Does Donating Eggs Affect My Future Fertility?

One of the most common concerns potential egg donors have is whether donating eggs will negatively affect their chance of having a child of their own one day.  The good news is that donating your eggs will not affect your future fertility.

In a small study done in Belgium, it was shown that donating eggs does not affect your chance of having a child in future. Out of a group of 60 women who had donated eggs, 54 later became pregnant within a year of trying to conceive, and three more women became pregnant within 18 months of trying to conceive, all without fertility treatment. The remaining three women in the study became pregnant with the help of fertility treatments. For two of these women, the treatments were needed due to fertility problems in their male partner.  

Another myth about egg donation is that by donating eggs, you might deplete your own supply of eggs. But this is not the case. 

When you ovulate naturally, your body starts to mature 15 to 20 eggs every cycle, which all fight it out to be the one winner that makes it to ovulation.  The ones that don’t win the race get reabsorbed into your body and disappear.  When you donate eggs, your body might mature 10 to 20 eggs per cycle which are then matured through the use of fertility medication and collected in the egg retrieval process. So those 10-20 eggs which are retrieved during egg retrieval are the same eggs that would have lost the race and gone to waste anyway.  At the end, you have the same amount of eggs left in reserve that you would’ve had anyway. The only difference between a natural cycle and an egg donation cycle, is that the eggs that would have gone to waste are collected and donated so someone whose only chance of having a baby is through the gift of donor eggs.

In fact, a recent study published in a medical journal showed that even donating multiple times over does not affect your ovarian reserve, which is a fancy way of saying donating many times will not affect your future fertility.

Another question you might have is whether the fertility medication you take during an egg donation cycle might affect your hormones in future. More good news – they do not affect your hormones in future.  The fertility medication you take when you donate simply boosts your natural hormones while you take the medication, and then quickly disappears after you’ve finished with your egg donation cycle.

In conclusion, not only is donating your eggs a very rewarding process, it is also safe and has no negative affect on your chances of having your own children one day.


Tertia Albertyn is the founder of Nurture - South Africa’s longest-running and most successful Egg Donation Program. An accomplished speaker and an award-winning published author, as well as an ex-infertility patient herself, she is highly regarded in South Africa and internationally for the work she does in infertility. Tertia was instrumental in establishing the first FDA-approved frozen donor egg bank in Africa. Tertia has an MBA from the University of Cape Town and lives in Cape Town, South Africa with her husband and three children.