Egg Donation: Does Weight Matter?
Can overweight women donate eggs? Without egg donation surrogacy wouldn’t be the success that it is. Through the donation of healthy eggs, intended parents are able to achieve their dream – to become parents and have a family they can call their own.
If you’re going to use surrogacy to start your family, you may have questions about egg donation. One of those questions that can be confusing is whether women who are overweight are able to donate their eggs.
There are several requirements that an egg donor needs to meet before they can donate. As well as being between the ages of 18 to 30 and in good physical and mental health, egg donors need to be height and weight proportionate and have a BMI that’s lower than 33.
What Is BMI?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. This measurement is used by doctors to determine whether you’re underweight, overweight, or at a healthy weight based on your height. To qualify for egg donation, women need to be under 33 BMI.
Why BMI Matters
When it comes to surrogacy and the IVF process, healthy donor eggs are key for a successful pregnancy. A high BMI may negatively impact both ovarian stimulation and the egg retrieval process that’s used for egg donation. When preparing for egg donation, women are prescribed medication that boosts the ability of the ovaries to produce more eggs. Donors who have a BMI higher than acceptable may require higher doses to produce those multiple eggs. These higher doses may be a risk to the donor’s health and may also lower the quality of eggs retrieved.
It’s also important to note that even after eggs have been successfully retrieved, a high BMI may also have an impact on egg development and quality.
High BMI and Egg Retrieval
After the ovaries have responded to the medication, donor eggs are ready to be retrieved. Women are placed under sedation or given anesthesia to keep them comfortable. It’s essential that egg donors have a healthy BMI to reduce any risk during the process.
Women who have a low BMI are also not ideal as egg donors. The medications used to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs can cause Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), a condition where the ovaries become swollen and fluid builds up in the stomach.
BMI and Proven Fertility
Can overweight women donate eggs if they’ve already had a successful pregnancy? Many women who have a high BMI are able to conceive and have healthy pregnancies of their own. However, it’s important to remember that donated eggs need to go through a more intense and complicated fertilization process – donor eggs need to be fertilized in a lab and may also be frozen and then thawed, so they need to healthy and of the best quality. For this reason, egg donors are carefully chosen.
Surrogacy agencies take great care to ensure that egg donors are healthy and meet all the requirements. This ensures both their health and safety during the egg donation process as well as the optimum health and quality of eggs used during surrogacy and IVF treatments.