Hey there, would-be egg donor! Let’s discuss something you’ve probably already wondered about. Money.
Many experienced egg donors may feel uncomfortable telling others how much they make, while others may be perfectly fine with it. And they should be! Egg donors are compensated for their time and commitment, and they deserve every cent they earn.
You may have seen stories on the internet about women “selling their eggs” to pay for college or a deposit on a house. The media love to sensationalize these cases and make it seem like egg donation is just an easy way to make money. Some stories even claim that egg donors can earn up to six figures. That’s not entirely true.
The average amount an egg donor earns per cycle
The reality? On average, egg donors receive between $8,000 and $10,000 per cycle. And while that still sounds like an easy way to make a bit of money, egg donation isn’t quite the same as donating your old clothes to charity. The egg donation process involves several months of commitment and a lot of time and energy on your part. In other words: it’s a job in itself!
Let’s break down how much an egg donor can make, why they’re paid this much, and what you can expect if you become an egg donor yourself.
What does egg donation involve?
Women’s bodies are designed to ovulate one egg every month. Just one!
Each menstrual cycle activates around 15-20 egg follicles. Any eggs that don’t mature are just ‘reabsorbed’ into the body. In a normal cycle, only one egg actually matures and gets away from the ovaries. It then sails away on its ovulation journey, traveling down to the fallopian tubes to await a suitor (aka sperm).
But if you’re going to donate, you’ll need more than one egg! This is where the ovarian stimulation protocol comes in.
The entire egg donation journey generally takes between six to 12 weeks. First, there’s a lengthy screening process, which includes both physical and psychological exams. Then, when you’re accepted, your journey will begin with a procedure to determine your follicle count. This is usually done on the second or third day of your menstrual cycle, and it allows the clinic to figure out how much medication you’ll need to develop as many eggs as possible.
After that, you’ll begin your hormonal treatment. This is necessary to induce ovulation and increase the number of eggs you produce. Egg donors give themselves injections of human gonadotropin and follicle-stimulating hormones, which help “kickstart” your ovarian follicles into producing more eggs than they usually would. These hormones also speed up the development stage, so they end up maturing at the same time. Once your eggs are ready, you’ll be scheduled for the egg retrieval process at the clinic.
Egg retrieval takes around 20-30 minutes. Because the process involves taking an IV sedative, you’ll have to go without food and drink as of midnight the day before.
After sedation, a needle will be passed through your vagina to your ovaries with the help of an ultrasound. The needle uses a suction device to collect the eggs from the follicles in your ovaries. The eggs are then placed in a test tube so they can be sent to the IVF lab.
You’ll need to rest comfortably for a day or two after egg retrieval, and you may experience some cramping and bloating as your ovaries return to normal size.
Phew! It’s quite a demanding process! And that’s why egg donation definitely shouldn’t be seen as a way to “make a quick buck.” It requires several appointments and takes up a good bit of your time and energy. It may even require you to travel to a different state for your retrieval!
Why are some egg donors paid more than others?
If you’ve started researching egg donation already, you may have noticed that some egg donation agencies advertise higher compensation than others. While compensation packages are at the discretion of the agency or fertility center you choose, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends reimbursement for egg donation should be limited to $10,000.
Every agency has its own requirements for becoming an egg donor depending on their clientele. Donors meeting specific donor criteria may receive higher compensation. For example, some parents will require a donor from a certain ethnic background. Currently, there is high demand for donors from Chinese, Korean, Jewish, Ethiopian, or East Indian backgrounds.
As an egg donor for Family Source Consultants, you’ll be generously compensated for your time and commitment. First-time donors receive $8000, and second-time donors receive $9,000. After that, you’ll receive $10,000 for your remaining cycles. You can donate up to six times. (100% Chinese and Taiwanese Donors receive $10,000 as a first-time Donor.)
Is being an egg donor worth it?
If you’re on a mission to help someone conceive, egg donation is a beautiful experience. While it may be a lengthy process, donors like J say, “31 injections and a few weeks of being uncomfortable just changed someone’s life forever… It’s an amazing feeling knowing I just gave someone I don’t even know 17 chances to have a child of their own.”
Think about what motivates you and whether your reasons for becoming an egg donor will pay off. Once you decide that egg donation is right for you, we’ll guide you every step of the way!
Many of us have been involved in the third-party reproduction process ourselves, so we have a good idea of what might be going through your mind. Feel free to reach out!