Recruiting potential egg donors

Being Russia’s cultural capital, St. Petersburg has always attracted the most talented young people from all over Russia in search for the best education and jobs. Many women in Russia still prefer to give birth to their children in their 20s. Hence there are many young, well-educated, fertile women in St. Petersburg, able and willing to donate their eggs. We recruit only healthy, young, attractive and well-educated women who are prepared to undergo our comprehensive tests and to be psychologically screened and counselled to ensure that they are willing to make a full commitment to being a donor. This rigorous selection process offers my patients reassurance and high success rates in their egg donation treatment.

Russian egg donor requirements

Under Russian legislation, egg donors may only be healthy women between 20 and 35 years of age who have at least one healthy child of their own. These conditions match the requirements of the European Society for Human Reproduction (ESHRE). The average age of the egg donors whom I recommend to my patients is 26. According to Russian legislation, all donors who have entered the egg donation programme anonymously remain anonymous to the parents-to-be and the future child.

The Russian law does not prohibit egg donation by a family relative or friend of the mother-to-be. If so, the donor and the recipient are known to each other before the donation procedure, so anonymity is not relevant. They already have some personal relationship which they regulate by themselves. In such a case, the egg donation recipient introduces her own known donor to the clinic herself.

If you would prefer to bring your own egg donor to Russia, she is allowed to be older than 35. However, I would not recommend this as the success rate of treatment is lower when using an older egg donor. There are also greater risks of certain genetic conditions, especially Down’s Syndrome.

St. Petersburgers

St. Petersburg has a population of over 5 million. Hundreds of world-famous people have been born, have worked and lived in St. Petersburg. For over centuries, St. Petersburg has been famous for its culture and experience in classical ballet and hockey, figure skating and football. There are more than 110 museums, more than 200 libraries, and over 90 theatres in St. Petersburg. No wonder St. Petersburg attracts the most talented and ambitious young people from all over Russia, who want to receive a good higher education and search for a high-level job.

On the other hand, Russia’s conservative tradition of young couples getting married and having their first baby in their early twenties has still not been forgotten, in comparison to the rest of Europe. Many young women combine bringing up their children with education and work. Being an egg donor enables them to gain a reasonable amount of financial compensation for doing something truly worthwhile, while also being able to spend enough time with their children. So you can see why St. Petersburg is a top destination for egg donation, since there are many young, educated fertile women living here who are willing to donate their eggs.

The Donors’ Motivation

We recruit potential egg donors via information in the media and in social internet networks. Many of them find out about egg donation from their friends and relatives, who have reported about their positive experience in donating eggs and recommend contacting us. Potential donors are motivated via financial compensation, by regular, free of charge, thorough health examinations, and through the psychological benefit of knowing they are helping another human being in such an important way. Their financial compensation is comparable to the average monthly salary of a young woman in Russia and can be significant addition to her family budget, especially as all the donors have small children.

Regular, thorough medical examinations carried out within the egg donation programme provide our egg donors with regular check-ups of their general and gynaecological health via lab and ultrasound tests, followed up by a doctor’s appointment. Many of my active donors mention that they have never been checked so attentively and addressed with such respect, not even during their own pregnancy and delivery!

Their psychological motivation for donating is the feeling of one’s own utmost importance that donation gives. Having helped someone else to realise their life’s dream and being treated with care has helped many donors to gain higher self-esteem, change and widen their attitude to life, find a better job, meet a new partner if they are single, get married, or have a second child. Many life stories of donors have gone before my eyes and I can say with relief that their donation has helped not only many recipients to realise their dream, but many donors too to find their way in life.

The screening process for the AVA-Peter’s Egg Donor Bank

All the potential egg donors invited for my patients undergo a full medical and psychological evaluation to ensure they are both physically and mentally fit to donate. The screening process begins with a careful interview to assess the general health and capabilities of a potential donor.

In compliance with Russian law and the recommendations of ESHRE (the European Society for Human Reproduction) and ASRM (the American Society for Reproductive Medicine), our egg donors undergo the following examinations and checks:

  1. Initial appointment with a gynaecologist:
    • assessment of general abilities and intellectual development
    • general health history
    • gynaecological/reproductive history
    • genetic history
  2. Examination of ovaries and uterus via ultrasound
  3. HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C tests (every 3 months)
  4. Chromosomal screening

  5. Clinical blood rnd_test: Haemoglobin, RBC (red blood cells), and WBC (white blood cells including a count of their fractions i.e. lymphocytes, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils) (every month)
  6. (every month)
  7. Biochemical blood rnd_test (sugar, protein, liver and kidney values) (every month)
  8. Blood coagulation rnd_test (every month)
  9. Electrocardiogram (every year)
  10. Lung X-ray (every year) 
  11. Cytology smear (every year)
  12. Bacteriology smear (every month)
  13. Smears for genital infections (clamydia and others) (every 6 months)
  14. Appointment with general practitioner (every year)
  15. Appointment with psychiatrist (every year)

Potential egg donors provide the Clinic with the detailed information about their medical and family history, which remains medical secrecy. To the possible recipient these egg donors have agreed to disclose their age, blood group, height, weight, colours, family situation, education, occupation, interests.

IDEAS invites only the best donors to participate in its Data Base.

The IDEAS is an abbreviation for Internationa Donor Egg Agency St. Petersburg, which belongs to AVA network. At the same time IDEAS contains more than 120 ideas about each egg donor. It presents medical, genetic, social and psychological information about each egg donor as well as several photos in her age under 10 in its Data Base.

Only donors who have donated before with a positive result in AVA-Peter or other clinics in St. Petersburg and who are known as kind and reliable persons were invited to participate in the data base. They are good looking and educated young women, who devote a lot of time not only to their personal development but also to bringing up and developing their own child/children. Potential Data base participants agree to disclose the requested multiple details and undergo a detailed 2 hour interview with our professional coordinator to present them. All this data still leaves the identity of an egg donor anonymous as the Russian legislation requires but at the same time provides a very clear impression about each egg donor as a person. You can see an example of such a donor profile here.