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Choosing a donor

Donating oocytes is not an easy decision. Recipients often worry about the quality of the donors but Oocyte Banks accept only the physically and mentally fit donors who go through numerous medical tests, screenings and psychological evaluations.

Initially, oocyte donors fill out the oocyte donation application and a medical history form. These application forms are very extensive and cover every detail, from standard information like date of birth to medical history data. Furthermore, phenotypic characteristics are noted, such as eyes and hair colour, height and weight, skin tones. Questions about all kind of extra abilities and hobbies follow, like artistic or athletic and so on. A donor should be ready to answer very personal questions  (e.g. first menstruation or psychological counselling, suicide attempts, etc). All these information is later on verified by Assisting Nature’s Donation Office staff. Just a couple percent of the applicants gets through the whole process and becomes a donor.

Psychological evaluation should be obligatory. 30% of women being psychologically evaluated are disqualified. A woman may be 100% physically fit to donate her oocytes but her psychological state might be inadequate. This not only applies to donors but also to recipients – sometimes older women seem to neglect the fact that their age is an obstacle not only for her but for the child she desires to have too. Obligatory psychological evaluations could rise the overall safety of the whole procedure.

A BMI level under 28 is required to be accepted as donor. Oocytes of overweight donors might be of lower quality due to metabolic syndromes. Additionally, higher stimulation dosage is required to produce oocytes, which could raise the costs for the recipient. According to recent researches the chances of implantation, live birth and clinical pregnancy were lower for patients with BMI 30 or higher.

Standard donor qualifications are:

  • Age, ideally between 20 and 32 years (lower than 35 is required by the Greek Law)
  • no inherited genetic disorders in family history
  • Good physical and psychological health
  • Normal weight
  • Non-smoker
  • Regular menstrual cycle
  • Both functional ovaries necessary
  • No contraceptive implants
  • No use of psychoactive drugs
  • No drug abuse

Donor’s medical history is thoroughly screened and donor’s health state is excessively tested by medical tests according to the Greek Legislation.

Egg Donor Screening And Testing

Oocytes are retrieved from women-donors, who undergo a rigorous screening and thorough medical examination. Our donors, women between 20 and 32 years old, with excellent physical and psychological health are selected to cover all possible phenotypical characteristics and based on a number criteria:

Infectious tests

  • 6 months, Antibodies to HIV
  • 6 months, Antibodies to Syphilis
  • 6 months, PCR Hepatitis В (HBV)
  • 6 months, PCR Hepatitis C (HCV)

Hormonological Profile

  • AMH
  • Estradiol
  • Progesterone
  • LH level

Genetic tests

  • Full Karyotype
  • Alpha and Beta Thalassemia
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Fragile X
  • Any additional genetic testing requested by the couple

Psychological Testing

Psychological counselling and the Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory 2.0 test

In our clinic we strongly support anonymity of donor and recipient patients. Oocyte Donor is chosen based on phenotypic characteristics by Assisting Nature’s Donation Office. Each donor’s profile gives you access to the information available but the Greek Legislation. You are not able to know the donors name. Receiver’s preferences are taken into account while choosing oocyte donor e.g. height, weight, hair/eyes colour, donor’s education and profession. Your information is strictly confidential and is not available for the donor.

Finding out about infertility can be a devastating experience. Jumping straight into making decisions about egg donation in such unfavorable conditions is probably not the best of ideas. What you should do first is take a deep breath and come to terms with the state you found yourself in. Choosing an egg donor is probably one of the most significant and important decisions you will ever make in your life and you don’t want to be making it in a negative state of mind. So give yourself time, if you have some really complicated feelings you can even talk to a therapist.

Physical appearance is the recipient’s first thought when seeking oocyte donation. It is natural that most parents want the child to resemble their own physical appearance. If your family’s main characteristics are brown eyes and pale skin it will probably be important for you the donor to have such attributes. It’s also very common and rather normal that most partners want the donor to be attractive. Of course none of this matters in comparison to medical history. You must remember that a young, healthy-looking and attractive college student is not always a suitable donor. All oocyte donors are tested physically and psychologically, however your own family history record should be compared with the donor’s family history record. If for example the male parent is a carrier of a mutation responsible for a genetic disease and the donor is also carrier of a mutation in the same genetic disease this particular donor should be avoided. Not all mutations is possible to be examined. The most common mutations in each population are examined. Blood type is probably the most important matter when choosing the donor. An anonymous donor would be good if your blood types match. In case blood is needed for a health issue in the family, the blood types should match. Last but not least, if the child is not informed by the parents that the conception happened with donated oocytes, it is easy to realise that you are not 100% biologically related.

Personality is also important while selecting donor. You can check what the donor’s hobbies and interests are, or even the sports she prefers. It is recommended that you find someone who shares your interests and to whom you can relate to.