If you’re currently studying or recently graduated, you may have heard stories about women becoming egg donors to pay for their college education. Great idea…. right?
Well, perhaps – but there are a lot of things to consider first. Donating eggs isn’t a simple matter of going to the clinic and then getting a bundle of cash. It’s a long process that requires considerable time and commitment on your part. And it affects your friends and family, too.
Here’s what you need to think about before applying.
Steps to becoming an egg donor
1. The application process
First, you’ll complete the egg donor application for your chosen agency. The agency will review this and either let you know if you’ve been accepted for the next stage of the application process or ask for additional clarification and/or paperwork. You’ll need to be as thorough as possible with your answers. This will not only help us process your application but will also ensure we make the best possible match.
2. The Egg Donor webinar
If you’re accepted, you’ll complete an egg donor ‘welcome webinar,’ which will go over the egg donation process. This webinar is designed to educate you, so you know exactly what you have to commit to.
3. Creating a profile
Your online profile is what potential recipient parents will see first, so it pays to do it well! You’ll need to submit at least 20 high-quality photos of yourself, along with a copy of your ID and pap smear results. Once your profile is complete, it’ll go live on our Egg Donor Database. From there, Intended Parents will be able to view you and select you for their journey.
A psychological evaluation will assess your mental health, while blood tests and a transvaginal ultrasound will evaluate your ovarian health.
5. The legal process and contracts
You’ll be assigned an attorney who will discuss the legalities and any alterations to the agreement. This will, of course, be at no cost to you.
6. The egg donation cycle
The donation cycle will involve taking fertility drugs to prepare your body for ovarian stimulation and then prompt the ovaries to produce multiple eggs for donation. These medications for egg donation include birth control pills, gonadotropin-releasing hormones, gonadotropins, and human chorionic gonadotropin.
The financial incentives of egg donation
Although the financial aspect should not be the main motivator for becoming an egg donor, it’s definitely an added incentive.
At Family Source Consultants, donors receive $8,000-$10,000 per cycle. How much an egg donor is paid will vary depending on your prior donation experience, location, and ethnicity. For example, donors who are of 100% Chinese, Taiwanese, or Indian descent receive $10,000 for their first cycle.
The non-financial rewards of becoming an egg donor
Besides the compensation, there’s a lot to get out of being an egg donor.
For a start, there’s the fact that you’re doing something incredible for someone else. Many Intended Parents choose third-party reproduction after a heartbreaking struggle with infertility or other difficulties. As a donor, you’re helping someone realize their dream of becoming a mom or dad. And that’s a pretty special thing!
Another bonus of the egg donation process is that you’ll learn a lot about your own health.
The physical and mental health assessments can provide lots of details about your own fertility and any inheritable genetic conditions you may have. This kind of information can be very useful if you’re planning to have your own family in the future or even just to keep on top of your own health.
The support of your friends, family, and partner
Although egg donation is about you and your body, your loved ones will also be involved in your journey. The egg donation process takes up a good amount of time – around six weeks per cycle – and you will need to stick to a strict schedule for appointments and taking medications. You will also need transport to and from your appointments.
You will be required to make certain lifestyle changes as well. This includes abstaining from sex while taking the hormone medication until three weeks after your egg retrieval. You’ll also need to avoid alcohol, smoking, and drug use.
The support of those close to you is very important during the egg donation process, and your application may also be rejected if your partner doesn’t support you.
Going ahead with egg donation
Think egg donation is right for you? Great! Your first step is to make sure you meet the selection criteria. You’ll need to be at least 20 years old, have a minimum of a GED, and have a body mass index between 18-28. There are a few other things too: check out the full list of requirements for becoming an egg donor with Family Source Consultants before you apply.
If you have more questions, we’d love for you to reach out. The FSC team knows the egg donation process inside and out — and many of us have been donors ourselves!