At Cryos we have an extensive screening procedure to ensure that all our egg donors are healthy, young women with high-quality eggs. In fact, only about 4% of the women applying are approved as donors.
Here we take you through the different steps of our screening process to help you understand how many tests and assessments all candidates must pass before they are approved and eventually accessible in our Donor Search. You can also learn how we release donor eggs for clinical use in different countries due to national legislation regarding egg donation, and what it means if a donor is put in quarantine or is permanently blocked.
Egg donor screening and testing
If you choose donor eggs from Cryos, you can always be sure that your donor has undergone a thorough physical examination, genetic screening, and psychological evaluation prior to becoming an egg donor. All candidates are tested in accordance with the EU and FDA guidelines, and we continuously look for ways to improve our screening process to ensure the best possible donor eggs for you.
Assessing medical and family history
When we receive an application from a potential donor, we will do an initial assessment of whether she qualifies. If so, we ask her to complete a comprehensive medical questionnaire including questions about the medical and genetic history of the donor candidate and her family members.
If the questionnaire looks fine, we will invite her in for an in-depth interview where we will assess any signs of risk behaviour, symptoms of disease, and her family medical history. Candidates with a family history of serious hereditary mental and/or physical diseases are rejected at this point.
Deciding on donor type and profile
In relation to the interview, we will thoroughly explain what it means to be an egg donor. If the candidate is interested in moving forward, we ask her to decide whether she wants to be ID Release or Non-ID Release, and whether to have a Basic or Extended Profile.
Initial lab testing
Our in-house nurses do an extensive screening procedure to ensure that the donor candidate is in good health and meets body mass criteria. We will also do a blood draw to check her AMH levels and collect a urine sample to check for chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
Genetic carrier testing
We will then perform a genetic carrier test for a number of recessive diseases, which means that the donor candidates at the time being are tested for the most common genetic variants causing:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hemoglobinopathies (including Alfa thalassemia, Beta-thalassemia, Sickle cell)
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Fragile X
- Tay Sachs
- Non-syndromatic deafness
- Severe hemolytic anemia
These are the most frequent serious hereditary diseases worldwide.
Finally, donor candidates are screened for normal karyotype (chromosome profile).
A confidential consultation with our mental health professional is required for all egg donors as it is important that they feel comfortable with their decision to become an egg donor and understand what it means. The psychological assessment is done at a private practice by an independent counsellor.
After the psychological assessment, the donor will be invited in for a physical examination with our gynaecologist where a pelvic ultrasound scan and a blood draw to check her hormonal levels are performed.
Final approval and donor test results
Only if all tests and assessments during the screening process are favourable will the donor candidate be approved for egg donation at Cryos. On average, only 4% of all egg donor candidates applying at Cryos become donors. In other words, we make a big effort to ensure that you can feel safe and comfortable about choosing a Cryos egg donor.
In each donor profile available on our website, you will find a Summary of Records (SOR) containing test results, donor characteristics and Standard release information. The SOR will be attached to the order confirmation and a copy is also included in your shipment. The Summary of Records is subject to change over time, due to continuous testing of the donors.
Visit the page about donor eggs for fertility treatment to learn more about the actual egg donation process.
Are you or your partner a known carrier of a hereditary disease?
If you are looking to purchase donor eggs for fertility treatment, and the man delivering the sperm is a known carrier of any hereditary disease, please contact our Customer Care Team who can help you in your search for the right egg donor .
Country specific requirements regarding egg donation
Most countries have different legislations regarding the use of egg donors, including requirements in the selection and screening of donors. During the screening process, all egg donors at Cryos are therefore being selected, screened, and released for clinical use in specific countries or areas.
We know that there are a lot of things to consider when choosing an egg donor, and we want to make it as smooth and easy as possible for you. That is why we ask you to indicate your treatment country when you create a free account. Your country settings make it possible for us to show you only donors that comply with the regulations in the country of your choice.
Learn which country standards Cryos operates with here .
Quarantine or Permanent block of egg donors
In every pregnancy, there is a small risk of having a child with a congenital disease, and in some cases, this might turn out to be inherited. At Cryos our donors undergo thorough screening before being accepted as a donor in order to minimize the risk of the donor passing any serious conditions on to the child.
Despite our thorough selection and screening procedure, however, the risk of having a child with a medical condition cannot be eliminated. If a condition is detected in a child, and there is reason to believe that the disease might be the result of the use of donor eggs, Cryos should be informed immediately, so that we can take the necessary action. Please reach out to our Customer Care, who can help you report a condition.
How we handle reported diseases (conditions)
If Cryos receives a Report of Condition, our Genetics team will handle it immediately and start an investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to assess if the disease could or could not be related to the donor.
- In some cases, our Genetics team will conclude that the report can be rejected, and that no further actions are necessary. This is the case when the genetics team assesses that the disease is not related to the donor or that the risk of recurrence in half siblings is not significantly elevated.
- In other cases, the Report of Condition requires further investigation. The donor’s eggs will then be put in quarantine, as a temporary precaution, while further investigation is carried out. Cryos will notify anyone who has placed an order for the donor’s eggs directly with Cryos.
Eventually, the conclusion will either be that the report of condition can be rejected, or that the donor must be permanently blocked. A donor will be permanently blocked if our Genetics team assesses that the condition might be related to the donor. If a donor is permanently blocked, her eggs can only be purchased for sibling treatment – which means, only by persons who have already conceived a child with eggs from this donor.