor egg health when they fail to produce viable eggs over a period of time.

Egg donors in our program will be closely evaluated prior to acceptance. This means that in addition to being in optimal health, weight, and age guidelines, they will also have an Ovarian Assessment Report done. This test provides a snapshot of expected egg health and performance under fertility treatments.

While no single test or combination of tests can predict with absolute certainty the ability of a woman’s body to produce a high number of healthy, viable eggs, the Growing Generations’ donor program takes every reasonable step possible to try and ensure donor candidates who will provide high quality, healthy eggs to our intended parents.

If you have additional questions about egg health, your nurse or RE should be able to help you.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.