Egg Donation Glossary: Top Terms for Donors and Intended Parents

Whether you’re interested in becoming an egg donor or are in need of donated eggs to grow your family, if you’re new to the world of egg donation it can be beneficial to understand the basics. We’ve created an egg donation glossary so those getting started can learn more about how the process works, what’s involved for both parties, and what you can expect.

Egg donation glossary

Egg donor: A female who elects to donate her eggs so they can be used to help someone else grow their family. Egg donors can be known to the intended parent or unknown/anonymous. Anonymous egg donors typically work with an agency, like Egg Donor America in order to donate.

Intended parent: A person or couple who uses donated eggs in order to have a child. Intended parents can be those experiencing a female-factor infertility diagnosis which makes egg donation necessary, a male single parent working with a surrogate as well, or an LGBTQ couple.

Donor compensation: Egg donors are compensated for their role within the donation process. This compensation can range from $5,000 - $10,000. Egg donors are not asked to contribute any form of payment to the donation process, payment is dependent upon the intended parents.

Egg retrieval: The egg retrieval procedure is when the donated eggs are removed from the donor and prepared for the intended parents. It is an in-office procedure at a fertility clinic and the donor will recover at home for the next day or two. The donor will not be able to drive home or travel alone from the procedure, so help must be arranged prior to the appointment date. The donor will be sedated via an IV and the entire procedure takes around 30 minutes. Cramping and bloating are typical of the recovery period, but in the event that symptoms are severe (which is rare) the donor would need to connect directly with their doctor as soon as possible.

Egg donor screening: Every donor who applies to our program is carefully screened as part of the acceptance process. Donors must meet strict requirements in order to even have their application accepted before screening begins. Screening includes medical, fertility, genetic, and psychological screenings. These are put in place to ensure that the donor is fully prepared for her role in the donation process and that the resulting eggs which will be used for the intended parent’s pregnancy are as healthy as possible.

Cycle synchronization: In a fresh egg donor cycle, that is when the donor’s eggs are provided post-retrieval, cycle synchronization is required. This is when both the egg donor and intended parent both take birth control pills in order to sync up their cycles so the donated eggs can be provided at the optimal time for the intended parent’s implantation. This process is not needed in a frozen cycle, where the retrieved eggs are taken to be cryopreserved and then stored for later use.

Donor database: Egg donor programs feature databases where rosters of donors are provided for intended parents to review so they can select the donor they’d like to work with. The Egg Donor America database includes basic information about egg donors like their physical characteristics, educational backgrounds, career path (if applicable), and more.

These are the basic areas of egg donation that anyone new to the process could benefit from understanding. If you would like to learn more or connect with a member of our staff, please contact Egg Donor America today. You can also always visit our blog which has posts covering every aspect of egg donation for both parties.