Egg donation

Egg donation is when a healthy fertile woman gives one or multiple eggs to another woman to help her conceive and give birth.

Home Fertility Egg donation

What is Egg Donation?

Egg donation is a remarkable process that allows individuals or couples struggling with infertility to have the opportunity to conceive a child. It involves a generous individual, known as an egg donor, voluntarily providing her eggs to help another person or couple achieves pregnancy. The egg donation process begins with a comprehensive screening process to ensure the donor’s physical and emotional well-being, as well as to assess her suitability for the procedure. Once selected, the donor undergoes ovarian stimulation, where hormone medications are administered to promote the development of multiple mature eggs. These eggs are then retrieved through a minimally invasive procedure known as follicular aspiration. Following the retrieval, the eggs are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory through in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the resulting embryos are transferred to the intended recipient’s uterus. Egg donation offers hope and the opportunity for individuals and couples to experience the joy of parenthood, even when faced with certain fertility challenges. It is a beautiful act of compassion and generosity that has the power to create life-changing moments for all involved.

Egg donation in Summary

Trip length

7 days

Surgery duration

2-5 hours


Local anesthesia

Recovery time

5-7 days

Hospital stay

No hospitalization (in most cases)

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Egg Donation: All You Need to Know

Many women worldwide desire to have children of their own and make a family but are unable to do so due to specific infertility problems. In some situations, the problem can be solved by taking some medications, but sometimes, other methods are needed. One of these methods is egg donation. Fertility treatments are so popular and advanced in Iran that many patients head to this country to have these treatments in Iran. 

The cost of egg donation

The costs of IVF are already high; with egg donation added to the equation, you should expect the prices to increase. You may have to pay an amount of money to the egg donor as compensation and pay for the tests and examinations of the donor.

In general, it can cost from $20,000 to $40,000 per cycle to have IVF with donor eggs in the United States of America. Sometimes, these prices could even go higher, making it quite expensive for treatment uncovered by health insurance. In Europe, it can be a little cheaper but still expensive.

On the other hand, the average cost of one IVF cycle with egg donation in Iran can range from $4,000 to $5,000. This means you can have the best medical service, the supervision of trained staff, and a comfortable stay in Iran and yet pay less than what you need to pay for the operation in your country.

What is egg donation?

Egg donation is when a healthy fertile woman gives one or multiple eggs to another woman to help her conceive and give birth. In this process, the woman who gives the eggs (the donor) takes medication to induce the production and maturation of the eggs. Then her eggs are suctioned and extracted to be placed in the recipient woman’s uterus.

When is egg donation needed?

Every woman would want to use her eggs to have her own children. However, many factors can prevent the woman from using her oocytes or make her unable to do so. This can include:

  1. Being born with certain congenital conditions: There are some women who are born with ovarian deformities that cause the ovaries to be underdeveloped or even absent.
  2. Being treated for Cancer: Various cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or even surgery can damage the ovaries or the eggs and make the woman unable to use them to have children.
  3. Suffering from premature menopause: Although premature menopause is not quite common among women, statistics show that it can affect about 1% of women under 40. Those women can experience menopause in their twenties or thirties.
  4. Being treated with IVF several times: It is possible for some women to stop responding to the medication used for IVF if they have been treated with it frequently.
  5. Having some genetic diseases: Some women could be fertile but rather choose to use donor eggs instead of theirs to lower the chances of their children having certain genetic disorders.

Being unable to conceive after often trying without any apparent medical reason. For many women who may not be able to use their own eggs to conceive for these reasons or others, IVF with egg donation can be the answer to having and giving birth to a healthy child. Egg donation can give hope to many women who have been dreaming of giving birth for many years without any success.

The process of donating eggs

Like traditional IVF, the process can take a few months to finish. Every couple will go through the following steps:

1. The consultation for the couple

When you go to the doctor asking for egg-donor IVF, the doctor will review your file and medical history to ensure that this is the best option for you. The doctor may ask for some additional tests and screenings.

Sometimes, couples may be advised to receive psychological consultation before proceeding with the decision, as this decision can be pretty difficult for them.

2. Choosing the donor

Most of the time, the couple chooses to use eggs from someone they know. But other times, they go and seek the help of the fertility clinic to set them up with a suitable egg donor.

This step is crucial because the egg will form your baby and determine its appearance, medical condition, height, blood type, …etc. Choosing the egg donor should consider all the factors that may affect the baby and the pregnancy.

You can choose someone from your family or friends to be your egg donor if you want, but they must pass the needed tests and psychological assessment first.

3. The synchronization of the menstrual cycle

IVF with an egg donor requires the menstrual cycle for both the donor and the recipient to be synchronized. This is important because the recipient’s uterus must be ready to receive the embryos when they are ready.

4. Stimulating the donor’s ovaries

After the menstrual cycles for both women are synchronized, the doctors will start with the medication to induce the ovaries to produce more eggs and help them mature.

There are different types of drugs and shots, and several tests will be done during this phase. The doctors will keep both women monitored during this period.

5. Egg retrieval

When the follicles reach the proper size, the doctor will work on retrieving the eggs from the ovaries. To do this, a particular device that can suction the eggs is to be used. These eggs will be preserved in the lab for testing and fertilization.

6. Fertilizing the Eggs

While in the lab, the staff will use the semen to fertilize the eggs, turning them into embryos. It usually takes a few days (five to seven days) for the embryos to be ready to be moved to the uterus.

7. The transfer

While waiting for the eggs to turn into embryos, the recipient woman is treated with hormones to prepare her uterus for them. When the eggs are fertilized, they are transferred to the recipient’s uterus in the clinic.

The doctors usually transfer one or two embryos. Sometimes, the couple chooses to freeze some embryos for possible future use.

How to donate eggs – Requirements to donate eggs

Although the couple who want to have kids with donated eggs can choose to use eggs donated by someone they know, like a friend or a relative, they can also use eggs from other egg donors.

You may have some doubts when considering using eggs from unknown egg donors. It is usual for you as a couple to ask if you really should use eggs from egg donors that you do not know. Therefore, we will tell you more about being egg donors.

As already mentioned, the rules and regulations regarding egg donation and the use of donated eggs vary from country to country. However, there are always several requirements and conditions that need to be present for any woman who wants to donate her eggs. The requirements to donate eggs generally include:

  1. Being physically healthy
  2. Being mentally healthy (may be asked to undergo a psychological assessment)
  3. Being between the age of 18 and 35 (the age limits may vary as some countries may require higher low limit)
  4. Having acceptable weight status with BMI between 19 and 29
  5. Being non-smoker
  6. Being a non-drug user and without any history of drug use
  7. Having a healthy reproduction system (having both ovaries functioning)
  8. Having no history of genetic disorders and hereditary illnesses
  9. Being a mother of at least one healthy baby
  10. Having regular menstrual cycles

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do you have to be to donate eggs?

There are no specific age limits for becoming an egg donor. The answer varies depending on the country. Some make the limits from 20 to 35, others from 18 to 35.

How many times can you donate eggs?

Generally, egg donors can donate their eggs up to 6 times in their lifetime. Sometimes, they are allowed to donate up to 10 times.

How much do you get paid to donate eggs?

It depends! In the United States of America, you can pay anything from $5,000 to $15,000 to the egg donor as compensation. In Iran, you will probably pay something around $1,000 as compensation for the donor.

Is donating eggs painful?

Not at all; all the procedures that take place are performed under sedation under the supervision of an anesthetist.

What are the risks with ICSI?

ICSI is a safe procedure, but there can be some risks associated with it like the possibility of birth defects, and unsuccessful pregnancy due to egg damage. Some studies suggest that ICSI may increase the risks of diseases for the babies like autism, and chromosomal abnormalities, but these results are not conclusive.