Who Needs an Egg Donor?

There is a common misconception that only gay men, menopausal women, or survivors of ovarian cancer need donor eggs. This false conception paints a narrow window of the many reasons that a family could need egg donation and limits the scope of the necessity of egg donors.

Gay men will always need the assistance of a donor egg, of course. But women can arrive at this choice for a variety of additional reasons. Here are a few.

Premature ovarian failure. This is a condition in which the body begins the process of menopause too early. In most cases before a woman reaches 40 years of age. Women with the condition will often opt for donor eggs to provide a better chance of conception.

Diminished ovarian reserve. This condition tends to impact women as they age. This term refers to cases where the eggs a woman produces are of low quality and often not optimal for fertilization. It occurs more frequently in women over age 40.

Genetic disease carriers. If there is a family history of genetically transmitted disorders in both intended parents, the pair may opt for a donor egg to limit the possibility of their child inheriting a disease.

Repeated failure with IVF treatments. Sometimes women try to achieve their own pregnancies through IVF treatments without success. After repeated attempts and failures, their reproductive endocrinologist may suggest using a donor egg.

Other health considerations. Every woman’s health and fertility is unique. There may be other medical conditions that impact fertility and necessitate the need for a donor egg.

The use of donor eggs has been on a path of steady incline over the past decade, especially in women over 40. In 2010 it was estimated that at least 11% of all assisted reproductive births were the result of donor eggs.

Teo Martinez

Teo Martinez is the CEO of Growing Generations, a surrogacy and egg donation agency headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Educated at both UCLA and Pepperdine University, and with over 15 years of experience working in assisted reproduction, Teo’s background makes him one of the most experienced and accomplished professionals in the field.