What To Look For When Choosing An Egg Donor

There are many reasons a couple or a woman might choose an egg donor. Reasons range from premature ovarian failure (a condition whereby menopause starts before 40) and diminished ovarian reserve, which means that the woman trying to conceive has poor quality eggs (often due to age) to genetically transmitted diseases and repeated IVF failure. No matter the reason that brought someone to the point of considering egg donation, it’s safe to assume the journey has been a long and emotional one. Picking an egg donor isn’t easy and there are very important things to consider – and we’re not just talking height and alma mater.

Gail Sexton Anderson, founder of Donor Concierge and co-founder of Tulip, helps us break down what to look for when it comes to choosing an egg donor.

Proven fertility

“This is the term for prior pregnancy or pregnancy resulting from previous donation cycles. Using an egg donor does not guarantee pregnancy, but it dramatically increases your chances. Choosing an egg donor who has ‘proven fertility’ will give hopeful parents the very best chance possible, and the peace of mind knowing this donor has conceived before.”

Prior cycles

“If your donor has cycled previously, she will know the ins and outs of the process better and she may be better equipped to complete your cycle. This also typically means the egg donor had a positive experience with her previous cycle and is enthusiastic about donating again. There’s nothing wrong with a first-time donor, but cycling previously is usually a green flag.”

Local vs. Travel

“Hopeful parents can choose a local donor or opt for a ‘travel cycle,’ where you pay the travel costs for a donor who lives in a different region. This is a key piece to consider before you begin your search and your decision depends on your budget, preferences and other factors. Once you know what you’re looking for, pay attention to whether the donors you like are local or open to traveling to your clinic.”


“Choosing an egg donor is all about choosing someone who feels like a fit for your family. Many hopeful parents jump straight to quantifiable traits like height or SAT scores, but personality is a huge factor, and if you find someone whose responses you love, that is a green flag that you shouldn’t ignore.”


“Egg donors are people and it is important for them to have support through this process. It is always good to check whether she has support from her friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with an egg donor wanting to keep the donation private, but knowing she has supportive people around her will ease your mind.”


“Reading donor profiles may bring up questions that hopeful parents hadn’t even thought to ask. If you’re just beginning your search, you might feel overwhelmed by all the information. As you go through the questions and responses, ask yourself how you would answer. Especially on issues like potential future contact, it is important to be aligned with the egg donor you choose.”

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