Egg donation can be an emotionally satisfying — and lucrative — thing to do. There continues to be a need for donated eggs for those who want to start a family and, for whatever reason, need a little help getting there. If you have been thinking about donating your eggs, you have probably done a little research to see what it’s all about. Here is a definitive list of six things you need to know about egg donation.
1. It IS a legal process.
You will be asked to sign a contract formalizing your agreement to becoming an egg donor. The contract also outlines the expectations and requirements for all parties throughout the donor cycle. Don’t worry; you will be referred to an attorney to help you through the legal stuff. Usually, you don’t need to sign a contract until you have passed the medical screening and you have been matched with a potential recipient.
2. There are age and health requirements.
There are criteria for becoming an egg donor.
You are between the ages of 20 and 35, depending on the clinic requirements. This is the age range before egg quality starts to decrease.
You must have a low chance of passing along any genetic diseases.
You must pass a medical exam that includes blood tests and an ultrasound.
While not a requirement, you may be more attractive to potential recipients if you have a post-high school education.
3. There's a time commitment, but it is relatively minimal.
The egg retrieval process lasts around 2 to 3 weeks, from the day the medications begin to the day the eggs are extracted. You will have regular clinic visits, half of them being local, to check your progress and health, which are brief. The extraction procedure is performed under sedation, so you won’t be awake, but the actual procedure only takes about 20 minutes. You will be at the outpatient facility for just a few hours, and then you’re free to go home.
4. Clinic visits are required.
During your clinic visits, you will have blood drawn to measure specific hormones that are being regulated through the injection of various medications. You will also undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound to count and measure the follicles in your ovaries where the eggs are maturing. The visit takes around 15 to 20 minutes, and then you are on your way. Remember, the medications and visits only last around two to three weeks.
5. It will not harm your future fertility.
Don’t worry: donating your eggs now will not harm your fertility later when you are ready to have a child of your own. Each woman has thousands of cells ready to mature into eggs. In the ordinary course of things, egg donation takes around a dozen or so. As a result, there are plenty left over for you. The retrieval process is harmless as well. No scarring or other issues will occur because the eggs are retrieved through your vagina — it’s similar to a pap smear.
6. You can (and should) get paid.
Again, depending on the clinic and your contract, you can earn up to $10,000 or more per cycle. You are not being paid for your eggs, but for your time and effort. Also, you are eligible in a few months to donate again if you wish, so you could donate your eggs multiple times and earn some serious cash.
Egg donation is not dangerous, it will not harm your fertility, and the time commitment is brief. In the space of three weeks, you can help someone have a baby to love and cherish while performing a needed service and putting aside some money for your own bundle of joy.
Brittany Young has a passion for health and wellness. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics for Bright Expectations, a full-service egg donor agency. The parent company, Southern California Reproductive Center, is one of the most respected fertility clinics in the world. Thousands of babies and millions of memories have started with SCRC.