Egg Donor FAQs
Since opening our agency in 2005, we have worked with thousands of women to become egg donors. We wanted to simplify the egg donation process a bit so we have compiled a list of the most common questions that our team is asked by prospective and current egg donors. Below you’ll find this list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) but please feel free to call or email us if you have any other questions or if you would like us to explain something in greater detail. You can reach us at (760) 438-2265 or Info@extraconceptions.com
*Some of these questions and answers may not apply to egg donors who live outside of the U.S.
Yes! Although our agency is located in Southern California, we work with donors and future parents from around the world. Currently, most of our clinics are in the U.S. or Canada. For international donors, you will need to be in the U.S. or Canada (where the IVF clinic is located) for the screening and retrieval. For international donors, your residency status does not matter for your donation (U.S. citizen, permanent resident, student VISA, etc.).
Egg donor compensation typically starts at $5,000 for first-time egg donors. Previously successful egg donors are compensated at a higher rate. Partial payment is sent to the donor when she starts her injectable medications, and the remainder is paid after the egg retrieval itself. It’s important to remember that egg donors are compensated for their time and effort during the egg donation process, not for their eggs. Payments are dispersed from a trust account funded by the Intended Parents in accordance with our agency’s egg donation agreement.
After your profile is complete and visible to future parents, there may be a waiting period before you are selected or “matched”. Once you are selected, the average donation process takes about 12-16 weeks to go through the medical screening, legal process and the egg donation cycle itself. Some girls are matched quickly while others may take longer to be discovered.
The retrieval itself is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure in which you are given a mild sedative. The procedure takes less than 1 hour and after 30-45 minutes in the recovery room, you will be allowed to leave the facility with your travel companion. Some donors may experience some mild cramping. Most donors tell us that they don’t remember the procedure afterward.
As with many medical procedures, there are always risks and possible side effects. The primary risk is a condition called Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome. This is relatively rare (1-3% of cases). and careful monitoring is done by your physician to avoid any repercussions. Common side effects that donors may or may not experience from the medications include headaches, mood swings, bloating, nausea, and/or temporary stinging where the injection was administered. At this time, there are no proven long-term risks from egg donation.
ASRM recommends that egg donors have a Body Mass Index (or BMI) of 27 or less (weight to height proportionate). Being within a healthy weight range will decrease the risk of medical complications during the egg donation process and correlates to the quality and quantity of eggs retrieved. You can check your BMI using this BMI calculator.
ASRM guidelines state that egg donors should be between the ages of 18-29. The lower age limit ensures that a woman can legally enter into a contract. The upper limit reflects the fact that egg quality declines as women age.
Smoking or vaping nicotine, marijuana, or any recreational drug use will disqualify you. You must quit completely for at least 2 months prior to being made a searchable egg donor in our database.
Yes, you may still donate your eggs if you have tattoos and/or piercings. If your tattoo or piercing is recent, we ask that you provide a signed letter from the tattoo or body piercing shop stating that proper sanitation guidelines are followed or disposable needles were used. If you are unable to attain this written letter, there is a waiting period of 6 months to one year before you are eligible for egg donation.
You may not donate while you are breastfeeding and we do not recommend that you stop breastfeeding so that you can donate your eggs. You may start the application process though! Simply let us know when you are done breastfeeding and you’ll be able to finish your profile (if it’s not already done) and continue the admissions process.
Yes, you can still donate your eggs if you have had a tubal ligation since your eggs are still intact in your ovaries.
Yes, women can donate their eggs if they have had abortions in the past.
You are still eligible to donate your eggs if you have not had sexual intercourse. That being said, it is necessary that you understand that the process would break the hymen if it is still intact. Unfortunately, in our experience, many IVF doctors/clinics do not feel comfortable breaking the hymen and the chances of a match moving forward are low.
Yes, you can still donate your eggs if you are using birth control. Some birth control methods may delay the donation cycle. Make sure you note your birth control method on your profile. Please ask your egg donor coordinator for more information.
Yes, you can donate with either condition. The IVF doctors will have to ensure that you do not experience any flare-ups during the egg donation process. If you have previously been treated for any other STDs, you may still be eligible to donate your eggs. Be sure that you complete all relevant questions on your donor profile.
Egg donors are expected to abstain from sexual intercourse while on medications for the cycle. The injectable medications for an egg donation make the egg donor extremely fertile, thereby increasing the risk of unplanned pregnancy. A cycle can be canceled if a donor engages in sexual intercourse while on medications.
You will be asked to refrain from drinking alcohol when your injections start. The IVF clinic coordinator will give you the specific guidelines for your cycle.
Egg donors are expected to refrain from engaging in strenuous exercise from the time they begin stimulation hormones through the retrieval to avoid medical complications. The IVF Doctor will advice when it’s okay to start exercising following the retrieval.
Travel is required if the recipient(s) clinic you are matched with is not local (within 60 miles) to your home or work. If the donation you are matched for requires travel, all travel expenses are paid for by the recipient(s). These include airfare, transportation, hotel accommodations, $50 per diem for every 24 hours away from home. For your egg retrieval travel, the previously mentioned travel expenses will be paid for a companion of your choice to accompany you throughout your stay. We manage all of the travel arrangements for you. This will be discussed and agreed upon at the time of your match.
Appointments are usually early in the morning, so little or no time from school or work is missed. For the egg retrieval, you will need one full day off from your normal activities. If your retrieval requires travel, you will need to take time off of work or school, usually 5-10 days. A doctor’s note can be provided if your employer or school requires one.
Since most donations are anonymous, donors do not meet the recipient of their egg donation and both parties’ privacy must be respected. Some donors may opt for a “known donation,” in which case meeting the recipients can be discussed if all parties agree to it.
No. The Future Parents assume total responsibility for the children born from the donated eggs. Parental rights are covered in depth during the legal phase of the donation. Please ensure to read and understand all legally binding agreements. You will be provided an attorney to review the legal contract with you.
No. All medical expenses related to the donation cycle are paid by the recipient. An insurance policy will be purchased for you once you start injections to cover any complications that may be experienced after the egg retrieval.
Egg donor confidentiality is protected by a legal contract with the recipient(s). All of our donors are given an ID number when they apply and this is what is used throughout the process to reference you and your cycle.