Family Is a Blessing: 7 Things You Need to Know Before Deciding to Become an Egg Donor
Nothing feels satisfying more than selflessly donating your eggs and help someone realize her dream of conceiving naturally. You will have brought immense joy to a couple who probably could have lived without a baby of their own. Compensation for being an egg donor is incredible too.
But just because you’ve decided to go down this route doesn’t mean you automatically qualify. Maybe you’ve done your research and discovered that there are a couple of questions worth asking before donating the eggs. If you aren’t sure whether you truly fit the bill or perhaps you have no idea how risky and emotionally taxing the procedure is, then there’s a lot you need to know.
Seven of the most pertinent must-knows
1. Ways of donating your eggs
The donation isn’t restricted to the clinic running the services alone. You can do it at an agency or directly having agreed with the recipient. However, clinics are the main go-to facilities not because they pay well, but due to how friendly and well accommodating their programs are. Agencies are somehow ‘headhunters’ and do pay based on certain traits of the donor.
2. How much in terms of Compensation
Well, this is a thorny issue because, much as egg donation is a lucrative business, compensations do vary. It depends on a host of factors, including the area’s average cost of living, working hours spent visiting the facility throughout the entire period, the donor’s wellness and so forth. In a state like Washington DC, for example, rates vary from as little as $6,000 to $8,000; sometimes beyond.
In an agency, the donor can get the compensation that’s far much higher than what clinics offer – sometimes between $25,000 and $50,000. This is because they usually approach the donor, unlike the other way round. The cheapest though is when the donor and the recipient conduct a simple arrangement and contact the facility.
It is important to note that ethos and ethics governing this whole practice discourage the idea of promoting it as a venture of getting lots of money in compensation. It is an egg donation arrangement, not a means of getting quick bucks, and that’s why screening any potential donor is a long and rigorous process.
3. Requirements and qualifications
Besides being healthy, your medical history must be clean. You should also show the commitment that throughout the entire period, you will be readily available. Other than these, however, the following are the main requirements:
- Age: between 18 and 35.
- Regular monthly periods.
- No reproductive disorder.
- Physically and psychologically healthy.
- Not a smoker; not a drug user; not an alcoholic.
- Willing to undergo injectable medication.
- Ready to respond within 24 hours whenever called upon.
- Willing to wait for at least six months.
- Excited about helping someone conceive.
4. Stages subjected to a Potential Egg Donor
Egg donation is safe and risk-free, especially when it’s done professionally. But the whole procedure can take a while before you get approved because of the various steps and stages done to ensure you can donate eggs. The four stages are:
- Application and intake
Egg donation program like the popular MCRMFertility program or that of Fertility Source Companies is structured to accept willing and able potential donors. They get interviewed and taught all that’s involved, including the psychosocial aspects of being an egg donor. This stage also is where their queries and concerns are adequately addressed, and thorough vetting is done to ensure the donor’s decision isn’t financially motivated.
- Matching and screening
At this stage, all the potential donors are kept waiting until when they are required. It’s also a phase where one will have to adhere to a particular medication schedule, mostly according to the clinic.
Screening usually takes 6-10 weeks and involves a series of tests, including analyzing hormones, the potential donor’s blood and whether she has a pre-existing STD. Because of how important this stage is, having an independent attorney who understands what egg donation entails is highly encouraged.
- Medication cycle
Having passed through the all-important screening tests, this stage officially marks the start of the donor cycle. And it starts when the donor enters her about 21 days of the menstrual period. What the phase involves are some subcutaneous jabs meant to instigate proper ovulation and speedy egg maturity.
Another critical aspect of this stage is the lengthy period of close monitoring. You will have to spend a couple of mornings under the watchful eyes of the egg donation facility’s physicians. A session will last for about 45 minutes, and the essence of it will be to see how you will react to the “trigger shots.”
- Egg retrieval
At the very end of this wholly-important procedure, you’ll have to undergo IV-induced anesthesia. To retrieve the eggs, the doctor will use a tiny needle with a vaginal ultrasound probe reaching the ovaries. It’s a procedure lasting for about 30 minutes.
5. There’s NO GUARANTEE that you’ll get approved
As highlighted by the 4-step approval procedure, egg donation isn’t a simple ‘walk-in-and-walk-out’ process. They must review your medical history, understand the reason behind choosing to donate your eggs and see whether you could regret the decision later in life.
With all that, not everyone who goes to an egg donor clinic gets approved. Agencies can also turn away a donor, pretty much like a clinic. One of the main reasons for not getting approved is when you fail the various medical, blood or psychological tests. Another reason is when the wait takes more than the usual six months, and you get fed up.
6. Risks and Side-Effects
It is a safe procedure with no notable life-threatening problems. However, because of the injections, you might experience a couple of side-effects. Some of them are a headache, mood swings, tiredness and bloating.
7. What if the recipient would like to maintain a relationship with the donor?
Nowadays, egg donation is a seamless and straightforward process. It is devoid of the lengthy and bureaucratic questions of the past. One beautiful feature about it is the freedom to either maintain a relationship with the recipient or have your identity hidden. You can choose your circle offer to be a known, a semi-known or a completely anonymous egg donation.
It’s incredible that a wider majority prefer to have their identities known. They don’t shy away from giving their names and even meeting them in person. Those who go for the semi-known alternative only exchange their contact details, while the anonymous ones choose to remain unknown, and only give their first names.