Often, egg donors inquire about egg donation and expect that they will be donating just one of their eggs to an infertile couple. It just doesn’t work that way. When an egg donor is matched with a recipient, they are contracted to donate the eggs that they produce in a particular menstrual cycle. During that cycle, the physician that the donor is seeing intentionally increases the number of eggs that are produced. While a “normal” cycle might result in one or two eggs released in a month, those numbers would be cause to cancel an egg donor cycle prior to retrieval.
The number of eggs produced and donated in an egg donor cycle can range from about 8 to as many as 40 (although that is very, very rare). The average cycle results in a retrieval of between 12 and 20 eggs. The eggs are fertilized after retrieval, and often not all of them will successfully develop into embryos. About 12 to 14 healthy embryos generally result from 20 eggs. Some of these embryos (possibly 2) will be transferred to the recipient or a gestational carrier, and the remainder are frozen for future use.
We always encourage any questions a prospective donor might have. Please refer to our main site for more information about becoming a donor and feel free to contact us directly at any time.
- Ellie Goldman, BHED Cycle Coordinator