Frequently Asked Egg Donor Questions
Q. I don’t live in Southern California where you are located. Can I still become an egg donor with your agency?
A. Yes! Although our agency is located in Southern California, we work with donors from the United States and Canada as well as other countries. Our Future Parents come to us from around the world. Currently, most of our clinics are in the U.S. or Canada.
Q. What should my BMI be to become an egg donor?
A. You should have a BMI of 27 or less (weight to height proportionate). You can check your BMI using this BMI calculator.
Q. How much will I be paid to donate my eggs?
A. Extraordinary Conceptions compensates donors for their time and effort, not for a donor’s eggs. The compensation rate starts at $5,000, with previously successful donors compensated at a higher rate.
Q. When is my compensation paid?
A. A partial payment is given at the start of injectable medication, with the balance paid after the egg retrieval.
Q. Is travel required for egg donation?
A. If travel is not an option for you, then we can note that you can only do local donations, however this will limit your recipient options. If you are willing to travel and the parent that chooses your donation requires travel, all travel expenses are paid for by the recipient(s). These include: airfare, transportation, hotel, a guest of your choice to stay with you during the retrieval, and a $50 per diem. We manage all of the travel arrangements for you. This will be discussed and agreed upon at the time of your match.
Q. Will I be required to pay for travel expenses?
A. The recipients are responsible for travel costs. You will be required to provide a credit card in your name at the time of check in at the hotel to cover the cost of any incidentals you may incur during your stay. Incidentals are charges beyond the hotel room rate, such as long distance phone calls, in-room movies, room service, etc.
Q. What are the risks?
A. 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). Careful monitoring is done by your physician to avoid this possibility. Also, as with any procedure, a risk of infection exists, you will most likely be given antibiotics to avoid this. 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. There are no proven long-term risks from egg donation. Empirical studies have not demonstrated any definitive link between egg donation and infertility, cancer, or any other significant long-term health problems.
Q. Do I have any responsibility to any children that may be born?
A. No. The Future Parents assume total responsibility for the children born.
Q. Must I abstain from sex during the donation process?
A. Donors are expected to abstain from sexual intercourse while on medications for the cycle. Donors are extremely fertile while on hormone stimulation medication and run the risk of a multiple pregnancy if they do not abstain from sexual intercourse during this time period. Also, sexual intercourse could potentially expose the donor to sexually transmitted diseases, which could be problematic for the egg donation cycle. A cycle can be canceled if a donor engages in sexual intercourse while on medications.
Q. Can I donate if I have HPV or genital herpes?
A. Yes you can donate with either condition. The doctors will have to ensure that you have no flair ups during the process. You can also donate if you have had an STD that was treated more than 1 year ago as well.
Q. Why are there such strict age restrictions for egg donors?
A. Not all women can donate eggs. Programs vary in the qualities they prefer, but some criteria are fairly standard. Certain rules are set for legal reasons while other policies are designed to increase the chance that a pregnancy will result and that the process will be safe for both donor and recipient. ASRM guidelines state that egg donors should be between the ages of 18-29. In some instances, the IVF physician may recommend that they work with donors who are at least 21 years of age. 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 and older women may not respond as well to fertility medications. If egg quality is not good, it increases the odds of abnormalities and birth defects.
Q. Can I become an egg donor if I’m still a virgin and have not had sexual intercourse?
A. We have not been able to successfully move forward with egg donors that are still virgins (have not had sexual intercourse). The clinics we work with simply do not move forward as they feel this is something that should be continued to be saved until you are ready to take that type of step in your life. The process would break the hymen if it’s still intact and thus, we currently work with women who have already had sex. Unfortunately, at this time we would not be able to match you.
Q. Can I become a donor through your agency if I smoke?
A. No. You cannot donate or be made searchable on our website if you smoke even just one cigarette a day. You need to make sure you have quit completely for at least 3 months prior to being made a donor in our database.
Q. Can I donate if I’m on the birth control pill?
A. Yes. You will have to stop during the process, once you begin injectable medications. The clinic will advise you when the time comes.
Q. Can I donate if I’ve had a tubal ligation?
A. Yes, you may be an egg donor if you’ve had a tubal ligation. Your eggs will be retrieved prior to being released in the fallopian tubes.
Q. What if I am taking the birth control shot?
A. Donors must remain off this medication for several months before they can donate.
Q. What if I have an Intrauterine Device (I.U.D.)?
A. Donors who have had an IUD insertion generally may donate without removing the IUD if it does not release any level of hormones. IUDs such as the Mirena IUD that release hormones may have to be removed prior to egg donation. Please be sure to inform Extraordinary Conceptions if you have had an IUD insertion.
Q. Can I donate if I have tattoos and/or piercings?
A. DDue to the risk of infectious disease, donors must wait six months to one year after receiving a tattoo or body piercing before they can donate. However, if you have written and signed proof that your tattoo was administered with disposable needles, you do not have to wait the usual six months to a year to donate your eggs. Most tattoos clinics do use disposable needles so donating after a tattoo should not be a problem; however this is at the clinic’s discretion.
Q. Can I donate if I have had an abortion in the past?
A. Yes, women can donate if they have had abortions in the past.
Q. Can I donate if I just had a baby and I’m breastfeeding?
A. You may not donate while you are breastfeeding. It is also necessary for you to have at least three regular menstrual cycles prior to participating in an egg donation cycle. You may start the application process though.
Q. Will my insurance be billed for any of the medical appointments or medications?
A. No. All medical expenses related to the donation cycle are paid by the recipient.
Q. What insurance coverage is offered?
A. An insurance policy will be purchased for you through ART Risk’s Insurance Program. Participants in the infertility treatment process may find their health insurance excludes (or does not fully cover) infertility treatment or complications resulting from such procedures. There is no cost to you, as the recipient will cover the cost of this insurance for you. A detailed explanation of this insurance will be provided to you if you request it.
Q. How can I be sure that my donation remains confidential?
A. 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.
Q. Do I have the right receive information regarding the recipient couple?
A. No. The Future Parents’ privacy must be respected, however, in some cases the Future Parents have allowed background information to be given to their donor.
Q. Will I get to meet the couple that receives my eggs?
A. Since most donations are anonymous, most donors do not meet the recipient of their egg donation. Some donors opt for a “known donation” in which case meeting the recipients can be discussed if all parties agree to it. This can be discussed with your Egg Donor Coordinator when you are being matched.
Q. Can I go to my own personal doctor for the medical screening?
Q. Will I have to take time off from school or work?
A. Appointments are usually early in the morning, so little or no time is missed. You will need to block an entire day for the egg retrieval. If your retrieval requires travel to a city where the recipient’s doctor is located, you will need to take time off of work or school, usually 5-7 days. In some cases, clinics may require 10-14 days. A doctor’s note can be provided if your employer or school requires one.
Q. Can I drink alcohol during the donation process?
A. You will be asked to refrain from drinking alcohol and taking certain medications typically when your injections start. The IVF clinic coordinator will give you the specific guidelines for your cycle.
Q. Can I exercise during the donation process?
A. Donors are expected to restrain from engaging in strenuous exercise from the time they begin stimulation hormones through a couple of weeks after the retrieval to avoid medical complications.
Q. Do I schedule my medical appointments with you, the agency?
A. No. Since we are the agency, we do not perform medical screenings, lab tests, ultrasounds, etc. We do however work the IVF clinic that you are in cycle with to help schedule appoints with you once we know the necessary dates.