For every individual, life is built around moments – small happenstances that take us from point A to point B.
Any set of circumstances can lead a young woman to ponder questions about egg donation, such as the total cost of donor eggs – or rather, how much an egg donor can receive in compensation for her time and effort spent donating.
Maybe she is facing financial struggles? Or perhaps she’s dreaming of traveling the world, or her life experiences with familial infertility are steering the decision.
Whatever piques a woman’s curiosity about donation, she’s sure to consider one question above the rest: can I become an egg donor?
What is Required for a Woman to Donate Her Eggs?
While the desire to donate is admirable in any situation, the hard truth of the matter is not every woman meets the requirements to become a donor.
For the protection of potential parents and children, women considering egg donation are put through a rigorous screening process to determine suitability. Each fertility clinic has its own guidelines, but there are a few conditions mandated across the board. Women must be:
- Between the ages of 21 and 33
- A non-smoker and/or drug user
- Free of any/all STD’s
- In good physical and mental health
- Have approximately three months availability
- Willing to self-administer injectable medications
To verify that potential donors meet these general requirements, they’re obligated to undergo various medical tests.
Understanding the Egg Donation Process
Once a woman is accepted as an egg donor, she begins the physical process of donating.
Using the information obtained during the screening process, the woman is prescribed a customized regimen of medications that will assist her body in developing and preparing the eggs that will soon be collected and frozen for future use.
While the donor is taking these medications, her body’s response is monitored through transvaginal ultrasounds and blood work.
Once the donor completes her medications and her body is ready, she will have an outpatient egg collection surgery.
During this operation, the doctor inserts a fine needle into each ovarian follicle to withdraw the eggs inside. The collected eggs are frozen using a revolutionary flash-freezing technology known as vitrification which prevents ice crystal formation and upholds the integrity of each egg.
Most women take the day of the procedure off from work, but many return the next day. Some swelling and pain is normal during the recovery stage, but many women feel normal within 24 – 48 hours after surgery.
Legal Rights to Children Born from Your Donated Eggs
It’s important for potential donors to understand that once a baby is born using their eggs, they will have no legal claim to that child.
During the initial donor screening, all women considering donation will be required to sign a contract relinquishing their rights before the process can continue.
That being said, if a donor is open to meeting any future children after they turn 18, some clinics will allow this to be written into their donor profiles for the consideration of possible recipients.
The Emotional Side of Egg Donation
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the medical and legal side of egg donation, but what about the way it feels? What about moving past the sense of loss a woman may experience after they’ve finished the process?
There’s no black and white way to overcome these concerns. Relinquishing your eggs, no matter how noble a decision, is a heavy burden to bear. There will always be moments when women face questions about possible children born from their donations.
How many are there?
Do they know about you?
Are they leading happy lives?
There’s a very good chance these questions may go unanswered, but there’s one important thought to keep in mind – any child born from donor eggs is a dream come true.
For men and women who can’t conceive a child of their own, donors are the missing piece that helps them become a family. Giving these individuals the baby they’ve been hoping for is the most beautiful gift a person can offer.
In moments of doubt, these women should fondly consider the lives they’ve helped create and realize that the mothers and fathers of these children will forever be grateful for the generous choice of their donors.
If you’re considering becoming a donor, don’t get wrapped up in the what if’s. Take a moment to focus on the beauty in the decision and the incomparable role you will play in the lives of these individuals.