Advanced Maternal Age: Why Egg Donors Age Out

Becoming an egg donor is an incredible opportunity to change your life and the lives of those who will receive your eggs. It is an empowering, fulfilling thing to do, and we are so thrilled every time a woman reaches out to us to express interest in becoming an egg donor in our program. Unfortunately, from time to time, we need to turn potential donors away due to their age. This is not a choice made in vanity, but rather one based in science and probability. Check it out. 

Science tells us that a woman will develop follicles every month and, of those follicles, her body will release the egg that is genetically the best. That egg will be the one that the body feels has the best chance at being fertilized, implanting into the uterus, and becoming an embryo. Over time, as women age, we know that their reserve of high quality eggs begins to diminish. This means that it becomes more likely that a woman may release an egg that is chromosomally abnormal, leading to the presence of things like Down syndrome, Tay-Sachs, or Cystic Fibrosis.

In addition, some studies have suggested that older donors may not respond as favorably to the hormone medications that are given in order to stimulate your body to produce the large amounts of eggs that we seek in an egg retrieval procedure.

As a result, Growing Generations works only with potential donors in the age range of 21-30 years old. This nine year window allows a donor to be in a place where she in emotionally mature and stable enough to handle the process of donation, while also being in the most fertile time of her life.

While a successful pregnancy can occur at any age, we prefer to offer the intended parents in our program the best odds possible! If you have additional questions on egg donor qualifications and why they exist, please don’t be afraid to reach out to our egg donor admissions team. 


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.