Clothes, food, and money.
All things we regularly donate to help those around us.
But what does it mean to donate eggs?
If you’re curious about donating eggs, here are 7 facts that may help you understand the process better.
1. Egg Donation is Highly Regulated
Just like any tissue or organ donation, egg donation is highly regulated. There are a lot of rules that agencies and clinics must follow to ensure the safety of all parties involved.
First, all women who want to be egg donors must go through a series of physical and psychological screenings.
These screenings address issues such as
Travel to and from a Zika-infected country
Tattoos or piercings with nonsterile needles in the past 12 months
History of STDs
Any Drug Use
The regularity of Menstrual Cycles
These screenings not only protect the intended parents but the donors as well. Donors will receive detailed information regarding their own health.
Only the women who are deemed healthy and emotionally sounds will be able to donate.
2. It Takes Time to Get Matched
The term ‘matched’ refers to when a match is made between intended parents and an egg donor.
Choosing an egg donor is a big decision for the intended parents. They need to take their time to find the perfect donor for their family. Even if an egg donor is ready and willing to donate right away, she may need to show some patience.
Egg donors don’t go through the retrieval process until they are matched with a couple who is ready for her eggs.
3. It’s Always a Good Idea to Use a Reputable Agency
Not all agencies are created equal. Make sure the agency you decide to work with adheres to the ASRM guidelines. These guidelines are in place to protect the integrity of the egg donation industry.
Other signs of a good agency include:
Partnerships with the best fertility clinics
A quality database of donors
Rigorous screening process
4. All Kinds of Donors are Needed
Ivy league college degree.
While these are all significant accomplishments, they are not necessary to have to be an egg donor. The truth is, we want to have a very diverse database. Every intended couple is looking for something different, and we want to be able to give them the best chance of finding what they want.
In fact, Jewish, Indian, and Asian donors can actually earn more money. Donors in these ethnic groups are always in high demand because they are harder to find.
So regardless of your school or professional accomplishments, anyone who wants to donate is welcome to apply.
5. Donating Eggs Takes 30 Minutes
Ok, let’s clarify.
Yes, the retrieval process takes 30 minutes, but the entire process takes a little more time than that.
First, the screening process can take up to six weeks, then we wait to be matched, and then the hormone treatments take two weeks.Don’t worry though, you’ll be able to work and play according to your own schedule up til a few days before the retrieval.
The retrieval happens at a professional IVF clinic. A light sedative is given, and the eggs are extracted through a needle transvaginally. This procedure takes about 30 minutes. There is minimal pain, and the egg donor should be able to return to normal activities within the next day or two.
6. Egg Donation Doesn’t Have to Be Anonymous
Unless of course, you want it to be.
Some intended parents and donors decide to remain completely anonymous. In this case, the agency will handle all communications between the two parties.
But, a recent trend has donors and parents meeting and getting to know each other. This can be beneficial for many reasons, including getting to know the woman your child will share DNA with.
The connection can be short-term and only maintained during the egg donation process, or they can remain acquaintances and share the child’s significant milestones with each other.
7. It’s Not All About the Money
Women who donate their eggs are not giving to get rich.
Think about it, The average compensation for egg donors is around $15,000. That’s barely enough to cover a year’s worth of college tuition or a down payment on an apartment.
Most women who donate are doing so because they want to help those who can’t have a baby on their own.
So, while the money helps, the altruism is the driving factor.