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Egg Donor Program

Initiating the process of having a baby through egg (ovum) donation may seem complicated at first, but take comfort in knowing that our experienced physicians, nurses, counselors, and staff will guide you step-by-step through the entire process.

Choosing an Egg Donor

An important step in the ovum donation process is choosing a donor. At UCSF, we respect that the process of determining the right donor is a uniquely personal decision. We have several resources, including a psychologist with expertise in fertility and family building, to assist in the decision-making process.

There are two basic types of ovum donors:

  • Known donors: A known donor is usually a relative or a friend. All known donors must pass minimum screening criteria. They may or may not receive compensation for their egg donation.
  • Recruited donors: These are usually young women with excellent reproductive potential who are compensated for the time and effort involved in assisting patients to become pregnancy. Recruited donors may be found through egg donor agencies or through the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health in-house donor program.

Using a Donor from the UCSF CRH Donor Program

The team at UCSF recruits and screens a pool of in-house donors who are available for selection by our patients. The cornerstone of our program is our highly selective and comprehensive screening process. In recruiting and screening donors, we adhere to the guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the United States Food and Drug Administration and our own institutional Board of Ethics. Our donors are recruited and screened by our Donor Program Team, which includes a reproductive endocrinologist, a clinical psychologist, certified genetic counselors, and program coordinators. Donors become available for matching only after their screening has been fully completed and candidates are deemed to be suitable candidates per all guidelines. This includes a review of medical and family history, a thorough physical examination, genetic and mental health screening, and testing for infectious diseases.

Our multidisciplinary team works together to ensure that donors in our pool are eligible candidates for donation. This means that you are unlikely to experience the disappointment of carefully choosing a donor from an agency only to find out they are ineligible once they are medically screened. You may also find that working with a donor from our internal program is often less expensive than working with an agency donor.

Choosing an Agency Donor

The benefit of going through an outside agency is having access to a larger pool of donors. However, agencies often only perform partial screenings on their donors, so our program usually needs to do additional screening according to our standard policies. If you are interested in using a donor from an outside donor agency, we will provide you with a list of recommended donor agencies we have worked with in the past. We recommend that you ask the agency about their policies and procedures for recruitment and screening directly. Donors from outside agencies must have a mental health screening arranged through the agency and must meet specific criteria for eligibility, such as recent infectious disease screening, in order to proceed with a cycle with our center. Once selected, the donor will undergo an exam performed by one of our physicians prior to cycle planning.

Egg Donation FAQs