Egg Donor Program
The NYU Langone Fertility Center’s Egg Donor Program can help match egg donors with women who are unable to use their own eggs to achieve a healthy pregnancy. This can be the result of age, illness, genetic abnormalities, prior surgery, or an unsuccessful response to fertility medications used to stimulate ovulation.
Women can either use an anonymous donor who is currently ovulating or one whose eggs were previously frozen. Less commonly, women select a nonanonymous donor, meaning someone who is known to them.
When donor eggs are used, a woman is often able to carry the pregnancy in her own healthy uterus. To achieve pregnancy, the donated eggs are mixed with sperm, and the resulting embryo is implanted into her uterus. In some circumstances, a woman’s uterus is considered unsuitable for pregnancy, or less commonly, she does not have a uterus. Embryos created from donor eggs can also be transferred to the uterus of a gestational carrier.
All patients using an egg donor are scheduled for a private consultation with a donor egg nurse to review consents, treatments, and medications.
Choosing an Egg Donor
The ideal donor is 21 to 34 years old and must pass comprehensive screening procedures put in place by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the New York State Department of Health, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. These include a medical and psychological examination, genetic testing, drug screening, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
If you choose to pursue an anonymous donor through the Fertility Center, you are asked to provide a description of the ideal candidate as well as a photo of yourself. When a donor is found that matches your specifications, you are provided with the comprehensive donor profile including: height, weight, eye color, the results of a psychological evaluation, and genetic testing reports. You are not, however, told her name or given any identifying information. Baby pictures of donors can be viewed in person at the Fertility Center but are not shared electronically. The average wait for an egg donor is less than is six months.
Recipients also have the option of selecting an anonymous egg donor through a New York State–licensed donor agency. Our program provides a list of donor agencies. After a confirmed match is made through the agency, all initial medical, psychological, and genetic screening takes place at the Fertility Center.
You may also choose to work with a “known” egg donor, meaning a person you know. This process can bring about unique challenges, both logistically and emotionally. You can discuss the potential benefits and challenges of nonanonymous egg donation with your doctor. These topics, along with other psychological components of egg donation, are addressed during your donor consultation, which is required for all donor egg recipients and their partners.
Donor eggs that have previously been frozen may be used, which may reduce your treatment wait time. The Fertility Center uses eggs from our own donor egg bank or those from Northeast Assisted Fertility Group, My Egg Bank North America, and Fairfax Egg Bank.
To learn more about the Egg Donor Program, please contact one of our nurses: Natalie Green, BSN, at 212-263-0071; Nancy McGoff, RN, at 212-263-7451; or Liz Fessler, WHNP, at 212-263-0028.