BECOMING AN EGG DONOR
IMPORTANT CDC UPDATE FOR ALL EGG DONORS: Due to the spread of the Zika Virus, the following will disqualify all donors:
- Diagnosed with the Zika Virus in the last 6 months.
- Traveled to or lived in an area with active Zika transmissions within the last 6 months (Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Pacific Islands and South America).
- Sex within the last 6 months with a male who has traveled to Zika Virus locations
For more information on the Zika Virus, click here
Thank you for considering donating your eggs. We’re excited to guide you through the process of donating eggs to families who want to experience the joy of having a child, but have been unable to do so. After reading the overview below, feel free to look at our FAQ’s and complete our online donor application.
Donating eggs isn’t a decision to take lightly. If you do decide to move forward, know it will be the greatest gift you’ve ever given.
Why People Need Egg Donors
The easiest answer is that donating eggs is a pretty selfless gift for families who are reproductively challenged. While there are a wide variety of reasons recipients need donors, the two most common are medical issues that make a recipient mother unable to use her own eggs and gay intended fathers.
The reproductive specialists with whom we work closely prefer donors to be young women between the ages of 21 and 28. As long as you’re within the age guidelines, we welcome egg donors whether or not you have children of your own.
How Long the Process Takes
Most egg donation cycles span approximately six to 12 weeks and egg retrieval is a 100% outpatient procedure.
Meet the Intended Parents Who Receive Your Eggs
The choice is entirely yours, however we invite you to speak with our staff or Parents Via Egg Donation (www.pved.org) to learn more about why mental health professionals are encouraging egg donors and their intended parents to have a more open relationship with one another.
More About Becoming an Egg Donor
Over 98% of our donors come back and do more than one cycle to the wonderful experience they had working with us. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you might have or even put you in touch with previous donors who would be happy to share their personal experience with you.
A Review of Basic Criteria for Prospective Egg Donors
- Healthy with a good family health history (including mental health)
- Healthy BMI (overweight or underweight applicants will not be accepted by the doctor’s office)
- Between the ages of 21 – 28
- Not currently breastfeeding, on the Depo-Provera shot, IUD or any implant-based birth control method
- You may be qualified to donate after discontinuing use of these methods for approximately three months
- No smoking, drugs or excessive alcohol use (all donors are tested)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.) What types of medications are used for egg donation? How are they taken?
The most common medications used are birth control pills, Lupron or Leuprolide (to suppress your ovaries to keep from ovulating) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) to stimulate the growth of more follicles/eggs. These are taken via subcutaneous injection, which is a small needle that is injected into fatty tissue (usually your thigh, buttocks or stomach). Your nurse specialist will show you how to perform the injections and acts as your support should you have any questions throughout your cycle.
2.) Will I experience side effects with the medication?
Most donors experience minimal side effects with the medications used during the process. The most common side effects mirror PMS symptoms, such as bloating, pelvic discomfort, water weight gain or minor mood swings. Less common side effects would include headaches, severe cramping and feeling overly tired.
3.) Will egg donation affect my future fertility?
Thankfully, current research suggests that egg donation does not have any long-term effects on fertility. We do suggest all donors read the New York Department of Health information on becoming a donor (http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/1127/)
4.) Are there any complications that I should be aware of if I donate my eggs?
Although rare, as with any medical procedure egg donation is not without risk. There is always the small chance that during the retrieval process the needle used to extract your eggs could cause internal bleeding or an infection.
About 5% of donors experience ovarian hyper stimulation after the retrieval process. This is a condition in which the ovaries become filled with an excess amount of fluid causing severe bloating and discomfort. A water weight gain of several pounds as well as pelvic pain may occur. In severe (and very rare) cases, the physician may need to drain the excess fluid from the donor. In most cases, however, ovarian hyper stimulation resolves on its own, and while uncomfortable, it can be easily managed.
6.) How many eggs are typically retrieved?
Average cycles result in a retrieval of between 10 – 20 eggs, although we have seen donors with less than 10 and more than 20 eggs retrieved.
7.) How soon will my body return to normal after I’ve had the egg retrieval?
Most donors will see their bodies go back to normal within a couple of days after retrieval. In some cases, donors feel bloated and experience slight discomfort until their next period, which is approximately 8-10 days after retrieval. See FAQ’s for additional information.
8.) What types of families do you work with?
At Gifted Journeys we feel strongly that LOVE makes a family and we do not discriminate against anyone who wants to fulfill their dream of becoming a parent.
Egg donors generally get paid between $5,000 – $15,000+. In the U.S., egg donors are paid for their time, efforts, discomfort and assumption of risk — not their eggs. Therefore, our donor fees increase with each subsequent cycle, as the assumption of risk is presumed to increase as well.