As a college student, you’re no stranger to the student loan crisis creeping up on college graduates. Forbes reports that in 2017, the average student loan borrower owed around $39,000 upon graduation. With that being only an average number, there are many people who owe much more than that.
For a recent graduate starting their first job, that loan figure can be astronomical. This may lead women to look for unconventional ways to make extra money to help pay them back. For example, some women have even looked into donating their eggs as a means to manage those high loan payments. While it may be tempting to donate your eggs in order to make “quick money,” egg donation is a very serious decision to make, with multiple aspects to consider.
The process of egg donation
It is important to understand the process when considering egg donation as a means of making money. The average donation takes 12 to 16 weeks to go through the medical screening, legal process and egg donation cycle itself. Although the process may be longer than you expected, the benefits of donating your eggs go far beyond the monetary reward.
Once you decide to donate your eggs, you’ll start by filling out and submitting an application to a fertility center or an egg donor agency. This application will ask for lots of medical and personal information that will be used by the agency, doctor’s office and potential parents to decide whether you’re a good candidate.
In general, the requirements to become an egg donor include:
- Be between 18 and 29 years of age
- Healthy weight for your height
- Unremarkable health and mental health history
- Regular menstrual periods
- Abstinence from using drugs or nicotine
If your application is accepted, you’ll submit photos of yourself from childhood through the present. Those photos and your application (with all potentially identifying information removed) will become available for future parents to look at.
Because each future parent is looking for specific characteristics as an egg donor, how long it takes for a woman to get chosen can vary. Some women are picked very quickly, others can remain in the database for months or years, and some women may never be picked. It all depends on what qualities they are looking for in their donor. It is important to be aware of the possible waiting periods when looking at egg donation compensation to pay off debt.
Women who are selected as a potential donor will need to visit an IVF facility to complete medical screening that includes testing of hormone levels, genetic carrier testing, transvaginal ultrasounds and infectious disease testing. Most agencies and fertility doctors will also require psychological testing in addition to the medical screening. The results of both the medical and psychological testing will determine if you are clear to move forward.
Once the testing is completed, she’ll meet with a lawyer to have a legal contract drawn up between her and the intended parents. The contract will outline her compensation, responsibilities and release the eggs to the intended parents.
She’ll then be on injectable medication for up to two or three weeks with regular ultrasounds and blood tests to look at her response to the medication. While it isn’t common, it is possible for a potential donor to have her cycle canceled partway through the process because she’s not responding well to the medication.
Once the eggs are mature and ready to be retrieved, she’ll have a quick and simple outpatient procedure under light anesthesia. Recovery will be brief and then she’ll go home and be back to her regular life within a couple of weeks.
All things considered, the egg donation process has more to it than it may seem and proves to be a big commitment. That being said, you have the opportunity to learn a lot about yourself and your body throughout the process.
Things to think about when deciding if egg donation is right for you
Donating your eggs isn’t as simple as giving blood or plasma and requires time, commitment and responsibility. You’ll be helping another couple or person have a baby. While that’s a wonderful gift, it’s not a decision you should make on a whim.
There are some questions you should ask yourself:
- How do you feel about your DNA producing children that are raised by another family?
- Would it bother you if you never met the children that were born as a result of your donation?
- If you choose to tell your family about your decision to donate, how do they feel about it?
- Are you comfortable proceeding if your family and/or friends aren’t comfortable?
- Are you okay with giving yourself injections each day and having regular transvaginal ultrasounds?
- Are you comfortable with getting genetic carrier testing? Generally, this is a simple blood test.
- What if something comes back positive that you weren’t expecting? Genetic testing is expensive and egg donors are able to gain valuable information about themselves without having to pay for it.
These are serious questions that require a good amount of thought before proceeding.
The bottom line
Though incredibly rewarding, egg donation should not be done just to make quick money to repay student loan debt. It is a commitment that should be made in order to help intended parents achieve their dreams of parenthood as the top priority.