Why Weight Matters with Egg Donation

February 23, 2021
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Weight Matters With Egg Donation For Several Reasons

Weight matters with egg donation for the health of the donor, but also for the hormones that must be prescribed in order to stimulate the egg maturity for a retrieval.

While not the only indicator of health, body mass index (BMI) is a measure used to help evaluate the health of donors during the initial screening. Thousands of applicants are screened on a monthly basis at Fairfax EggBank, and it is essential that the preliminary evaluation establish a good foundation for continuing through the rest of the screenings. BMI is a medically accepted and scientifically proven formula that is an indicator for medical risk.

Medical evidence shows that people with BMI’s under 18 or over 26 are at a higher risk for developing medical complications. Our donors’ health and safety are our primary concerns, which is why we only accept donors with a BMI between 18-26. We realize that there are many healthy individuals with BMI levels outside our requirements; however, due to the volume of applications we receive we’re unable to evaluate every applicant on a case-by-case basis.

When a young woman decides to become an egg donor, she must meet a strict list of egg donor requirements to apply.

Most of these requirements are expected:

  • Age between 19 and 30
  • Good physical and mental health
  • BMI (body mass index) in the range of 18-26
  • Non-smoker
  • Not pregnant or breastfeeding

At first glance, requiring a certain BMI might seem biased or even insulting, as if it’s about judging a donor’s physical appearance. This is not the case when it comes to donating eggs. According to many scientific studies, a BMI that’s too high or too low can correspond with problems that could impact an egg donor’s health as well as the quality and quantity of eggs retrieved.

Hormones: How BMI affects Your Eggs

We’ve talked about what BMI measures—Why Does Weight Matter With Egg Donation

What does weight or BMI  have to do with your fitness to be an egg donor? Scientific studies show a link between a higher BMI and issues with eggs and how they develop. Fat tissue (also known as adipose tissue) secretes hormones that could have a negative effect on your eggs and the hormones that help them develop. For example, adipose tissue produces more cytokines. As a result, chronic inflammation may impact egg development. Another hormone produced by adipose tissue, gherlin, affects estradiol and progesterone, which are produced by the ovaries and play in a critical role in egg development and fertility. A high BMI can have a negative impact on the quality and development of eggs and embryos, even after the eggs have been retrieved.

All of these factors can have serious consequences for recipients hoping for a successful pregnancy.

Higher BMI, Higher Dose of Meds

Another issue with a higher BMI is that it might mean more medication is needed during the egg donation process. A higher dose and/or a longer dosage of gonadotropins (egg stimulation meds used in egg donations and IVF) could lead to fewer eggs retrieved. A lower number of eggs can mean less success for patients using IVF treatment with donor eggs.

Low BMI and Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Finally, a low BMI can pose risk factors as well. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a possible side effect from hormones used in egg donation where the ovaries can become swollen and fluid can accumulate in the belly area. Several recent studies found that a lower BMI can increase the risk. As responsible medical professionals, we want to do everything we can to reduce risk to donors.

Your Eggs and Your Health

At Fairfax EggBank, we’re not concerned about our donors’ BMI because of appearance. We’re concerned about egg donor safety and health, including reproductive health. We care about our egg donors, special people who give a precious gift of hope to infertile couples.

Learn more about BMI and why weight matters with egg donation here: Egg Donation and BMI


Fairfax EggBank is a leader in advanced techniques for frozen donor eggs for fertility. Our commitment to donor quality and service excellence makes us a premier, yet cost-effective, solution for intended parents. We work closely with all of our donor egg recipients through each stage of the process, and is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community.

Our Egg Donor Database showcases one of the largest repositories for frozen donor eggs in the United States.


We are accepting applications for our donor egg program through the varied stay-at-home requirements across the United States. Our team of dedicated coordinators is here to answer all of your questions and guide you through the Fairfax EggBank egg donor process. We are providing support to all of our locations to ensure the health and safety of our donors. This is an evolving situation and a time of uncertainty. We are committed to your safety, health, and well-being.

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