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How Do You Pick an Ideal Donor?
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Ask The Experts
How do you pick an ideal donor?
Dr. Said Daneshmand, The Fertility Center of Las Vegas: Well how do you pick an ideal donor?
One of the things that you want to make sure is that the donor has good general health and also good mental health.
It's truly something that you're going to be working with your physician with, in terms of picking your ideal donor.
You want a donor who you're very comfortable with in terms of their general health, their genetic history, their family history.
One of the things that we assess in a donor; number one is their egg quality.
We want our donors to be between 21 to 29 years of age.
We want them to have good egg quality, such that we have a very good chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy.
How do you assess egg quality?
We have donors come in typically on the third day of their cycle, we assess their egg reserve, ovarian reserve,
through a hormone test called FSH and estradiol and also what we do is we take a look at the number of immature eggs in the ovaries.
We want to take a look and see, to make sure, that the patient has an adequate supply of immature eggs
such that we're able to get a good number of eggs retrieved and, again, not only to be able to achieve a pregnancy,
but many patients like to have their whole families with one egg donor.
So, for many of our patients, we not only have enough embryos to transfer, we typically transfer only one, perhaps two,
but we also have some embryos to freeze such that they can also have, so they can expand their family in the future if they want to.
Now, the other factors in regards to an egg donor is we do genetic screening on the donor.
We want to make sure that the donor doesn't harbor any genetic mutations.
We also look at her family history.
Some of the things that are often overlooked are things like a history of mental illness in the family.
If a donor has a history of mental illness herself or in her immediate family, such as a mother, a brother or a sister,
this may increase the likelihood of the genetic predisposition for psychological illnesses.
The other thing that we also look at is we want to get a urine toxicology screen on donors.
We want to make sure that donors are not only healthy but they're not taking any medications or drugs that they're not supposed too.
We also look at our donors in terms of their general health, their body mass index.
One of the things that's important for donors, in order to have good quality eggs, they have to have good nutrition.
We're very big on nutrition because nutrition has significant impact on every part of your life.
So we also look at the quality of their nutrition as they're going through their cycle and their body mass index.
And we also get some perimeters such as we look at folic acid levels, vitamin B12 levels and other nutritional parameters
to make sure that the donor is in good general health.
There's been many studies done on patients who are obese and they tend to generally produce less good quality eggs.
One of the reasons is because in patients who suffer from obesity the insulin levels are elevated and insulin
sometimes can have a negative impact on the quality of eggs and the maturation and development of eggs in the ovaries.
The other factor that I emphasize in picking a donor is, when I meet the donor, in terms of their general personally, their characteristics, is:
Would I want this donor for myself and for my own family.
If the answer is yes, then that donor is good enough for my patients.
And again, what I look for in a donor is their personality.
We want somebody who's responsible, who's compliant with their visits, compliant with their medications.
We want somebody who's warm, who's kind.
We also want somebody who's intelligent.
Again, we want to maximize the chance of success, for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child in the future.
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