Donating eggs can allow women who have been unsuccessful at conceiving the chance to be parents. Furthermore, the act of donating your eggs could net you thousands of dollars per donation.
But little has been written on what it’s like to be an egg donor. What does the process involve?
Let’s look at what it’s like for first-time egg donors.
The Physical Requirements of Being an Egg Donor
First, many agencies will disqualify you based on your age. Since female fertility declines approximately at age 35, most egg donors are between 21 and 35.
You also must be in good physical health. In other words, you can’t have genetic disabilities or anything that could reduce your fertility.
You’ll receive blood tests to determine whether you have HIV, hepatitis, or any other blood-related diseases, as mandated by FDA law.
Despite how scary this sounds; most women will fall into the healthy category. Passing the physical requirements test is not particularly difficult.
The Mental Requirements of Becoming an Egg Donor
Women who pass the physical requirements test will then usually be given an interview. You’ll be asked about things like your mental health history, your reasoning for becoming an egg donor, and about aspects of your life.
It’s difficult to say exactly what you’ll be asked about because this part of the process is not mandated by law. Agencies, generally, like to know about their donors and choose only the best.
Different agencies and clinics will have their own requirements. It’s quite possible for egg donors who get rejected from one clinic to be accepted by another.
If you pass the mental and physical requirements, you’ll be asked to sign a legal contract. Many donors prefer to go through the contract with their lawyers first.
The Egg Donation Process
Once all the formalities have been completed and you’ve been selected, the donation process officially begins.
Normally, ovaries produce a single egg per month. An egg donor, on the other hand, will produce multiple eggs. This is stimulated by hormone injections. These will be taken at home daily for a week or two.
You’ll be expected to visit a doctor every few days for blood tests and ultrasounds.
A doctor will extract the eggs using a needle. They’re extracted vaginally and guided by ultrasound. You’ll be under an aesthetic the entire time and there’s no extended recovery time.
For most people, there’s no physical discomfort involved in egg donation. Experiences, however, do vary.
Are there Any Risks?
Donating eggs has become so popular because the risks are minimal. Less than 1% of women will experience any form of bleeding or infection.
The hormone injections do have the potential to cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, though. This is when the ovaries become swollen, thus causing a range of side effects. Severe cases are extremely rare, and this condition tends to disappear on its own.
Do Egg Donors Break the Law by Donating Eggs?
You may already know that it’s illegal to sell body parts in the US, including eggs and sperm. However, there’s a loophole that allows egg and sperm donation to operate throughout the country.
You’re not technically being paid for donating your eggs. Your eggs are being donated completely free of charge. But you’re being paid for the time and inconvenience involved, thus skirting around the law.
You’ll see this mentioned within your legal contract.
Last Word – It’s Not an Easy Process
Unlike sperm donation, egg donation is an invasive process. It requires a lot of physical and mental effort to successfully donate eggs.
Women should be aware of this and they shouldn’t just look at the monetary compensation involved when deciding whether to become a donor.
We recommend that you speak to a clinic to find out more about what it entails, and to find out about the experiences of other donors.
Do you want to become an egg donor?