Egg Donation: Why Egg Donor Criteria is so Strict

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices.

Did you know that there’s an age cut-off for egg donors? Or that you can’t be an egg donor if your BMI is high?

Many women are surprised to learn that they can’t be an egg donor if they’re older than 35, even though they may still be fertile. Or that they can’t donate eggs if they’re significantly overweight, even if they’ve had healthy children of their own.

So why is the criteria to be an egg donor so strict, when egg donors are in such demand in the UK?

Here we explain the main criteria to be an egg donor with Manchester Donors, and why each factor is so important:

Age: You must be aged between 18 and 35 to be an egg donor. This is because egg quality generally declines after age 35 as your own natural fertility reduces as you age. So although you may still be able to conceive naturally after this age, remember your eggs are going to be used in fertility treatment for your recipient, and all of the processes that this may involve. So the age limit is 35, to ensure your egg quality is at its best to give the recipient of your eggs the best chance of having a baby.

Weight: Your BMI must be within a healthy range of 19-35. If your BMI is high, your own natural fertility may be affected, making the process of egg donation too risky for you. You may not respond well to the necessary ovarian stimulation needed for egg donation, which involves boosting your egg production through fertility drugs. It’s our responsibility to make sure all our egg donors are healthy and well enough to donate eggs, and this is why BMI limits are in place.

Smoking: If you’re a smoker, you can’t donate eggs as smoking can affect your fertility, and this includes e-cigarettes as they interfere with the urine testing for nicotine that all egg donors undergo as part of the screening process. You may be able to donate however if you’ve quit smoking more than three months ago.

Medical history: Do you have any inheritable conditions in your family? Can you find out your family medical history, as far back as grandparents, including any siblings? All egg donors must know or be able to access their immediate family medical history and there must be no genetic or hereditary conditions because of the risk of passing these onto any child born from their eggs, or indeed affecting their recipient.

Your own health: Being an egg donor means you must not put yourself at risk of any sexually-transmitted infections. Your initial screening does test for many common STIs and other diseases and infections, including HIV and Hepatitis.

Screening and testing is vital to ensure that you’re not only healthy with good fertility, but are free of any diseases that could be a potential health risk to your recipient and any child she has.

So whilst the criteria to donate eggs may seem too stringent, it’s important to remember that it’s in place to safeguard everyone involved – your own health and wellbeing as the egg donor, the recipient of your eggs, and ultimately any child born.

If you have any questions at all about your eligibility to donate eggs – and to egg-share for cheaper IVF as the same criteria applies - contact our friendly team on 0161 300 2730.



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0161 300 2734