Egg donor screening includes medical testing for potential candidates
When you decide to become an egg donor, our fertility center will begin egg donor screening to qualify you for the program. One of the steps we take involves medical testing, such as blood tests, lab cultures and genetic screenings. These analyses provide our physicians and staff with vital information about your medical background.
Understanding the breakdown on medical testing
Our fertility center strives to protect both donors and intended parents. As part of the initial egg donor screening, we will send potential candidates to the laboratory for a series of blood and urine tests. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends specific screenings, including:
Blood type and Rh compatibility Not only will this test determine whether you are A, B, AB, or O, but also if you are Rh positive or Rh negative. Rh typing plays an important role during pregnancy. If the mother is Rh negative but the father is Rh positive, the fetus may be positive for the Rh antigen, causing the mother’s body to develop antibodies and threatening the pregnancy.
Infectious diseases Before accepting a potential donor, we need to ensure that she is clear of highly contagious illnesses such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C, which could be transferred to the intended mother as well as the fetus.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) To qualify as an egg donor, you must not have been exposed to syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea or other sexually transmitted diseases.
Drug use Recreational drug use increases the risk for infectious diseases as well as overall health problems, so candidates must pass the drug screening, which identifies marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and other illegal drugs. Intravenous drug use at any time automatically disqualifies a candidate from egg donation.
Genetic tests rule out possible defects
With genetic testing, we can help reduce the risk for certain disorders and minimize the chance that a baby will have a birth defect or serious inherited disease.
Depending on the donor, we will screen for diseases with a genetic component, such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), fragile X, beta-thalassemia, sickle cell disease, Tay-Sachs and familial dysautonomia. It usually takes several weeks for us to receive the results of the genetic tests.
If you are considering egg donation, our fertility clinic can provide details about the egg donor screening, which includes medical testing. We want you to feel well-informed as you make this decision. Contact our office for more information or to make an appointment.