Egg donors provide their eggs to intended parents who cannot provide healthy eggs of their own to have a baby. Egg donation can be a rewarding and meaningful experience. It’s also a fairly complex process, and it’s important to be fully informed before deciding to become a donor. Here are answers to five common questions for egg donors.
Does Egg Donation Hurt?
Egg donation involves around two weeks of daily medication injections, followed by a simple outpatient procedure to retrieve the eggs. Some egg donors have side effects from the medications similar to a heavy period, including bloating, cramping, or abdominal discomfort. Similarly, donors may feel some abdominal cramps or light spotting after the egg retrieval. Most donors do not feel strong pain, and usually any symptoms go away on their own within a few days of the egg retrieval. As with any surgical procedure involving anesthesia, there is a very small risk of more serious side effects. Overall, egg donation is a safe and well-established process.
Will Egg Donation Affect My Future Fertility?
There is no evidence to suggest that egg donation leads to any long term risks, including infertility. During an egg donation cycle, the hormone medications cause eggs that would normally disappear during a menstrual cycle to develop and mature for retrieval. This means egg donation doesn’t “use up” eggs that you could later use to conceive. Based on the available research and evidence, medical professionals (including our PNWF staff) feel that the risk of long term effects is extremely small, if present.
Can I Donate Eggs as a Student?
If you can commit to the time and lifestyle requirements of egg donation, you can certainly donate while studying.
To become a donor, you will need to attend and pass various medical and psychological screening appointments. During an egg donation cycle, donors come into the clinic for regular monitoring appointments over the course of around two weeks, and then again for the egg retrieval. These appointments usually happen in the morning, and in some cases (such as the egg retrieval itself) are time-sensitive and can’t be rescheduled. If your class schedule does not allow for these appointments, you may not be able to donate at this time.
Agreeing to donate eggs also means committing to certain behavioral criteria. For instance, egg donors agree to abstain from drinking, smoking, drug use, and sexual intercourse during their donation cycle.
How Much Money Do Egg Donors Make?
Egg donors receive compensation for their time and effort. The average donor cycle in the US offers $6,000-$10,000 in compensation. At our partner egg bank, SIMPLIFY, donors receive between $8,000-$10,000 per cycle, depending on previous donor experience and other factors.
Can Egg Donors Meet Donor-Conceived Children?
As a potential donor, you should think about whether or not you would want to have contact with any individuals conceived from your donated eggs. Once you have made that decision, you can decide where and how to donate.
For instance, most frozen egg banks (including SIMPLIFY) work with non-identified donor arrangements. This means the intended parents only receive certain non-identifying information about the donor, such as physical traits and medical history. They do not have direct contact with the donor.
The other type of donor arrangement is an identified donor arrangement, where the donor and intended parents either know each other prior to donation or meet during the donation process. Which type of donor agreement you want depends on what contact level you prefer.
In either case, it’s important to note three things:
- Donor-conceived children have their own rights and abilities once they become adults, and they may try to locate and contact their egg donor, regardless of the donor agreement.
- The ease and availability of at-home DNA testing means no clinic can guarantee fully anonymous egg donation.
- Donor agreements do not affect parental rights. Egg donors do not have parental rights or responsibilities for any donor-conceived children, whether or not they ever meet.
Supportive, Expert Care for Egg Donors
We want our donors to feel fully informed and comfortable with the egg donation process. We hope these answers help with some common questions, and are happy to answer any other questions you may have. To learn more about becoming an egg donor, contact us today.