Many couples that are looking to expand their families are choosing to go with a live egg donation instead using a frozen ovum. In many cases, the expectant parents are looking to have more of a bond and intimate relationship with the egg donor than just a file name on a sheet of medical paperwork. The surrogacy process can be a rewarding but emotional one and you should have all the information before making any decisions to donate.
Reproductive egg donation can be done through an egg/sperm bank or through a surrogacy clinic. When using a bank, your egg donation will be taken and then frozen to be used by any matching applicant that may come along. With a live egg donation, your egg will be specifically matched with an infertile couple and transferred live to the surrogate or parent without any freezing.
Giving hope to a family that would like a baby is an enriching and rewarding experience. However, there is a much larger commitment required that you may not have considered. Taking some time to talk to the surrogacy experts and learning about the process is a vital part of your donation decision. Take a look at some of the basic information about the live egg donation process before considering being an egg donor.
To be considered as a live egg donor you must be between the ages of 21 and 28, have a BMI under 28 and have a healthy and regular menstrual cycle. You will undergo a full physical and psychological examination to determine your eligibility. You cannot be a smoker or a drug user, including methods of birth control.
There are many clinics that provide an online application for your convenience, and for others, you will have to visit the clinic in person for a paper application. Once your application has gone through an initial review, candidates will be contacted for further testing and examination.
Testing & Consultation
You will meet with a fertility specialist and have a full examination to determine that your body is healthy enough for donation. You will have blood taken for hormonal and drug testing, and the doctor will outline the extraction procedure for you. You may also be prescribed your hormonal birth control pills at that time to begin during your next cycle.
You will have an opportunity to meet with a legal expert that can review your contract and legal options during the donation process. Full screening can take up to 6 weeks before a final decision is made and the matching process can begin.
On the 21st day of your cycle, as an egg donor, you will have injections given to help the maturation process of your eggs. You will be constantly monitored for your progression during this time with several early morning appointments at your clinic. When your egg is ready, you will receive a “trigger shot” injection that helps to finish the growth process of the egg and prepare it for extraction.
The retrieval process only takes about 20 minutes at your clinic. You will be given light sedation and a small needle will be inserted through the vaginal wall and into the ovaries to get an egg. The full process will take you about 3 hours from start to finish. You should have someone with you to drive you home when the procedure is complete. You may have some mild cramping and fatigue for a few days but then return to normal.
The average amount of egg donation compensation starts around $8,000. The price may be slightly higher depending on your geographical area and the local demand. There are some ethnicities and cultural aspects that can also raise the price of compensation. Asian, Jewish and East Indian eggs are in high demand and may result in more compensation.