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.