Everything You Need to Know About Becoming an Egg Donor

Why Egg Donation?

From a single woman seeking the chance to become a mother, to same sex couples looking to complete their family circle; there are many reasons to become an egg donor. The most common reasons couples or single women utilize egg donation seem to be issues related to infertility and advanced maternal age. Sometimes people turn to egg donation to avoid passing down detrimental genetic factors to their children. Whatever the case, your decision to become an egg donor will impact the lives of others while giving you a sense of fulfillment and great purpose.

Who Can Become an Egg Donor?

Can anyone become an egg donor? The simple answer: No. The FDA treats eggs like they would any other organ when it comes to donations, establishing several requirements to become an egg donor. General requirements include a thorough medical history, ovarian reserve assessment, physical exam, psychological testing, and medical screening. Physically, doctors will perform blood tests, drug tests, STI testing, and examine the number of eggs in your ovaries via ultrasound. Your travel history may even be checked to ensure that you have not been to a Zika-affected country within the past 6-12 months. On average, the typical age of egg donors is 21-32 years of age.

Egg Donation and Retrieval Process

Normally, a healthy woman releases one egg per month during ovulation. However, most donors will need to undergo a series of hormone injections and fertility drugs that stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs at a time. This hyperstimulation, may cause so minor side effects such as:

• Fatigue
• Hot flashes
• Headache
• Minor body aches

The extraction process is considered a minor procedure, minimally invasive, and is generally 20-30 minutes long. The doctor will ensure that you are comfortable and feel no pain during the procedure by sedating you. Once sedated, the doctor will perform a transvaginal ovarian aspiration to extract the eggs from the ovaries. This is done by inserting an ultrasound probe into the vagina and removing the eggs from the follicles with a small needle. After the extraction is complete, and the sedation wears off, you will be able to go home and rest. You will not need to stay overnight in the hospital. The general down time and recovery varies from donor to donor. Some women return to their normal jobs and activities the next day, while others need several days to feel recovered. Most donors report only mild cramping and/or bleeding for a few days after the procedure, similar to a light period. This usually goes away within a few days to a week and without the need for pain killers.

Low Risk Side Effects

As with any medical procedure there are some possible risks and side effects when you become an egg donor. These risks are rare and uncommon but may include:

• Reaction to the anesthetic
• Ovarian bleeding
• Damage to bowel, bladder, or nearby blood vessels
• Infection requiring antibiotics
• OHSS
• Weight gain
• Stomach pain
• Vomiting

How Do I Donate My Eggs?

There are multiple ways to become an egg donor. The safest is to go through an agency for egg donation. An agency can ensure payment for your donated eggs, compensation for lost wages, parking, mileage, lodging, medical bills, and other expenses. You will be required to give your personal information and medical history when you become an egg donor, but the agency can ensure your anonymity if you do not want to disclose this information to potential parents. Directed egg donation occurs in cases where a friend or family member approaches you directly and asks you to donate your egg(s) to them in order to help them conceive. Going through agency has its own benefits and should be looked into thoroughly to determine the best fit for you. If you prefer all the heavy lifting such as pre-screening and matching with prospective parents, being done for you, an agency like Open Arms Surrogacy and Egg Donation is a great option.

Egg Donor Cost and Compensation

How much can you get paid when you become an egg donor? Well, an egg donor can make anywhere from $5,000 up to $50,000 depending on the agency, how many times you donate, and the program to which you are accepted. Potential parents are also a key factor, as some are willing to negotiate a private price if specific criteria are met. For example, an intended parent may interview a potential egg donor and offer to pay a bonus if that egg donor went to Harvard. In fact, it is not uncommon for a young, healthy college student to donate their eggs in order to pay off tuition fees or student debt. Whether you donate for the extra cash, or simply for the joy of helping others achieve their dreams of parenthood, most agencies believe you should not have to pay to donate. Agencies and/or prospective parents typically cover:

• Medical and Psychological expenses
• Screening costs
• Medications
• Legal fees
• Travel expenses

How Many Times Can I Donate?

It is recommended that you donate no more than 6 times.

Legalities

Egg donation agencies and clinics will require donors to sign legal paperwork ensuring that the donor has no legal rights or responsibilities to the embryos or any resulting children. Even though the woman receiving the egg is not biologically and genetically related to the child, legally she will be recorded as the birth mother.

Summary

In conclusion, becoming an egg donor has many benefits. It is a brief procedure and complications rarely occur. Donating may provide you with the opportunity to travel with little to no out-of-pocket cost. The money you can earn if you become an egg donor can be used as a down payment, to pay off debts, or save for a rainy day. More importantly, you can make a family’s dreams of parenthood a reality. Whatever the reason you choose to donate, with the medical advancements that we have today, there has never been a safer time to pursue it. Open Arms Surrogacy and Egg Donation offer competitive compensation and best in class medical care to help you make dreams come true.

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