The chances are, by now you’ve heard at least one radio ad or seen one on Craigslist inviting you to donate your eggs to help a couple in need conceive. If you’re genuinely into the idea and ready to take on the obstacles involved, the prospect could be a rewarding experience and one that compensates somewhere in the area of $5000-$7000. Before you rush out to sign up however, there are a few things you should be aware of.
Unlike guys, who have a fairly easy time when it comes to donating sperm, the woman who decides to go on the path of egg donation is signing up for a much longer, more challenging process. Here we’ve collected a list of things that you should consider before undertaking the long road to egg donation.
Before you start the process, you’ll have to undergo a series of information sessions, complete with lots of paperwork to go through and fill out. You’ll then be required to undergo an FDA-regulated screening which includes things like DNA tests and a psychological evaluation.
You’ll also have to attend various doctor’s visits and lab tests before being paired with a potential birth mom, a process which can take several months to complete.
The Sacrifices Involved
Once you’ve been cleared and given the go-ahead, the real fun begins. At this point, you will be required to go on birth control pills if you’re not already in order to sync your cycle with that of the prospective mother.
Once that’s done, you’ll then be required to start giving yourself daily hormone injections which can be tricky if you’re a little iffy about needles. These hormones are the same ones you’d be given if you were undergoing IFV, amp your fertility into overdrive, and are not without side effects.
These can be similar to intense PMS symptoms and include things like bloating, tenderness, moodiness, and headaches. They also come with risks, such as OHSS or ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. This can happen if your body over-responds to the drugs and can include things like abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, or tenderness around your ovaries.
Another sacrifice you’ll have to be willing to make can be an important one to consider if you’re currently in a relationship. Though you’re hormones may be all gung-ho, you’ll be required to abstain from sex during the during the stimulation process and for up to two weeks after the eggs are retrieved, in order to give your ovaries a minute to breathe and return to their normal size.
The Retrieval Process Itself
The actual surgery to remove your eggs generally happens within a month of being paired with a recipient and is overall pretty low risk. Keep in mind however, it is indeed a surgical procedure and comes with a few risks such as bleeding and infection. As far as the medical community knows right now, egg donation should not affect your own fertility or health long-term, but multiple studies are still being done.
What Happens Afterwards?
The hardest part about this phase perhaps, is that your work is done and it’s time to bow out of the picture. Many clinics have pretty strict anonymity rules and you may never know who received your eggs or even if they were ultimately able to conceive.
On the other hand, while these are the rules right now, you may want to consider the possibility that they may not always be. There’s always the potential for one of the kids conceived via this process to grow up, get the laws changed, and appear at your door asking to meet you.
As you can see, there are multiple factors to take into consideration when considering the egg donation process. Though it can be a rewarding and noble decision for sure, this is more much likely to be the case if you go into it knowing all the facts. If you’re looking for more information, check out We Are Egg Donors, a forum for women who have actually gone through the process that isn’t aimed at swayinig you either way.
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