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Egg Donors: Frequently Asked Questions

Who is an egg donor and why make the decision to donate?

An egg donor is a healthy young woman between the ages of 19 and 29.  This giving woman donates her eggs to a recipient who desires to have a child but who is unable to produce viable eggs on her own.  After retrieval, the eggs are fertilized in a laboratory, hopefully resulting in embryos which are placed into the recipient’s uterus.  The intended mother then has the wonderful opportunity of potentially becoming pregnant and delivering a child to finally create the family she has dreamed about.  An egg donor truly gives one of the most beautiful gifts possible.


What is the first step of becoming a donor?

Recipient couples are avidly looking for a donor who matches their physical characteristics so that their future child will also share the same attributes.  Once you apply and receive approval as a donor through our agency, your information is placed in our donor online database where couples and physicians can view your profile and photo.  Please rest assured that your confidential information will not be shared as this would be considered a violation of your privacy.  The Intended Parents will not be able to obtain your identity (unless a mutual, open donation is desired), but will know your physical characteristics and any important details relating to your medical, reproductive and family history.

Will donating my eggs affect my chances of achieving pregnancy in the future?

All women are born with approximately two million eggs.  Every month a group of eggs result in ovulation.  Your body naturally selects one egg each cycle to ovulate and the remaining eggs from this group do not develop and are lost.  Fertility medications enable your body to keep many of those eggs that would have normally been lost and do not affect any eggs toward positive pregnancy and growth in future cycles.


On average, how many eggs are obtained during retrieval?

Statistics state that the average retrieval results in obtaining 10-20 eggs in one cycle.  This number varies per individual and is dependent on how well their ovaries stimulate on the prescribed fertility medication.


What types of medications are required and what are their potential side effects?

Most donors experience very little or no discomfort while taking the medications.  If side effects occur, you will most likely experience breast tenderness, bloating, irritability and slight headaches.  One or a combination of the following medications will be prescribed:
Lupron, Folistim, Gonal-F, Menopur, Repronex.


How long is the egg donation process and how long during this process am I required to take fertility medication?

After being chosen by a recipient couple, the process takes approximately 6-8 weeks.  The first 3-4 weeks will usually require one to two doctors visits and mostly paperwork to be completed for our agency as well as the doctor’s facility.  Depending on what medications the doctor determines best for you, the duration that you will be taking the fertility medications will range anywhere from 2-3 weeks.  Fertility meds are dispensed in the form of injections (not pills) so you must feel comfortable giving yourself a once-daily shot (same time each day).


How many times may I donate my eggs to a needy couple?

If after your first donation you have a positive experience, you most certainly may remain in our donor online database to be chosen by another couple and donate for a second time.  According to the most recent guidelines published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), women may donate up to a maximum of 6 times.  Some physicians and medical facilities will allow donors to only donate up to four or five times.


What type of compensation is set forth by your agency for egg donors?

Compensation is based on the number of successful donations achieved resulting in the following:

$5,000 – first time donor
$7,000 – second time donor
$9,000 – third time donor
$10,000 – fourth through sixth time donor

Although we have heard of instances where donors have received compensation over the amount of $10,000, the ASRM frowns upon compensating over this amount.   Our agency prides itself in adhering to the ASRM’s guidelines.


How are my medical bills paid?

The donor has absolutely NO out-of-pocket expenses and all medical appointments, medications, screenings, legal, travel, etc. are paid for by the intended parents.
A temporary short-term health insurance policy is provided to the donor by the recipient couple for the duration of the 6-10 week donation process.  The donor is given a temporary insurance card for use during this timeframe and also for post-op care if necessary.  If you, as the donor, currently have health insurance coverage, then this policy will serve as secondary coverage for what your primary does not cover.  If you do not have health insurance, the temporary short-term policy that is provided by the recipient couple will serve as your primary coverage and is to be used only as instructed and after contacting your physician if any issues arise.


How much time is needed from the egg donor and will the donor miss any school or work?

As an egg donor, you will need to commit to 5-7 doctors visits over the course of the 6-8 week process.  Most of the appointments will easily be able to be scheduled around your work or school.  However, you will need to take off of school or work for the day of the retrieval and possibly the day after as well.  Upon request, you may easily obtain a doctors note from your physician.

 

 

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