Jefferson University Hospitals

Donor Eggs, Donor Sperm & Surrogate

Donor eggs, donor sperm and a surrogate are important options to help some couples achieve pregnancy.

If you and your partner are considering one or more of these options, the fertility specialists at Reproductive Medicine Associates (RMA) at Jefferson in Philadelphia can help.

What Does Egg Donation Involve?

Egg donors can be friends or family (called directed donors) or strangers that will never meet one another (called anonymous donors). The eggs can be used fresh, right after an in vitro fertilization (IVF) retrieval, or can be obtained already frozen (the IVF cycle was previously completed and the eggs were immediately frozen for future use).

Anonymous donors are between 21 and 30 years of age and in excellent health. Each anonymous donor goes through a physical exam, extensive medical and infectious disease testing, psychological screening and an interview with a psychologist.

Once the eggs have been retrieved from the donor or frozen eggs are thawed, the male partner will produce a sperm sample. The sperm is then combined with the donor eggs to generate embryos. Embryo transfer is performed two to six days after the embryos are generated, and embryos can also be frozen for future use.

What Does Sperm Donation Involve?

Donor sperm can be used when a male partner has severe semen abnormalities or is affected with a significant genetic defect. Single women or women in same-sex relationships who are seeking fertility can also use donor sperm.

What Does Surrogacy Involve?

A surrogate or gestational carrier is a woman who carries a pregnancy for another couple or woman. This is an important option for women who lack a uterus or who have structural abnormalities with their uterus. It's sometimes recommended for women for whom the process of pregnancy/delivery might be medically dangerous. The process is also useful for same-sex male couples seeking to reproduce using donor eggs.

A couple will use IVF to generate one or more embryos that can then be transferred to the uterus of the surrogate. Donor sperm and/or donor eggs may also be used in conjunction with a surrogate.

Why Choose RMA at Jefferson for Donor Eggs, Donor Sperm or Surrogacy?

The expert team at RMA at Jefferson has extensive experience identifying and screening appropriate egg donors, sperm donors and surrogates for individuals and for couples.

With our attention to detail and our insistence of safety, we provide exceptional pregnancy rates using donor eggs/sperm and gestational carriers – all in a warm, safe and private environment.

Schedule an Appointment with a Fertility Expert

To schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists, please call 215-922-1556.

Flexible financing options, a refund guarantee program, military and first-responder discounts, and financial aid programs each aim to make our world-class care as widely available as possible. To reach out to a financial counselor, please e-mail