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Becoming an egg donor: Know the facts before you become an egg donor

Updated on August 6, 2009

Becoming an Egg Donor

Becoming an egg donor is a wonderful way to help infertile couples who cannot have children due to woman's eggs quality reasons, while being compensated for the time and inconvenience. The process of becoming a donor can be broken down into several simple steps.

Application and Egg Donor Screening

Step 1. Application.

You will need to find a clinic with an egg donor program or donor agency. You may have to do some research as these programs are not advertised. Once you select an organization to work with, you need to fill out an application. The applications are very detailed and you need to reveal all details about your medical history, your family’s medical history, but also other facts about yourself, such as your level of education, personal interests, hobbies, etc.

Step 2. Screening.

The donor agency or fertility clinic needs to perform thorough medical examination to make sure you are a suitable candidate for a donor. Some organizations also perform psychological evaluation of the candidates. This is to ensure that you are psychologically ready and mature to become and egg donor and that you are making a fully conscious decision. You will be asked about your motives for becoming an egg donor and how you feel about being genetically related to a child that will be brought up by someone else.

Step 3. Waiting to be selected by donor egg recipients.

When you do get accepted into the program, your profile will be entered into the egg donor database. Donor egg recipients choose donors from the database based on their own preferences. For many couples, it is of vital importance that an egg donor has particular genetic and physical characteristics. For example, Jewish couples often seek Jewish egg donors, Asian couples may be looking for Asian egg donors; the same is in the case of African American couples; members of other races and religions may do the same. How quickly you get selected depends on the qualities that the couples are looking for and whether your profile will match their criteria.

Donor Selection, Ovarian Stimulation and Egg Retrieval

Step 4.  Selection and signing the contract.

Once you get selected to become a donor, you will need to sign consent forms and possibly one or more contracts. These contracts may describe your responsibilities and those of the recipients. Contracts are not the same as consent forms, because they are legally binding.Do not sign any contract that you do not fully understand. Some programs may require you to meet with a program lawyer to discuss the contract. You may want to get independent legal advice before signing. The lawyer will be paid by the program recipients. In the contract you will legally renounce your parental rights on the part of the egg donor.

You will also get to decide whether you prefer to remain anonymous or reveal your identity to the recipients and any children that will be born as a result of the donation. Most donors prefer to stay anonymous. Some donors choose to have what’s called “open egg donation”, which basically means that their identity may be disclosed if the child wishes to find out who the donor was when he or she becomes a legal adult.

Step 5. Ovarian stimulation.

To stimulate release and maturation of multiple eggs in one cycle, you will be required to take special hormone drugs. You will be taking the same drugs that women normally take during an assisted reproductive cycle, such as IVF. The development of the eggs will be monitored using ultrasound. Some other drugs will be administered to properly control the cycle and time the release of the eggs (ovulation). You will be required to refrain from sexual relations or use multiple methods of birth control to make sure you do not become pregnant.

Step 6. Egg retrieval.

When the eggs have matured, it’s time to stimulate ovulation and harvest the eggs. Egg retrieval is usually done under conscious sedation using a hollow needle to collect the eggs. The procedure is painless, although some women feel some discomfort and slight cramping. You will need someone to accompany you to the egg retrieval procedure to take you home.

Step 7. Follow-up.

A couple of days later, a follow up exam will be scheduled to ensure that you are recovering properly.

Egg Donor Requirements

Not everyone can become an egg donor, but if you are a healthy, smart and attractive young woman, of any ethnic background, preferably with a college degree or pursuing a college degree - then you are may be an excellent candidate to become an egg donor.

The following are the general requirements of egg donors:

  • Between ages of 21 years and 30 years
  • Have regular periods and no reproductive disorders
  • Physically healthy and emotionally stable
  • Does not smoke or use drugs
  • Ready to undergo medical and psychological evaluation
  • Ready to take injectable medication
  • Ready to commit to the process for a minimum of six months

Egg Donor Compensation

Being an egg donor can be a unique and satisfying experience, and compensation should not be your sole motive in becoming an egg donor. Egg donors are compensated between $5,000 and $10,000, time, effort and inconvenience you will experience during the cycle.


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