Family Source Consultants

Chicago, IL

Fresh Egg Donors Frozen Egg Donors

Frequently Asked Question for Egg Donors at Family Source Consultants

What are the qualifications for becoming an egg donor?

Family Source requires that potential Egg Donors meet the below criteria to be considered for our Egg Donor Program.

  • Be between the ages of 20-30

  • Be overall healthy

  • Have a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 18-28

  • Have a minimum of a GED (higher education preferred)

  • Be willing to take medications via injection

  • No nicotine or illegal drug use

  • Have had a pap-smear within the last two years – results must be normal

  • Know at least one half of your genetic makeup/family medical history

  • Have reliable transportation (You will have several appointments as you get closer to the retrieval date)

  • Not have had the Depo Provera shot for at least 8 months

  • Not be on (or be willing to remove) Nor-plant/Implanon/Nexplanon birth control device

  • Have a genuine desire to assist a couple or individual in creating or adding to their family

How many times can I be an egg donor?

Usually the reproductive endocrinologist will not recommend more than six (6) donations in a life-time.

Can you be 18 and donate eggs?

No. While some agencies may allow women as young as 18 to donate, FSC only accepts egg donor candidates between the ages of 20-30. 

Egg donor age requirements are important to ensure a successful outcome for our recipient parents. Egg donation is a huge commitment and we want to be certain our egg donors can handle both the physical and emotional aspects of the journey. 

When you’re 18, you have lots of things to think about in terms of your education, work opportunities, family, friends, and other life demands. Being tied to an egg donation process can be pretty time-consuming, and it requires at least three months’ commitment from start to finish. 

The egg donation process will also involve taking fertility drugs, going to regular appointments, and liaising with your agency. Though age doesn’t always equal maturity, women under 20 may not be able to handle all the responsibilities that go along with the egg donation process.

For these reasons, FSC only accepts egg donor candidates between the ages of 20-30.

Can you donate eggs after tubal ligation?

Yes! A tubal ligation (otherwise known as having your tubes tied) means although you can’t get pregnant, your ovaries still function normally. A tubal ligation only affects your fallopian tubes, so you’ll still be able to produce eggs. 

Since eggs are retrieved directly from the ovaries before they are released into your fallopian tubes, having your tubes tied does not impact your ability to donate eggs.

Can you donate eggs if you’ve had depression?

This is a tricky one. Mental health struggles are common these days, and we all have brushes with depression occasionally. Although many women who have experienced situational depression can successfully become egg donors, good mental health is an important requirement for becoming an egg donor. 

All prospective egg donors must undergo a thorough screening, including a psychological assessment with a qualified mental health professional. This entails undergoing an evaluation of your mental stability and psychosocial health, including your family’s mental health history. 

You’ll also be asked about stressors in your life and any difficult or traumatic experiences, your interpersonal relationships, sexual history, psychiatric and personality disorders, and any instances of substance abuse. All of these things can affect your coping skills and motivation to donate. 

Some mental health disorders, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are genetic, so there is a risk of passing them on through your eggs. 

In addition, antidepressant medication can affect both your fertility and the impact of fertility drugs. If you’re actively taking antidepressant medication, this would disqualify you from donating your eggs.

If you’re not sure whether you qualify, get in touch! We’re happy to let you know whether you are a good candidate to become an egg donor.

Can you donate eggs if you’re overweight?

Being a healthy weight is very important when you’re an egg donor. At FSC, we require donors to be within a BMI of 18 – 28.  

Egg donors who are at a healthy weight tend to have fewer complications and more successful egg donations. Research has shown that women with a high BMI may not respond as well to fertility treatment. 

A BMI over 30 is considered obese, and obesity is associated with infertility and poor pregnancy outcomes. One study showed that a woman’s chances of getting pregnant decline for every BMI unit over 29. Women with a BMI between 35 and 40 have a 23-43% lower chance of getting pregnant than women with a BMI below 29.

Researchers have also found that even when overweight women have regular cycles and no obvious fertility problems, they still struggle to get pregnant. The heavier a woman is, the more her fertility may be impacted. 

Can you donate eggs with an IUD or while you’re on Depo-Provera or Norplant?

This is a common question, as many women prefer to use an IUD, contraceptive shots, or hormonal implants over the contraceptive pill. 

Birth control pills or hormonal patches

Using birth control pills or other contraceptives like the Nuvo Ring or hormonal patches will not prevent you from becoming an egg donor. These are temporary methods of birth control that are easily discontinued in order to begin the egg donation process.


If you have been using the Depo-Provera shot, you will need to refrain from any shots for at least 8 months prior to applying. We cannot accept egg donors who are currently on the Depo-Provera shot.

Norplant, Implanon or Nexplanon

If you currently have a hormonal implant such as Norplant, Implanon, or Nexplanon, you’ll need to be willing to remove the implant in order to be accepted into our egg donation program.

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

As for becoming an egg donor with an IUD, it all comes down to whether your IUD is hormonal or non-hormonal. 

Hormonal IUDs

Brands such as Mirena are called hormonal IUDs. They use slow-release hormone therapy to prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus in the cervix, which reduces the chance of sperm fertilizing an egg. IUDs also suppress menstruation by thinning the lining of the uterus. 

If you are using a hormonal IUD and having regular menstrual cycles, you will need to have it removed in order to become an egg donor. The IVF doctor can do this at your medical screening before you begin your injectable hormone treatment. 

However, if your Ovarian Assessment Report (OAR) shows that your ovulatory egg supply is low, you may need to take some time to allow your normal menstruation cycle to return.  

Non-Hormonal IUD

These include devices such as Paraguard. Non-hormonal IUDs are made out of copper, which naturally prevents pregnancy. These devices don’t have to be removed as they do not interfere with your hormones or your regular menstrual cycle. 

Can you donate eggs with PCOS?

Maybe. In general, PCOS would disqualify you from becoming an egg donor. However, your eligibility would have to be determined by a physician.

PCOS affects one in five women, so it’s not rare. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common causes of infertility. While some women with PCOS may have no problems conceiving, it may cause some women to develop fewer follicles on their ovaries, hindering their chances of producing an egg. Severe PCOS may also cause problems with ovulation, so it’s important to consult with your gynecologist before applying to be an egg donor. 

On a positive note, studies have shown that egg donations from women with PCOS had no difference in the number of eggs retrieved, nor were fertilization and implantation rates for the recipient affected. Research also shows women with PCOS require significantly less gonadotropin than egg donors without PCOS, so it may even work in your favor!

Can you donate eggs if you’ve had an STD?

Maybe. During the egg donor screening process, you’ll undergo FDA-mandated testing for sexually transmitted diseases including:

  • HIV-I and HIV-II
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea

Testing positive for any of these STDs would disqualify you from becoming an egg donor. However, if you’ve had Chlamydia or Gonhorrea more than a year ago, you may still qualify to become an egg donor.

Can you donate eggs if you have herpes or HPV?

Herpes or HPV will not necessarily disqualify you from becoming an egg donor unless you’re in an active outbreak. These diseases are not transmittable through your eggs, so clinics will generally accept donors who have herpes or HPV.

What are the different types of egg donation?

Closed Donation – The Recipient Parent/s will typically choose an Egg Donor who has similar physical and personal characteristics or perhaps particular traits that are appealing for various reasons. The Donor’s identity will be kept confidential; any information identifying her will not be given to the Recipient/s. The Recipient/s will, however, be able to view all pertinent information including medical and genetic history, physical description, photographs of the potential Donor, and photographs of her child/ren if she’s willing to share them. In an anonymous donation, the Recipient(s) will have important information about you, but you will never meet or know each other’s names. Many Recipient Parents and Egg Donors choose the anonymous route because they are most comfortable with this type of arrangement for many valid reasons.

Semi-Open Donation – This is an alternative that offers somewhat of a middle-ground solution in choosing anonymous vs. open egg donation. Oftentimes, Recipient Parents do not feel comfortable with anonymous donation because they would prefer to have the option of contacting the woman who shared her genetics with their child/ren. Additionally, many Recipient Parents would not feel comfortable with a totally open donation. With a semi-open relationship, the Recipient Parent/s have been given the Donor’s profile information, but do not necessarily know her last name, address and other detailed information. Similarly, the Egg Donor will be given basic information about the Recipient Parents, but will not necessarily know more specific information as she would in an open donation situation. The Recipient/s and the Egg Donor may decide to chat via telephone or e-mail, for example, but there will not necessarily be a commitment to stay in touch after the egg donation has occurred. The benefit to semi-known vs. anonymous, however, is that enough general information is exchanged so that the Recipient Parent/s know their Egg Donor (and vice versa) on a basic level, and can contact her if they have any questions and such. With a semi-open donation, the Egg Donor will most likely be informed about the results of the egg retrieval and whether or not a pregnancy occurs.

Open Donation – In an open donation arrangement, all parties have agreed to completely disclose information about each other, including last names, addresses, occupations, etc. The Recipient Parents and the Egg Donor, in this case, will sometimes decide to meet in person before the egg retrieval takes place, and if not possible due to logistics (location or scheduling conflicts) there will at least be conversations via email and/or telephone. In this type of arrangement, everyone is mutually interested in maintaining contact—potentially throughout the life of the child/ren born via the donation. An open donation may also occur because the Recipient Parents have a friend, a sister, or another relative who has offered to help them. Regardless of whether the Egg Donor is known previously, or whether she is someone the Recipient Parents have been matched with via Family Source, it is most important that all parties have discussed their long-term expectations of the relationship. For example, the Donor and Recipient Parent/s should discuss who they plan to tell and when. Additionally, and even more importantly, everyone must be on the same page in regards to what the Donor’s future relationship will be with the child/ren. There are certainly many issues to consider when going the open donation route, but open (or open/known) egg donation can be a wonderfully positive experience for the Recipient Parent/s, the Egg Donor, and any future children that may result.

Are there side effects from the medications I would take as an egg donor?

We at Family Source are not medical professionals; however, we are familiar with most of the typically used medications for IVF protocols. In addition to reading through the general protocol in our sections on this website addressing the Egg Donor process, please review this list of the most commonly used medications for IVF protocols:

It is important to note, women respond differently to these medications: In most cases, very few side effects, if any, are experienced, but it is possible that more adverse reactions may occur among some patients. Some potential side effects are mild bruising and/or soreness from shots, headaches, mood swings, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, functional cysts (approx. 15% of IVF patients will develop), and in extreme cases, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a condition which, fortunately, is pretty rare. It is most important to work with a reputable infertility clinic that 1) has a good track record of avoiding ovarian hyperstimulation among its patients and 2) has the expertise needed to treat the syndrome if it should occur. Your reproductive endocrinologist will answer any additional questions you have in regards to medications and their possible side effects.

Will donating eggs affect my future fertility?

No. There is no biological reason that donating eggs would cause infertility. Women are born with about 2 million eggs. Each month, a group of eggs begins to mature, but only one egg is released during ovulation. The rest are absorbed by the body. Fertility medications hasten the maturity rate of these excess eggs so that they can be retrieved, instead of being reabsorbed by the body.

Who will use my eggs if I become an egg donor?

There are many types of people who use Donor Eggs to conceive. 

Some common situations which may require the use of donor eggs are:

(1) Older women with age-related fertility decline
(2) Younger women with early ovarian failure or ovarian insufficiency
(3) Same-sex male couples or single males
(4) Certain rare genetic conditions may require donor eggs

How long does the egg donation process take?

The egg donation process from treatment start to retrieval takes approximately one month. The egg retrieval itself takes minutes. This timeline does not include the matching and screening process, which will vary in length from donor to donor.  

Family Source Consultants Office Location

Chicago, IL:
155 North Wacker Drive, Suite 4250
Chicago, IL 60606