What is the egg donation process

Become an egg donor

It egg donation for ie? Find opportunities Before donating Legal considerations During the donation cycle After the egg donation Reimbursement Egg donation it is a wonderful gift to a person

Content:

  • Is Egg Donation For You?
  • Find opportunities
  • Before you donate
  • Legal considerations
  • During the donation cycle
  • After egg donation
  • compensation

Egg donation is a wonderful gift for a couple who cannot have a baby without your help. It is an opportunity not only to bring a new life to this world, but also to start a new family. The financial compensation is nice too.

Even so, egg donation is not for everyone. You should first make sure that you understand what this is about. Initially, the process takes weeks of engagement.

You need to be comfortable with many medical procedures, some of which come with potentially serious risks. Going through the egg donor approval process can in itself be emotionally stressful.

While it's by no means comprehensive, the following will give you an idea of ​​how to donate your eggs.

It is important that you also consult or speak to a psychologist, lawyer familiar with reproductive law, and your GP or personal gynecologist before proceeding with egg donation. Most clinics and agencies require psychological counseling for both the donor and the recipient.

What It Takes: Is Egg Donation For You?

Egg donation is an invasive medical process that takes place over many weeks. There can also be psychological challenges with egg donation, which is why psychological screening and counseling are part of the pre-donor process.

Agencies often assure prospective donors that egg donation is “completely safe”, but there are some serious risks, although these risks are rare.

There is also a lack of long-term research on egg donors, which means doctors don't know how egg donation can affect your health in the long term.

Women choose to donate their eggs for several reasons. For example, you might want to help a couple have a baby or you might need the money.

The first time you are exposed to egg donation there may be a tendency (at least initially) to focus on the money. Financial compensation is given in exchange for the time and effort you invest in donating your eggs.

Basic fertility and pelvic exams, which may include pelvic exams, transvaginal ultrasounds, blood tests, and sexually transmitted disease tests, must be completed before donation.

You may be asked to do genetic tests, but you can choose not to show the results of those tests. At some point during the process, you may receive unannounced drug screening.

During the donation cycle, you will need to attend many doctor's appointments and have multiple ultrasound and blood tests done (almost daily for a few weeks). Every day you also inject yourself fertility drugs - sometimes you need to do multiple injections in a day.

Finally, you'll have a surgical procedure that uses an ultrasound-guided needle to collect the eggs. The needle goes through your vaginal wall and up to your ovaries. You should know that there are risks associated with these procedures.

If you are accepted as a donor and decide to move on, make sure you understand the risks associated with the fertility drugs you are taking (the same drugs that women undergoing IVF treatment take.

One of the biggest risks is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Fertility drugs cause your ovaries to be swollen and full of fluids. If this reaction gets out of hand, it can lead to serious medical problems.

In rare cases, OHSS can become fertility-threatening (you could lose an ovary) or even life-threatening. Your risk of OHSS is higher than that of a woman with fertility problems because your ovaries love to produce follicles.

There are other risks to IVF and the various fertility drugs, but most of them are uncomfortable rather than dangerous. Even so, headaches, gas, hot flashes, and mood swings are not fun.

Find egg donation opportunities

Some women learn about egg donation after seeing an advertisement in a college newspaper or flyer and looking for potential donors. Others are asked by a friend or family member if they would be willing to donate their eggs.

Some people read or have heard of egg donation and are actively looking for an opportunity themselves. If you would like to actively donate, here are some things to consider:

  • Local fertility clinics. Many clinics have egg donation programs. They will match you with clients who come to their clinic and need IVF for egg donors.
  • Egg Donor Agencies. Egg donor agencies typically contract with many different fertility clinics and clients. Some agencies work with families in large geographic areas. Travel can therefore be part of the egg donation process.

Whether you find an egg donor want ad or are looking for a donation opportunity yourself, it is important that you research the clinic or agency carefully.

Remember that scammers exist and not every ad you see is legitimate. Here are some things to consider when looking.

Do some research

A professional looking website doesn't make promises, but it helps. Check how much information is provided on the website.

Is the egg donation process clearly explained? Does the website look like someone has thought about it a lot, or does it look like a mess? Are you open about compensation and egg donor requirements and risks?

Remember: donating your eggs can carry serious risks. It is important that you know and fully understand them before agreeing to the process.

Consult potential agencies

When calling the agency or fertility clinic, ask about the staff. How long have you worked in assisted reproduction? What training and qualifications do they have?

Ask an agency for references. If they don't tell you the names of women who have donated for them in the past, be careful.

It is natural to want to be selected as a donor, and that desire to be accepted can make you forget that you have a choice here too. Good egg donors are in great demand. Make sure they are the right clinic or agency to you before letting them assess whether you are the right fit for her.

Ask about compensation

Find out how to handle egg donation compensation. Is it deposited by a reputable law firm? You shouldn't be able to "trust" that they will pay you.

Average egg donation compensation ranges from $ 3,500 to $ 8,000. If the clinic, agency, or ad is offering $ 10,000 or more, keep in mind that this is not the common practice. You should be very suspicious of any promises of compensation over $ 25,000.

Obtain recommendations

You can ask your friends, family members, co-workers, fellow students, and anyone else who has gone through the egg donation process for recommendations.

One of the best sources of information and recommendations would be your doctor or gynecologist. You may have heard good (or bad) things about a particular clinic or agency.

Whatever you do, don't trust the information you collect online. It is known that clinics and agencies place "scouts" on message boards. An online friend telling you how great a clinic or agency is might not be a real egg donor or fertility patient.

Approve professional associations

If it is a fertility clinic, check to see if they are members of the ASRM and the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART). You can also check their success rates on the Center for Disease Control website.

You may think these rates don't apply to a donor, but a good success rate for a clinic's patients might mean a better experience for the donor too.

Check contracts carefully

Ask all of your questions (and make sure you are happy with the answers) before agreeing to any medical screening and signing contracts.

Follow your instincts

If you've asked all of your questions but the answers are insufficient, or if a person or agency refuses to answer your questions, use caution.

If for any reason you feel uncomfortable calling or meeting with an agency or clinic, do not proceed with the process.

Never consent to meet with anyone alone and do not give your information to anyone. Make sure you have done your research and verified an agency, clinic, or individual before disclosing any personal information.

What happens before you donate?

After you've done your research and decided that the agency or clinic is one that you want to work with, they'll begin the screening.

Some of these are designed to help determine if you are a good candidate for egg donation, and others are designed to help the intended parents get the information they need to help select the right egg donor for their family.

Here is an overview of what to expect during the screening and inclusion process.

Medical examination and medical history

The general physical and medical exam you will undergo will be like your annual exam and Pap smear, but maybe a little more comprehensive.

You also need to be prepared to answer many questions not only about your health but also about the health of your family. You share information about the physical and mental health of your birth parents, grandparents, and siblings. You also need to be honest about previous drug use or risky sexual behavior.

This step in the donation process can be a problem if you have been adopted or if you have no contact with your biological family. Family history is critical so if you cannot provide this information, you may not be able to donate.

Personal story

Choosing an egg donor is an emotionally complex process. The family that selects your file will likely want to know everything about your hobbies, educational goals and achievements, and physical characteristics.

The family may be looking for a similar person or have different criteria for choosing an egg donor. The bottom line, however, is that she will try to “get to know” you through your answers to personal questions.

Blood work

There will be a basic blood test to assess your overall health, but also fertility-specific tests. You will be tested for communicable diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

You may also be asked to have genetic testing, especially if the intended father or sperm donor is a carrier of genetic diseases.

Pelvic ultrasound

During the screening process, ultrasound will be used to assess your fertility potential and the health of your ovaries. During the donation cycle itself, ultrasound is used to monitor stimulation of your ovaries.

You may never have had a transvaginal ultrasound. Generally it is a slim transducer rod and an ultrasound machine. The wand is inserted vaginally. The technician then uses the magic wand to get ultrasound images of your uterus, ovaries, and other pelvic organs.

It's not painful, but it can be uncomfortable. You will need a transvaginal ultrasound before you can be approved as an egg donor. You will have several of these exams during the donor cycle.

Psychological screening

The main purpose is to make sure you understand the donor process and the risks involved. It is also designed to help you think through the emotional and ethical aspects of the donation.

Psychological tests may be done to make sure the donation is not mentally harmful to you and to prevent certain inheritable mental illnesses from being passed on.

Some agencies request IQ and personality tests. This is just one more piece of information that the family can use to decide which donor to choose.

Some aspects of the donation can be emotionally stressful. For example, if it's not an overt or known donation (where contact can continue to some extent after donation) then you probably don't know what is happening to your eggs (which means you don't know if they lead to a successful pregnancy and live birth).

If the donation is closed, you will not have any contact or information about the child resulting from the donation if the treatment is successful. This can be difficult for some people.

Partner screenings

Donating your eggs affects not only you, but your partner as well. If you're married, both you and your partner will need tests and exams.

If you're not married, your partner may need to have tests and screenings. However, it is highly recommended that you do so.

Your partner will need to have sexually transmitted diseases and HIV tested and psychologically screened. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that your partner understands the egg donation process and accepts your participation.

Detailed explanation of the process

The egg donation process is complicated. You'll need to keep a schedule for blood tests, daily self-injection instructions, and frequent ultrasounds. You will need to refrain from intercourse during the donation process and will likely need to take some time off.

It is important to note that the time between screening and admission and the actual donation can be months apart. You will not go through the donation process until a family has selected your egg donor file. It's hard to say when or if this will happen.

Signature on the dotted line: Legal information

Signing legal agreements is an essential part of egg donation. In many cases the clinic or agency will have an attorney to represent their side, but they may or may not mention that you have the option to hire your own attorney.

It is highly recommended that you hire your own lawyer to protect your interests and have them carefully review the contract before signing it. This is something you will likely have to pay for yourself, but it is well worth the cost.

Some of the questions and issues that should be addressed in your contract include, but are not limited to:

  • What are your legal rights or obligations in relation to a child resulting from your egg donation? (The legal contract should make it clear that you don't have one).
  • How much compensation do you get?
  • How is this money kept and at what times is it distributed during the egg donation process?
    • What happens if the cycle is canceled?
      A cancellation can be made for medical reasons and up to the day of the egg retrieval.
  • Who has the final say on what happens to unused cryopreserved eggs or the embryos resulting from the eggs?
    • What happens to unused embryos?
      Intended parents can choose to keep them cryopreserved, have more children, donate them to research, or have them disposed of. You may have limited say in what happens to unused embryos in the contract.
  • What contact do the donor and family have before, during and after the donation process?
    • What contact, if any, does the donor have with the child resulting from the donation?
      What is the log if the child tries to contact the donor before turning 18? (With genetic services like 23andMe, this situation can easily arise even with a closed donation).
    • Are you allowed to share your experience with egg donors?
      If so, what can you say and what cannot you say? For example, the contract may limit your ability to say what clinic or location the donation will take place in. It is very likely that you are not allowed to provide any personal information about the intended parent and child.
    • What health insurance does the egg donor have?
      What are the restrictions if the policy is purchased from the intended parents?
    • Who is responsible for the egg donor's medical expenses that are not covered by health insurance?
    • What about health issues that arise due to complications soon after donation?
    • Who is responsible for the egg donor's travel expenses?
      Is this separate from the donation allowance?
  • When do the donation cycle and medical appointments take place?
  • Where do all treatments and medical interventions take place?
    • Who do you need to give this information to if you are required to update your medical history? How often?
      If the child is diagnosed with a genetic disease, do the intended parents need to let you know?
      If so, how is this information shared?

This is just a beginning of what should be covered by an egg donation contract. It is really in your best interest to consult an attorney who is familiar with reproductive family law before signing.

What happens during the donation cycle?

As mentioned earlier, the donation cycle itself includes many medical appointments, blood tests, ultrasounds, and injections of fertility drugs.

You will be given very strict instructions on when to give yourself the injections. You will also likely be told not to have sexual intercourse during and shortly after the ice stimulation process.

If you want a detailed idea of ​​what to expect, read more about IVF treatment or the egg freezing process. As a donor, the treatment protocol is very similar to that of a woman going through IVF with her own eggs.

The main difference is that in IVF treatment, embryo transfer takes place after egg retrieval. With egg donation, egg retrieval is the last medical procedure for you. The embryo transfer takes place with the intended mother or a surrogate mother.

After egg donation

After the egg collection, go home and relax. You should be able to return to normal activities the next day.

Avoiding intercourse for a period of time may be recommended as some eggs may have been missed. During this time, your risk of becoming pregnant (with multiple babies!) Is high.

You should be on the lookout for symptoms of OHSS. Excessive pelvic bloating and tenderness are the most common signs. OHSS can be serious so you should let the fertility clinic know if you have symptoms.

The puffiness and discomfort usually subsides after you've got your period. However, in rare cases, OHSS can be severe and even pose a risk to your fertility or life.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pelvic pain
  • Persistent vomiting or nausea
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Decreased urination
  • shortness of breath
  • Pain or redness in the leg (possibly from a blood clot)

Egg donation compensation

Typical egg donation compensation is between $ 3,500 and $ 8,000. If an egg donor has certain physical, academic, religious, or cultural characteristics, agencies or classifieds may advertise amounts in excess of $ 15,000. Whether this practice is ethically justified is highly questionable.

It is important that you understand that you are being paid not for your eggs, but for the time and inconvenience it takes to go through the procedures. In fact, it is illegal to receive payments in exchange for human organs or tissues.

This means that if your body is producing fewer eggs than a clinic or family hoped, your compensation should not be adjusted. You are still investing the same amount of time and effort going through the process for which you are being compensated.

While negotiating payment with the agency or clinic, it is important to clarify who will pay for your medical expenses and travel expenses. This should go beyond what you are getting for the egg donation time itself.

The money for your donation should be kept in an escrow account during the donation process. Specific dates or treatment milestones should be established when you will receive portions of the payment. You shouldn't have to “just trust” that you will be paid.

Payment for an egg donor is made from the pockets of the intended parents. This fee is not paid by the fertility clinic or agency.

There can be confusion when a family or friend offers to donate their eggs, but well-known donors give their time and can be compensated for it. However, it is important to remember that the financial burden lies on the person receiving the eggs.

If you get paid to donate your eggs, don't forget that you will likely have to pay taxes on your income. It's a good idea to set aside a percentage of what you get for tax time. You may want to consult an accountant for advice.

A word from Verywell

Egg donors have a high level of responsibility and are at medical risk. If you think you can do it, good for you! Your donation is the greatest gift you can ever give to another person once you go through the screening phase.

However, if after reading this article you decide that egg donation is not for you, then that's fine too. Most importantly, you have given serious thought to the idea, taking into account your life and feelings.

Better not to donate now than to go through the screening process just to abandon one family whose heart is in your donation record.