What is egg donation?

One of the first things we learn about reproduction is that it takes one egg and one sperm coming together to form new life. For women who cannot produce healthy eggs, but still wish to become pregnant, egg donation is an option.

Among the reasons a woman may seek an egg donation include:

  • Advanced maternal age
  • Genetic disorder
  • Lack of ovaries
  • Poor egg quality
  • Premature menopause
  • Previous cancer treatment

Where do donor eggs come from?

Egg donors can be someone you know, such as a family member or friend, or they may be anonymous. All potential egg donors undergo an extensive screening process set in place by the FDA and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The screening process includes:

  • Family history
  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Testing for infectious diseases

If you choose to use an anonymous donor, our donor egg coordinator will help you select your donor based on your preferred characteristics, such as physical traits, education and family background.

Receiving your egg donation

Once eggs have been donated, they are kept frozen until they are needed. This means you can use the eggs you want at the best possible time during your cycle. When its time, the eggs are thawed and fertilized in a laboratory using sperm from either your partner or a sperm donor. Most often, a group of six eggs are fertilized at one time, in order to increase the odds of pregnancy. After about three days, the embryos are ready to be transferred into your womb.



If you’re ready to have a child, but facing fertility challenges, reproductive endocrinologists can help. Find fertility solutions and services at locations throughout the Philadelphia area.