For a female, donating their ovarian eggs is a wonderful way in which to help other couples conceive, whilst also earning a large sum of money in the process ($3000 per cycle at a minimum, and up to $10,000 depending on geographical location and donor desirability).
Although the amount paid to donate eggs is a lot more than what men get paid to donate sperm, you would be mistaken to assume that the egg donation process is anywhere near as simple.To become an egg donor, one must go through intensive and thoroughly involved requirements, including medical examinations and daily injections for a month, all leading up to a painful procedure to retrieve the harvested eggs via long needle which passes through the top wall of the vagina.
If you are still interested in donating eggs then read on. This article discusses the requirements for paid egg donations, the risks, the pay, and how find a fertility clinic near you.
Requirements for Becoming an Egg Donor
As mentioned above, the process for becoming an egg donor is not simple, and there are some important requirements that one should take into consideration before applying:
- In order to donate eggs, you must be healthy and between the ages of 21 and 35.
- A minimum education level of a high school diploma is typically required.
- The egg donation process can take a few weeks to a couple of months to complete.
- You will be required to fill out a long questionnaire detailing your medical history, personal history, and physical and personal attributes.
- A prospective donor will also be required to undergo extensive medical evaluations, such as blood tests, physicals, and even psychological consultations.
- If accepted as an egg donor, you will have to take the supplied medications and inject yourself with hormones, which are used to stimulate the eggs to develop, for two to three weeks.
- During the medication and injection period, you will need to take several trips to the clinic for further tests and ultrasounds.
- Once the eggs are harvested, they will be extracted with a long needle inserted through the vagina. This surgery takes an hour, and anesthesia will be used. After the surgery, it is recommended to take it easy for the days immediately following.
Risks of Egg Donation Procedure
Donating eggs is a complex procedure that involves medications, injections, and many tests. For these reasons, there are some understandable risks:
- It is possible for the fertility drugs to induce Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, and in extreme cases, cause sickness to the point of hospitalization. OHSS is believed to occur in 1% of all donations.
- It has been suggested that the drugs used to stimulate the ovaries increases the likelihood of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. (reference)
- The egg extraction procedure could lead to an infection, bruising or hemorrhaging of the ovary.
- Remaining sexually active while taking the ovary stimulating medications increases your odds of pregnancy. If a pregnancy does arise, twins and triplets are common
How Much do Egg Donors Get paid
Not all countries legally allow for you to donate eggs and be paid; however, in the U.S. it is legal as well as a common practice. The amount paid is determined on a number of factors:
- The ASRM suggests that $5,000 is a reasonable amount to expect for a paid egg donation, with $10,000 being the maximum. Despite this, clinics outside of the major cities may offer as low as $3,000.
- If you have previously donated eggs which have successfully lead to a pregnancy, your value is increased in future cycles.
- Women who have achieved a higher level of education (Bachelor’s degree, Doctorate, etc.) will be paid more than those with no more than a high school diploma.
- Generally, the closer you are to 21 (not under), the higher your value as an egg donor.
- You will be reimbursed all associated travel costs. Depending on your location, reimbursement could cover mileage, parking fees, airfare, car rental, hotel costs, and/or meals.
Generally, all donations will be anonymous, meaning that the person using the egg to conceive will never know any of the identifying facts about the donor.
Some programs offer the option of an “open donation.” In this case, the egg donor meets the potential parents and may initiate an opportunity to develop a relationship with them.
Where to Find Paid Egg Donation Clinics
There are plenty of fertility clinics nationwide, and if you decide to apply to become an egg donor and donate eggs for cash, you should have no problem finding a location near you.
Use the following directories for fertility clinics to find one near you: