Egg donors are an integral part of thousands of family’s fertility stories. Every year, families choose to work with egg donors for all sorts of reasons—many struggle with infertility, while others (like LGBTQIA+ couples) don’t have the anatomy to reproduce without assistance. Regardless of the reason for choosing an egg donor, these families all have one major thing in common: they deeply want to bring a child into their lives. That’s where you, a potential egg donor, comes in.
While donating eggs is special and fulfilling, in truth, it is not for everyone. This process requires a massive physical and emotional commitment. If you’re considering this path, it’s essential to properly research and decide whether it’s the best choice for you.
Before you get started, reviewing the general egg donor US requirements is helpful to see if you are eligible. Once you’ve confirmed eligibility, you can begin your application and match with a family!
If you are undecided, that’s okay. Take all the time you need—this is a big decision. You can start by researching the pros and cons of being an egg donor to help clarify your decision. At Extraordinary Conceptions, we support families, surrogates and egg donors through every step of their journey, from application to birth. We would love to help guide you through this exciting and special time as an egg donor. Contact our team at any time to discuss specifics unique to your situation.
Benefits of Egg Donation
Donors help families conceive a baby by donating their oocytes or eggs. This is achieved through a retrieval procedure. Egg retrieval is a minimally invasive procedure to extract eggs to create potential embryos. The retrieved eggs are then implanted into either the Intended Mother or a gestational surrogate for fertilization through a procedure similar to IVF.
With the variety of benefits of egg donation to consider—it’s no wonder so many of our donors come back again for another cycle.
- You’ll Be Helping Others
Infertility can be very emotionally distressing. Egg donors help make a family’s dreams come true and bring all that pain and struggle to a close. It is an incredibly rewarding gift to give another family. Egg donors carry that joy with them for their whole lives.
- Egg Donors Get Paid (A Lot!)
If you are in the US, you can expect hefty compensation for your contribution. These compensation packages typically start at around $6,000 and can be even higher depending on a number of factors. Egg donors also receive comprehensive reimbursement for all of their donation-related expenses.
- You (Potentially) Get to Travel
Want to see the world? You can! Travel is one of the most exciting benefits of egg donation. During the application and interview process, a woman will indicate if she is open to travel. If so, she may go anywhere in the United States or even overseas. You may end up traveling across the country or even to another country for your retrieval procedure! All of the travel expenses for you and your chosen travel companion are covered.
- You Can Develop Long-Lasting Relationships
In some cases, egg donors develop friendships with their intended parents and stay close to the family as the child grows. It is a very special relationship that many egg donors cherish.
- You’ll Learn More About Yourself
During your application process, you’ll create a comprehensive profile for our egg donor database. Making this profile and interviewing with families presents an opportunity to consider how you define yourself. You will also receive concrete information about your physical and mental health: all donors undergo extensive (and fully paid) medical and psychological screening ahead of their cycle. Screenings this comprehensive usually cost thousands of dollars!
Cons and Disadvantages of Egg Donation
While it can be hard to look at the cons and disadvantages of egg donation, it is crucial that you see the whole picture. Egg donors must be 100% sure of their decision and be fully informed about the process when they enter this agreement.
- It’s a Complex Process
The egg donation process is rather involved: donors will undergo extensive screening, take daily injectable medications, and be closely monitored by doctors. For some potential donors, this commitment is too overwhelming to undertake.
- It Can be Emotionally Challenging
While egg donation is a rewarding and wonderful gift, it can bring up complicated emotions. After your donation, there will be a child in the world who is biologically related to you but not your family. While this is okay for many, some find it too complex to proceed.
- It Has Strict Requirements
Due to the intricate nature of being an egg donor, there are many legal requirements to become one. This can lead to disappointment for hopeful donors who find they are ineligible. One of the most important requirements of egg donation is age. Candidates are between the ages of 18 to 29. This age group responds best to fertility treatments before an egg retrieval.
- Mild Fertility Drug Reactions
Ahead of your egg retrieval procedure, you will be required to take certain fertility medications. While it’s rare, donors don’t always respond well to those drugs. You might experience headaches, weight gain, feelings of pressure in the stomach or changes in your mood. There is a slight risk of allergic reaction or infection from these drugs, but it is not common.
- It Comes With (Rare) Health Risks
Egg donation is generally considered very safe. However, potential donors must be aware that several small but serious health risks are associated with the process.
Potential Health Risks of Egg Donation
When considering the pros and cons of donating eggs, you must think about any potential health risks. It’s a good idea to speak to your doctor ahead of applying if you have any concerns.
- Gynecological Issues
On rare occasions, the egg retrieval procedure can cause changes to your pelvic organs. This can then lead to pain, fertility and menstruation issues.
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.
While very rare, the required drugs to be an egg donor can cause Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS.) While this is very serious, our team has advice on ways to minimize the risk of OHSS.
- Post-Retrieval Complications
Occasionally, donors experience post-procedural discomfort or complications, like bleeding, infection or blood vessel/bowel injury. In these (rare) cases, surgery may be required.
Your pre-retrieval fertility drugs will cause your ovaries to become enlarged. This can lead to abdominal pain because of torsion, where certain movements cause the ovary to twist.
We’re Here to Support You
Now that you have a better idea about donor eggs’ pros and cons, you can start truly considering whether this process is right for you. At Extraordinary Conceptions, we understand what a special and exciting time is ahead of you. If you choose to proceed with your application, we will be here to offer everything you need, from help matching a family to providing emotional support whenever necessary.
You deserve to partner with a reputable agency that works with top fertility clinics and doctors—it makes all the difference in the world. The egg donor process with Extraordinary Conceptions has been developed with your comfort and needs in mind—get in touch with our team today to learn more.