An egg donor is an accountable, healthy, non-smoking woman between the ages of 21 and 28, of any ethnic and religious background, who is willing to donate her eggs to help someone else build their family.
This special lady donates a few of her eggs to a recipient who highly wishes to have a child but is incapable of generating eggs of her own. Or in some cases, the donation is made to a male(s) choosing to build a family without a female partner. An egg donor donates one of the most wonderful presents possible—the gift of possibly having a family.
Women who cannot produce or use their own eggs need contributed eggs. Below are some of the reasons why:
- Premature menopause
- If the mother is carrier of a genetic disease which she does not want to pass to her offspring
- Hormonal stimulation does not generate a positive ovarian response
- Hysterectomy or partial hysterectomy
- Previous sterility problems as a result of chemotherapy
Are you worried about having your own kids one day? There are no long-term studies that link donating to infertility. Each woman is created with many eggs in her ovaries. Every month, a woman’s body releases a specific number of eggs. The egg donation procedure is only using the number of eggs the body would normally generate in a month. The stimulation treatment given during the egg donation process is assisting to mature the donor’s eggs to hopefully be of high quality. Egg donations do not appear to have any long-term effects on sterility. The egg donor will be working with extremely qualified physicians who will take every step to ensure her health and safety.
Being an egg donor does require you to have a clear pap and STI screening within the past year. All other healthcare costs are financed by the recipients. Once approved to donate, you will also be given an expense account to cover various costs such as contraception (birth control), pap smear, and all local travel which is within 35 miles of where you live.
Most egg donors will be paid $9,000 -$12,000 for their time as an egg donor. A donor can donate up to 6 times so on average, a donor could be compensated around $63,000 for helping 6 families. The compensation is sent via direct deposit or mailed to the donor’s house once she (the egg donor) has completed retrieval and returned all additional medications to the doctor.
The egg donor’s kindness and generosity is much valued. All of our recipients believe that the compensation does not completely signify how thankful they are for an egg donor, but they do understand it helps to make sure you are paid for your efforts and time away from your family, school, and work.
Each cycle looks different as each physician we work with has their own protocols. However, on average you could expect your schedule to look something like the calendar graphic to the right. The commitment in 3-5 months with the bulk of that time the last 10-21 days. Your care coordinator will be sure you understand when and where your appointments are in advance so you can plan accordingly. You can choose to donate locally or be available and travel.
Most likely, yes. Being an egg donor really does take very little time leading up to the retrieval, but the time needed often falls during regular business hours. You will have four to eight appointments (usually in the morning) in addition to the actual egg retrieval. This does sometimes fall on the Saturdays and Sundays, but when committing to be an egg donor you want to be able to have some time off or a flexible schedule. If more time is needed, we can provide a “doctor’s note” for whoever is concerned.
Potential egg donors may continue to use their choice of birth control while waiting to be matched with an intended parent. Women who have received a Depo Provera shot will likely need to wait 6 months before donating. Those who have an IUD that produces hormones will likely need to have it removed. They might even need to wait for a few months in order to donate. Those who use an IUD that does not produce hormones, may donate without removing it. This decision will be made by the medical clinic once matched with a recipient. The contraception method is up to you and your doctor. However, in order to be available to be matched quickly, we suggest being on a 28 day contraception pill.
Yes, the egg is removed from the donor’s ovaries so this is not an issue.
Our standards are set by ASRM and their guidelines. Therefore, six egg donation cycles is the most you can donate in your life-time.
The short answer is yes. Egg Donor Solutions will never release your personal information. However, through DNA testing, technical advances, and facial recognition, we feel it is possible for someone to discover you. For more on this topic, please read the next 3 questions.
Many agencies, clinics, and egg banks will frequently use the word “anonymous” when discussing their egg donor program. We will not. Unidentified simply means we will not be releasing anyone’s personal information. With new DNA testing, technical advances, and facial recognition, we cannot guarantee your anonymity and consequently feel we have an obligation to inform you of the opposite. In new research, 78% of donor conceived children found their donor via DNA testing. We believe that percentage will only increase as the popularity of these kinds of tests increases.
The Donor Sibling Registry is a 3rd party website that will allow you to communicate with the intended parents and possibly a donor-conceived child through a username and not your full name. This will allow intended parents and/or a donor-conceived child to have accurate medical information and have contact in the future if all parties agree. With this system, you have full control of your personal identity and how you will or will not handle future contact. You will not be asked to sign up now, but it may be requested in the future. Right now, you simply need to be open to signing up when the time comes.
As opposed to Intended Parents or a future donor-conceived child reaching out to you through DNA sites, social media sites, or where you live, we want you to have safe and secure way to communicate if desired. Therefore, we recommend using the Donor Sibling Registry. Without the DSR being written into the direct donor agreement, future contact could be stressful or chaotic.
Some egg donors experience mild stomach ache and discomfort during the ovarian stimulation which is similar to symptoms of their monthly period. Some may also experience nausea and head-aches due to the increased hormones. Egg removal is conducted under ultrasound examination and usually takes 15 to 30 minutes. Just like any other out-patient surgery treatment, there is a risk that something unplanned could happen, but it is uncommon.
The major risk to egg donation is ovarian hyperstimulation or OHSS. This is where a woman's body experiences more discomfort than other donors due to enlarged ovaries and fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity. 10-20% of donors can face mild OHSS symptoms that does not require further treatment. These symptoms may include tiredness, bloating, cramping, nausea and pain/discomfort. These symptoms can be managed with additional fluids, pain medications, and rest.
Only 1-5% experience moderate to severe OHSS which would require follow up care in most cases by a physician. Examples of this care may include, additional IV fluids, aspiration of the ovaries, pain medications and in extremely rare circumstances hospitalization for additional observation. In the event of any of these complications, all care will be covered by insurance purchased (by the intended parents) prior to the start of the process.
After the procedure we are diligent about our follow up to insure you are properly taken care of. Egg Donor Solutions will refer you to a fertility specialist for additional care after the procedure if needed. Furthermore, the recipient family will purchase an insurance policy for each egg donor to cover any major complications that may occur after the donation process.
Click here to learn more about the risks and side effects to egg donation.
All medications required by an egg donor are administered by self-injection directed by a health care professional. Less sensitive areas such as the thigh or stomach are the best places to administer the injections. You will be required to administer your injections daily for 14-21 days to prepare your body for the egg retrieval process.
Most egg donors produce an average of 13-24 eggs. This number depends on the donor and how her body responds to the medications. As few as 5, or as many as 35 or more, eggs can be produced in each cycle.
Some egg donors experience light spotting, while others experience discomfort similar to menstrual cramps immediately after the egg retrieval process. These symptoms typically subside after a few days. In spite of the discomfort, most egg donors resume their regular activities very quickly. If an uncommon situation occurs, there are wonderfully qualified physicians that will be able to help.
We suggest that egg donors rest in bed on retrieval day and relinquish themselves from any responsibilities (work, school, childcare, etc). We recommended that you limit physical activities for a few days after the retrieval. Furthermore, we recommend NO sexual activity for 10-14 days or until your menstrual period starts. After that, you may resume all regular activities.
It is important to us at Egg Donor Solutions that each one of our egg donors are informed about what is expected of them as an egg donor. Part of this is that you completely understand the medications you will be receiving and administering to yourself.
First, you will likely be put on an oral birth control different from your current birth control. This is used to synchronize your cycle with the intended mother’s cycle. Until you are told otherwise by the medical clinic, continue using the contraception method you are currently using.
All medications required by an egg donor are administered by self-injection as directed by a health professional. Less sensitive areas such as the thigh or stomach are the best places to administer the injections. You will be required to administer injections daily for 14-21 days to prepare your body for the egg retrieval process.