Do you meet the requirements for donating eggs in South Africa?
Do you meet the requirements of becoming an egg donor? In this article we explain the various requirements that are met by the amazing women who are willing to help another woman have her own baby by donating eggs – a selfless act of kindness that has no equal.
There is a great and growing demand for egg donations worldwide as thousands of women struggle to fall pregnant due to one of the most common reasons for infertility: they have no eggs of their own, or they only have poor-quality eggs that are not conducive to a healthy pregnancy. This can be the result of many different factors, which can range from cancer treatment and other medical conditions to advanced maternal age – being older than 35, and other health issues, many related to lifestyle choices.
Egg donors who donate young and healthy eggs of their own make it possible for many of these women to experience the joy of conceiving and carrying their own baby. These egg donors are special people, motivated by the urge to help others and willing to go above and beyond what most of us would consider doing for another.
It is always heart-warming to find how many women are willing to donate their eggs to help another woman, who they will never meet. While all egg donors certainly meet this first requirement – kind-hearted altruism, not all the kind-hearted women who are willing to donate eggs meet the further requirements for becoming an egg donor.
There are many requirements to be met to become an egg donor – and for good reason: to maximise the chances of conception for the mom-to-be. The reality is that fertility treatments are not only expensive, but also highly emotional journeys. By ensuring only the very healthiest eggs are donated, the parents-to-be have the very best chance of conceiving.
In general, the requirements for egg donors in South Africa include being kind-hearted and altruistic; falling within a certain age group; being healthy in general; and the ability to commit to an egg donation program, which requires quite a bit more involvement from donors than, for example, donating blood.
The requirements for egg donors in South Africa are discussed in more detail below, along with an explanation why each requirement is important.
Requirement for donating eggs: kind-hearted altruism
Donating eggs to another woman – who you are likely never to meet – is a true act of altruism. Many egg donors first donate to help a family member or a friend, but most donors will never know the women or couples they help.
It is an important requirement for donors to have a genuine, deep wish to help another, or altruism, because egg donation is a process and requires commitment. And, although some compensation is provided to egg donors for their time, effort and involvement, it should not be the only motivator.
Requirement for donating eggs: aged between 18 and 34
The legal age at which you can donate eggs is 18 years. However, the South African Society for Reproductive Medicine (SASREG) recommends that donors are at least 21 years old.
Egg donors must also be younger than 34 years of age, because a woman’s age has an enormous impact on the quality of her eggs. In fact, “advanced maternal age”, which is 35+, is one of the main reasons why egg donations are in such high demand.
It is a well-known scientific fact that a woman’s eggs deteriorate both in quality and quantity with age – both of which affect the ability to conceive and successfully carry a healthy pregnancy. Specifically, after age 35, there is an accelerated decline and the likelihood of conceiving declines even more rapidly after age 40.
For this reason, egg donations are only accepted from women who are younger than 35. Young, healthy egg donors at a prime fertile age will more likely donate several good-quality eggs and give the parents-to-be the best chance of having the family they want.
Requirement for donating eggs: good physical and mental health
Because a woman’s state of health also significantly impacts the quality and quantity of the eggs produced, egg donors must also be in good health, both physically and mentally.
One way to determine a woman’s state of physical health is by using the body mass index or BMI – a measure of whether your weight is healthy compared to your height.
BMI is calculated as your weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of your height (in metres) or BMI = Kg/M2. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. A BMI over 35 is definitely a serious health risk.
Because being overweight can impair fertility, create pregnancy complications and increase the possibility of miscarriages – egg donors need to have an optimal BMI, which is between 18 and 29. This will give the parents-to-be the best chance of conceiving.
The mental health of egg donors is also important, and for this reason, egg donors undergo a psychological assessment before donating.
Requirement for donating eggs: healthy lifestyle choices
There are a few other lifestyle factors that would disqualify women from becoming egg donors because of the negative impact of these factors on a woman’s health and fertility. The most obvious among these is excessive smoking and alcohol or drug abuse.
I meet the requirements! Where can I donate eggs?
If you meet all these requirements, it is extremely important that you only donate eggs at a world-class medical facility, dedicated to your care and medical safety.
Only choose a facility that is registered with the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG), and that has signed and agreed to SASREG’s guidelines. You can check if a clinic or facility is registered here…
At Cape Fertility, a leading fertility clinic in Cape Town, we are not only registered with SASREG, but we are also absolutely committed to safe, legal and ethical egg donation practices.
For the last 26 years, our team at Cape Fertility Clinic has worked with thousands of egg donors in a friendly, relaxed and caring environment at our advanced, purpose-built facilities in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
If you are willing to donate eggs to help another woman fulfil her dream of having her own baby, you will be pleased to know that the first step is as simple as contacting us by filling in your contact details here, or by contacting our Egg Donor Fairy God Mother, Linda, on 066 22 55 003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your information is 100% confidential and will under no circumstances be made available to anybody else.
We look forward to welcoming you to our friendly, professional and leading Fertility Clinic and supporting you throughout your entire egg donation process, as well as after your egg donation is completed.