Egg Donor FAQ
1. What is egg donation?
Egg donation is a medical procedure where a woman takes fertility drugs to increase the number of eggs she ovulates in one month. Doctors typically remove 12-24 extra eggs, though sometimes donors produce more than this. These eggs are used in an IVF process and combined with sperm to create embryos for implantation into a womb with the goal of pregnancy and birth.
2. How many eggs does an egg donor have?
Most women in their 20’s have at least a hundred thousand ovarian follicles that can grow into eggs. These numbers drop significantly after a woman surpasses 35 years old, which is why young egg donors are in high demand by older women.
3. What are the egg donation steps?
You must first talk to your primary doctor and a fertility doctor to determine if egg donation is right for your body. Not everyone’s body chemistry and health is suitable for fertility drugs.
Once you have had a chance to have all your questions answered by your doctors and you have been medically cleared by a certified IVF doctor, you will receive a prescription for birth control pills to control your menstrual cycle.
After your cycle has been regulated, you will receive fertility medication in the mail from your doctor with complex instructions on how to follow their medical egg stimulation protocol. You will have to give yourself shots of these fertility drugs. It is very important to follow directions perfectly and ask questions if there is any confusion. The nurses at the IVF clinic should be there to help you.
A few days after you start the injections, an IVF clinic near where you live will monitor your progress of making eggs via ultrasound and blood tests. Then a week or so later, depending on your progress of egg stimulation, you will need to travel to the IVF clinic of the prospective parents where you can expect 7-10 days of monitoring and the retrieval there. If you live in Canada, you will have to be in the U.S. for the entire egg stimulation cycle, which could last 3 weeks.
When your eggs are ripe and ready to extract, your doctor will schedule a visit in their office and sedate you so that you are asleep. The doctor will then extract the eggs through a syringe in your vagina. You should visit the doctor again the next day to make sure your body is returning back to its normal state and stay in touch with the clinic over the next week so they can monitor your recovery. Be sure to keep their phone numbers handy.
4. How many eggs are produced during egg donation?
Every clinic has a different protocol on how they stimulate eggs and how many eggs they are aiming for. Quality is better than quantity so talk to your doctor about how many eggs they hope for and why they are choosing that number. Not all eggs will fertilize and turn into embryos so it is ideal to have at least 12 eggs to work with. Larger numbers of eggs extracted doesn’t necessarily mean more or better embryos and could cause more recovery challenges for an egg donor. It is ok to ask your doctor to aim for fewer eggs to minimize your recovery time.
5. What are the risks of egg donation?
With any medical procedure or the use of medicinal drugs, there is always a risk. It is very important that you discuss egg donation with a licensed medical professional who specializes in egg donation and can explain all the potential risks with you. You will have this opportunity on your initial visit or “screening” day or prior by an arranged phone call by your request. If you decide to undergo the medical procedure for donating your eggs, you should do so with extreme caution and have researched and analyzed all the facts and risks beforehand. Since EggDonorApply.com is not a medical establishment, we can not provide medical advice, nor outline the ever-changing risks that are unique to each person in an accurate way for you to base your decision on.
6. What egg donor characteristics do you look for?
A donor must have a genetic family history that demonstrates an overall sense of health for close family members. It is ok for a donor’s family members to have some health challenges in the family tree, as long as they are disclosed on their application. The prospective parent can evaluate with their genetic counselor and the sperm provider on the overall projected health of any potential children from the combination of egg and sperm and make an informed decision whether to work with a particular donor or not.
Donors need to be incredibly healthy and not take any prescription drugs nor partake in the use of any recreational drugs or smoking. It is also very important to have a sense of emotional stability and life balance since fertility drugs disrupt the normal balance of hormones that could make any emotional issues more intense.
Donors should only apply if they are between 18-28 years old. Most clinics will only work with donors who are 21 years old or over, however, occasionally there are clinics that will work with an 18-year-old.
It is very important that a donor is physically active with a healthy weight that is determined by a Body Mass Index or BMI of 27 or less.
We typically accept donors who are college-educated because prospective parents request this trait. Most prefer to match with donors who have a similar educational background, as well as interests and characteristics that they possess. It is emotionally challenging for many women to lose their fertility and have to rely on a third party to have a child. Therefore, they seek young women as egg donors that have similarities to themselves.
7. May I apply to other egg donor agencies or IVF clinics?
It isn’t necessary to apply to other databases, nor recommended, because we will be actively working to match you through a variety of agencies and IVF clinics. Applying elsewhere would be redundant and confusing once we begin scheduling your donation(s).
8. What fee will I earn for egg donation?
You can set your own fee. However, most donors stay within a normally accepted range of $5,000-$10,000. IVF is expensive for prospective parents and additional egg donor costs that are outside the norm could be financially straining for many parents.
Your fee will be paid within 2 weeks of your egg retrieval date. You are paid for following the medical protocol for your time and discomfort and not for the sale of your eggs. As such, you will be compensated even if no embryos resulted from your donation as long as it was determined you took the prescription drugs as prescribed and followed the directions.
9. Will I have any out-of-pocket costs?
You may have miscellaneous costs pertaining to the egg donation process that should be reimbursed by your coordinating agency from funds prospective parents deposit on your behalf.
Other than this, you should not be responsible for any costs pertaining to the egg donation process. However, if you sign a legal contract with prospective parents and begin the medical protocol and then back out without a medically justifiable reason, it is possible you may be asked to reimburse some of the lost egg donation cycle costs. An average egg donation cycle costs prospective parents $50,000. So you only want to participate and agree to egg donation if you are sure you are committed to finishing the process once you start it.
10. What is the matching process?
Your profile will appear in several places including our own database, egg donor agency databases and IVF clinic databases. We also perform custom matches for prospective parents and will present your profile to them. Once parents express an interest in you, we will contact you to determine your availability.
You can ask questions about the type of parents inquiring about you and we will share whatever they are open to revealing about themselves. Most donations are anonymous so information will likely be limited.
Once we find a potential match for you that you agree to, we will ask for documentation to verify your profile. You may need to send in certified copies of your stated GPA, proof of other accomplishments and a copy of your license. We will ask you to go to a notary public to show your driver’s license and sign our legal contract agreeing to the match.
Once verification is complete, you will have a conversation with your egg donor cycle coordinator from either the IVF clinic or egg donor agency or both. You should be asking a lot of questions at this time about the safety and risks based on your unique medical profile and health history. You should research online reviews for the clinic and the doctor in charge of your egg donation to determine if they are the type of establishment and person you want to put your health in their hands. Not all doctors and clinics have all star ratings. You are completely in your power to decline a cycle where you don’t feel comfortable trusting the professionalism or ability of your doctor or clinic.
You may be asked to verify your blood type or to take an ovarian reserve blood test at a lab near you.
Your donor coordinator will assign you a lawyer to review the legal contract that you must sign with prospective parents agreeing to your participation in their egg donation cycle. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about your legal rights at this time. Only sign this document if you are 100% sure you want to proceed. This is the best time to back out if you have changed your mind.
Then you will be asked to visit the parent’s IVF clinic for a full exam to determine your medical eligibility. Most of the time this out of town for a donor so your donor coordinator will manage the travel for 2 days. She will set up accommodations and transportation for you and the parents will cover your costs.
If all goes well during your visit, you will be given birth control pills to regulate your cycle and the fertility drugs will follow as stated in #3 above on this page. You must follow all directions very carefully or your eggs may not grow as planned and the parents will have spent $50,000 in vain.
11. How many times can I donate?
This is a good question to ask your fertility doctor after you donate. Some doctors have worked with donors for 10 cycles, others prefer to err on the side of caution and set 6 cycles as a maximum for donors. The ASRM recommends only 6 cycles. Keep in mind, you might not be a great candidate for egg donation and be limited to 1 cycle for a variety of reasons. Some doctors will let you donate up to 32 years old.
12. Can I bring someone with me during the retrieval week?
Yes, it is actually recommended, and often required, that you have someone to watch over you after the retrieval. Some donors experience complications and may need assistance from their companions. In the event of any unusual or uncomfortable body sensations, you should contact your IVF doctor immediately for advice 24/7. The parents should be covering the costs of a travel companion for you with set common daily rates for food and lodging.
13. Do I need medical insurance?
The prospective parents should be buying you an egg donation medical policy. You should ask for proof of this before you begin the egg donation process. It will cover any medical complications from the egg donation cycle.
14. Can I meet any future offspring from my eggs?
Most donations are anonymous and it is up to the parents and you in your legal contract to determine if you both want the option to learn about or potentially meet any offspring in the future.
15. Do you have a referral program for referring my friends?
Yes, we will pay you $500 for each friend of yours who completes an egg donor cycle through us. So if you have a good experience, please invite your friends to learn more and apply.
16. May I share my experience on social media and Yelp?
Yes, we encourage you to talk about your rewarding experience as long as you keep confidential the names of any prospective parents.
17. Do you work with egg donors who are not American citizens?
Yes, we work with donors from Canada. However, donors must travel to IVF clinics in the U.S. You have to plan on staying in the U.S. for 10 - 20 days depending on how well you respond to fertility drugs. If you are a student or employed, you must make plans to be away for this length of time. It is possible that the laws in Canada will change soon and you may be able to be monitored by a fertility clinic in Canada for the first part of the egg donation. This means your trip to the U.S. would be no more than 10 days.