Become an Egg Donor: FAQ
What Are the Physical Requirements for Egg Donors?
- 19- 31 years old
- Outstanding physical & emotional health
- Non-smokers, no recreational drug use
- No known genetic disorders
- BMI (Body Mass Index) of <27
- It is preferred that donors have graduated from an institution of higher learning or are currently attending an institution of higher learning.
Proven fertility demonstrated through children, or through a previously successful egg donation cycle is a bonus.
Who Uses Donor Eggs?
Typically the woman receiving a donor’s eggs has impending or complete ovarian failure. Ovarian failure is one of the leading causes of infertility and may occur for many reasons. Delayed child-bearing, autoimmune diseases, radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, and surgical removal of the ovaries are all examples of why ovarian failure can occur. For women with ovarian failure, there is little to no chance of achieving pregnancy. Other women have poor egg quality and use a donor for this reason. Same sex male couples hoping to become parents also look to egg donors to achieve their dream of parenthood.
What Compensation is Offered?
Carolina Conceptions compensates egg donors $5,500 per egg retrieval cycle for their time and kindness. Egg donors can complete a maximum of six donor cycles.
I May Want to Become An Egg Donor. What’s Next?
Complete our Egg Donor Application. This does not mean you are 100% committed to becoming a donor. It only means you are seriously considering this option and would like more information.
FAQs for Women Considering Egg Donation
What Else Should I Know Before Committing to This Process?
Donating eggs is not an easy process and requires a commitment of time and energy. Recipients with whom you may be matched will be investing approximately $28,000 just for one attempt at pregnancy, and have likely been through many previous disappointments before arriving at the decision to use donated eggs. Therefore, it’s imperative that once you begin this process, you are committed until its completion.
How Does a Donor Get Matched to an Intended Parent?
Once a woman agrees to become an egg donor, a profile is created for her and added to the Carolina Conceptions Egg Donor Database. Through the use of a password, intended parents (or egg recipients) can look through this private online database to select a donor who best matches their preferences.
What Happens After an Intended Parent Selects an Egg Donor?
Once the donor is selected by intended parents, the donor will be asked to complete genetic testing, a physical exam and a psychological evaluation. Our Egg Donor Coordinator and clinical psychologists are available to address questions and concerns regarding the decision to become an egg donor.
What Is Involved Medically for Egg Donors?
Physical Exam at Carolina Conceptions: Includes signing consent forms and learning how to administer cycle injectable cycle medications.
Medication Injections at Home: During a donation cycle, you will be required to give yourself several injectable medications for approximately 8-10 days.
Monitoring Appointments at Carolina Conceptions: Labs and trans-vaginal ultrasounds will be completed in our office to confirm ovarian response to the injected medications.
Egg Retrieval: The end of an egg donation cycle culminates in a 15-20 minute, outpatient vaginal procedure in our office under light anesthesia to remove the eggs.
What Labs Are Required for Egg Donors?
Upon agreeing to be an egg donor, prior to beginning a cycle, the following labs are drawn:
- Blood testing for ABO blood type
- HIV 1 and 2
- Hepatitis B core antibody and surface antigen
- Hepatitis C
- RPR (syphilis)
This is a guideline mandated by the FDA and must be completed with negative results received, within a specific time frame prior to the actual donation. We are now also requiring, additional screening for CF (Cystic Fibrosis), SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), and sickle cell genes if indicated.
What Visits Are Required During Egg Donation?
Ultrasounds Before & During Cycle Medication.
Prior to starting the stimulation medications you will come to Carolina Conceptions for a BASELINE ULTRASOUND. This ultrasound is performed with a vaginal probe and allows us to visualize your ovaries and uterus. During the course of the stimulation cycle you will return to the office several times for MONITORING. A monitoring visit consists of a trans-vaginal ultrasound and blood estrogen level. This enables us to determine how you are responding to the medication and whether or not we need to adjust your dosage. We will discuss your progress with you and make arrangements for your next visit. Monitoring visits are scheduled beginning at 7:30 through 11:30am, Monday through Friday, and as needed on Saturdays and Sundays. You should expect to see us every 2-3 days for 3 or 4 visits. Monitoring visits generally take less than 30 minutes and while we make every attempt to make this process as convenient for our donors as possible, patient load can vary and sometimes waiting cannot be avoided.
What Medications Are Required for Egg Donation?
Medications Involved In An Egg Donation Cycle.
During a donation cycle you will be required to give yourself several injectable medications. All of the medications are crucial to the success of the cycle and it is critical that they be administered as directed.
Oral Contraceptives: Once matched, if you are not currently using a hormonal form of birth control, you will be instructed to do so at this time. Please contact the coordinator MICHELE MEDLIN with the start of your period. You will remain on the active oral contraceptives for approximately 14-21 days. The start and stop dates will be outlined and specified for you.
Stimulation Medications (Gonadotropins): Follistim and Menopur will be used to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs in a cycle. They are simply a lab created version of a hormone that occurs naturally in your body. These need to be given every evening at the same time for 7-14 days (the average time is 10 days). They are administered subcutaneously (an injection into the tissue just under the skin)
Ganirelix (Antagon): Once your follicles (cysts containing eggs) on your ovaries have reached a specific size you will be asked to administer an additional medication called Ganirelix. Ganirelix is an injection that is also administered subcutaneously. It is given in conjunction with your gonadotropin in an attempt to prevent premature ovulation. Once you begin taking this medication you will take it every day until instructed otherwise. You will typically take this medication between 1-4 days.
Lupron: We will instruct you to take Lupron when your ovaries have matured several follicles. This medication is also given subcutaneously. Lupron will cause the eggs to complete the maturation process and release from the sides of the follicle wall. It is very important that you take this injection at the EXACT time instructed as we will plan the procedure to retrieve as many eggs as possible 36 hours later during your egg retrieval. Lupron is the last injection.
Again, all of these medications will be provided to you (AT NO CHARGE) and you will be instructed on how and when to administer and how to store them appropriately. Your dose will be very specific to you and will be provided to you at the time of your education session with the nurse.
Do I Need to Take Time Off From Work or School?
This depends on how flexible a donor’s work or school schedule is. There will be multiple visits to the clinic required for cycle monitoring. ALL of these will occur between 7:30 and 11:30 AM and may occur any day of the week. Only the first 2-3 appointments will have a “set date.” Subsequent appointments will be determined by ovarian response. A typical cycle will require about 4-6 appointments over the course of about 2 weeks.
The day of the egg retrieval procedure donors should not plan on attending school or work. In most cases, donors feel back to about 80-85% “normal” the day after that procedure.
Will I Find Out if Someone Got Pregnant Using My Eggs?
Will I Have Enough Eggs Remaining for Myself Should I Decide to Have My Own Children One Day?
YES! Egg donation is based on the idea of “rescuing oocytes” (eggs) that would not otherwise be used by the donor herself, but would instead be destroyed in a “natural” cycle. Egg Donation has been used for 30+ years and so far there is no evidence to suggest a detrimental effect on the donor’s own future fertility.