Why Donate Your Eggs?
Egg donors give those who are unable to conceive a chance to realise their dream of having a baby. For some people, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) using donated eggs may be the only option available to them. In Australia, around one in six couples (15%) struggle with infertility, with the age of the woman’s eggs being a significant factor. Donor eggs help these women and others, like LGBTQ couples, create much longed-for families. For this reason, egg donors often report an amazing feeling of empowerment and pride in bringing life-long happiness to others.
Is Egg Donation Painful?
Applicants must first be assessed as to whether or not they are suitable to become an egg donor. This screening process involves non-invasive testing, which includes bloodwork, ultrasounds, and psychological evaluations.
Approved donors receive a series of self-injectable medications, which will stimulate their ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs. These shots are relatively pain-free after the first few injections.
A donor’s eggs will then be retrieved under light anaesthesia. Most women are able to return to their regular daily activities within 24 hours.
Are there any side effects or risks?
While the risks involved are similar to any other health procedure, rigorous egg donor screening and stringent health and safety standards are in place to limit the possibility of complications. Throughout the egg donation process, you’ll be regularly monitored to ensure any potential risks are identified and managed. The most common side effects following egg retrieval are light bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and constipation. Your doctor and donor program can answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout the process.
Do I qualify as an egg donor?
The screening process for egg donors may differ from program to program, but you can expect to be assessed for the following:
- Age – most candidates are required to be between the ages of 21 and 32
- Whether you smoke or drink alcohol
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Good health – both physically and emotionally
- A willingness to undergo expanded genetic screening
- Ability to self-administer injectable medications
If you’re approved as an egg donor, you must be available to attend medical appointments and receive treatment for approximately four months.
Do egg donors receive payment?
Reimbursement for egg donors will depend on the country where the egg donor program is located. For instance, in Australia and the United States, you can’t sell your eggs. However, egg donors are usually compensated for their time and effort and may also be reimbursed for donation related expenses. These expenses vary from country to country but can take into account travel costs and other related expenses. It’s important to choose a reputable egg donor network that openly complies with all local laws and requirements.
What’s involved in the egg donation process?
Once you’re approved as an egg donor, you’ll be given self-injectable medications to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs.
As part of the stimulation cycle, you’ll need to visit your clinic for monitoring via bloodwork and transvaginal ultrasounds. Through this monitoring, your specialist will identify the best window for your eggs to be retrieved. From there, you’ll be given a “trigger shot” to self-administer at a specific time, stimulating your ovaries to release your mature eggs to be retrieved.
On the scheduled day of your retrieval, you’ll go to your clinic’s surgery location and will be given light anaesthesia. In this short procedure, an ultrasound-guided needle is passed through your vagina to your ovaries. Your eggs will be retrieved from your ovary follicles via the needle. Your donated eggs will then be cryogenically stored until ready for use.
What Emotions Am I Likely to Experience?
It’s common for egg donors to experience a wide range of emotions throughout the egg donation process. Your clinic and donor program will be on hand to answer any questions, concerns, and to discuss your feelings. It may help to remind yourself that you’re giving a beautiful gift to someone who desperately wants a child.
Making the Right Choice for You
Becoming an egg donor is one of the most altruistic endeavours a woman can pursue, but it’s important to fully understand what’s expected of you throughout the process. Only you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.