Curious About Egg Donation? This is What You Need to Know
There are several reasons why women consider becoming egg donors. For some, the choice is driven by compassion towards helping others, and there’s also the handsome compensation for the commitment.
The egg donation process generally comprises 2 months, and the donors will need to undergo screening and legal process. If you are planning to become an egg donor and wondering what kind of commitment is required, this piece will give you a brief.
Egg donation steps
- Application: Many egg donor agencies are looking for young, healthy women willing to donate eggs. Find a suitable agency and apply to become an egg donor.
- Screening: The American Society for Reproductive Medicine and FDA has certain criteria to meet to become an egg donor. Hence, you will undergo medical screening to become an egg donor. These screenings may include:
- physical exams;
- gynecological exam;
- blood and urine tests;
- collecting your family medical history;
- psychological evaluation.
- Acceptance and matching: Once you have completed the screening, you will be accepted into the program and matched with intended parents looking for an egg donor like you.
- Medications: For the first 10 to 12 days of your donation cycle, you will be given hormonal medications that help stimulate your ovaries and mature your eggs. These medications will be delivered via injection that you need to administer yourself.
- Egg retrieval: Once your eggs reach the desired maturation level, a doctor will administer an hCG trigger shot approximately 34 to 36 hours before the retrieval. The retrieval is done using ultrasound-guided suction needles. Recovery is performed under sedation, so you won’t feel pain.
- Recovery: You will need to bring a support person with you on the retrieval date as you may feel dazed as you come out of sedation. The doctor will give you instructions to follow during your recovery, and it’s best to take it easy and rest the day after the retrieval procedure.
Is egg donation safe?
Yes! Medical professionals closely supervise egg donation, is generally a safe process and does not cause long-term health risks. This includes your fertility health.
Some women feel that donating their eggs will deplete their egg reserve. That is not true at all.
Research showed that most young adult females have around 400,000 eggs. So, even if you donate 24 eggs per donation cycle for multiple cycles, you will still have plenty of eggs left for the future.
Some tips to prepare for egg donation
Preparing your body for egg donation is somewhat the same as preparing your body for the In Vitro fertilization process.
- Take good care of yourself by following a healthy lifestyle
- Eat a balanced diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein
- Make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Try to avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol
- Get regular to moderate exercises, like walking, swimming, or yoga
- Abstain from tobacco products and recreational drugs
- It’s also a good idea to create a support network for yourself comprising your friends and family. Egg donation commitment may feel a bit challenging both physically and emotionally. So having trusted friends or family members on your side is always a good idea.
- Ask questions no matter how insignificant they feel.
- It is advised not to donate more than 6 times
The egg donation contract and what it includes
You will have to sign a legal contract to become an egg donor. This contract will mention things like your responsibilities, your compensation, your safety, and rights, etc. Here are some of those things,
- The custody and parenting of the baby is the responsibility of the intended parents and not the egg donor;
- Whether the egg donor will be able to contact any resulting children;
- Whether the donation will be anonymous;
- Exchanging medical information between the donor and intended parents;
- Time and place of the egg retrieval;
- How much you will get in compensation, and when;
- How any related expenses (travel, health insurance, unexpected costs) will be covered?
With so many women needing quality eggs, the wait list for donor eggs is extensive. It’s not uncommon for a couple to wait over a year for a donation. While the demand is great, the donation process is nothing to take lightly. There are benefits to becoming an egg donor, but factors may give you some pause.
The Pros and cons of donating eggs:
- You get to help countless infertile couples for whom egg donation is the only way to have a baby
- The egg donation compensation ranges from $6,000 to $25,000 depending on various factors such as your education, residence, etc. This is the amount you can earn for a 2-month commitment. That means you can quickly repay your student loan, buy a car, and plan a vacation with the money.
- Note that you can donate up to 6 times with a 3 months gap in between, and experienced donors get paid even more.
- It costs you nothing to donate. The agency or the intended parents pay off all your traveling and lodging expenses.
- You’ll have no financial or parental obligation for any baby that is created through your donation.
As with any medical process, you need to be aware of some risks involved with egg donation. Here are some of them:
- In rare cases, some women may develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This happens when the patient over-responds to the fertility medications, causing swollen and painful ovaries. It is recommended that you contact your donor clinic immediately if you feel any discomfort as, depending on severity, it can be life-threatening.
- You must consider the risk of twisting your ovaries if you are doing strenuous activity.
- The entire egg donation process can take several months, depending on the process.
- You may have to adjust your current lifestyle and daily schedule to address the appointments and commitments.
Take awayEgg donation can be a fulfilling experience knowing it will change someone’s life forever. You will also be generously compensated for your tie, effort and sacrifices. However, this is a medical procedure. So make sure you fully know the process before committing to it.