Donating Eggs in South Africa – These are the Requirements
It is always heart-warming to find how many women are willing to make a selfless act of kindness to help another woman by donating their eggs. It is a special type of person who is motivated by the urge to help others and is willing to go above and beyond what most people would consider doing for another.
Egg donations are increasingly needed as millions of women around the world struggle to fall pregnant. One of the most common reasons for their infertility is that they have no – or poor-quality eggs – due to many reasons but commonly including, among others, age – being older than 35; and health issues – due to lifestyle choices.
Egg donors who donate young and healthy eggs make it possible for many of these millions of women, who are unable to have their own babies because of they have no – or poor-quality – eggs, to experience the joy of conceiving and carrying their own baby.
While they all certainly meet the first requirement for becoming an egg donor – kind-hearted altruism – not all the kind-hearted women who are willing to donate eggs meet the requirements for becoming an egg donor.
This is because – in order to maximise the chances of conception for the mom-to-be – egg donations are only accepted from young, healthy women whose eggs are known scientifically to give the parents-to-be the very best chance of conceiving. Fertility treatments are expensive and can be very emotional journeys, and ensuring only healthy eggs are donated eases the financial and emotional strain on couples who are trying to conceive with donated eggs.
The requirements for egg donors in South Africa are discussed in more detail below.
What are the requirements for donating eggs in South Africa?
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 substantially more involvement from donors than, for example, donating blood.
Donating your eggs to another woman is an act of altruism. Egg donation is a complex process and requires more time and effort from an egg donor than other types of donations. Many egg donors first donate to help a family member or a friend, most donate to help women they’ll never know.
The very first requirement for donating eggs is a deep wish to help another, or altruism, because although some compensation is provided to egg donors because of the extent of their time, effort and involvement, it is certainly not enough for money to be the only motivator.
Egg donors must be between the ages of 21 and 33. Whilst the legal is 18-35 we work with different criteria.
In the field of fertility, women aged 35 and older are considered to be at an “advanced” maternal age.
It is a well-known fact that both the quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs deteriorates with age – and both the quality and number of eggs produced affect the ability to conceive and successfully carry a healthy pregnancy.
At age 30, the likelihood of conceiving is the highest. However, this likelihood decreases as a woman ages. Specifically, after age 35, there is an accelerated decline and the likelihood of conceiving declines even more rapidly after age 40.
The fact that the quality and quantity of eggs decreases quickly after age 35 is both the reason why so many women are in need of egg donations, and the reason why egg donors must be younger than 35.
Egg donors that are young, at a prime fertile age and healthy are more likely to produce several good-quality eggs and give the parents-to-be the best chance of conceiving and having the family they want so much.
On the other end of the age scale, 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.
Potential egg donors must also be in good health, both physically and mentally. This is because a woman’s state of health significantly impacts the quality and quantity of the eggs produced.
In term of BMI, egg donors need to have a BMI of 18 and 30 to donate their eggs.
The mental health of egg donors is also important, and for this reason, egg donors undergo a psychological assessment before donating.
Lifestyle Factors that Disqualify Women from becoming Egg Donors
In terms of drinking, alcohol and drugs – Donors may smoke and drink alcohol in moderation but drug abuse would disqualify them.
Maximum Number of Donations
Many egg donors donate more than once, but there is a limit on the number of donations that can be made. According to Chapter 8 on Artificial Fertilisation of the National Health Act (2003), a donor can legally not donate more than a maximum of six times.
The timing of these donations should also be managed to protect the physical and reproductive health of egg donors, who should not do more than approximately four egg donations within a twelve-month period. Back to back donations are also not allowed.
I am eligible! Where can I donate eggs?
As a potential egg donor, it is extremely important that you be assured that the clinic at which you donate is a world-class medical facility, dedicated to your care and medical safety.
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.
Your First Step to Becoming An Egg Donor in South Africa
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.
Simply fill in your contact details here, or contact 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.