Becoming an egg donor is a big decision; it requires both time and energy commitments from young women that not every woman can responsibly meet. Egg donors are admired for this commitment and are compensated for their efforts.
Throughout the egg donation cycle, donors work with a fertility clinic, and sometimes a case manager from a donor agency, in order to complete the cycles successfully and return to their daily routines.
It’s very common for donors to have questions from the time they are matched with intended parents to the day of their egg retrieval procedure. We’ve outlined their top 10 questions below.
1. Will the donor remain anonymous? Those women who choose to donate their eggs anonymously will have their identities withheld as agreed to across all parties prior to the start of the donation cycle.
2. Will the procedure to donate eggs hurt? Egg donors are required to use self-administered injectable medications in the time leading up to the egg retrieval procedure, during which time donors will be given light anesthesia. Most women report only minor symptoms, such as soreness or bloating during the donation cycle, similar to moderate PMS symptoms, though donors are carefully monitored to ensure there are no negative effects from the medication or retrieval procedure.
3. How are egg donors compensated? Compensation can differ from one donor to another, but typically the range for compensation is $4,000–$7,000 per cycle. Repeat donors may earn higher compensation.
4. Is there an age cutoff for egg donors? Most egg donor programs will require that donors be between the ages of 18–29.
5. Is there any reason why a donor would be removed from a donor program? Egg donors must attend appointments, live a healthy and responsible lifestyle that refrains from using tobacco at least six months prior to their cycle, and be free from drug use.
6. Can a donor get a tattoo or piercing? No. Donors must abstain from getting tattoos or piercings in the six months prior to their cycle and until the cycle is complete.
7. Is it OK if an egg donor already has a child? Egg donors with children are preferred, but this is not a requirement for the majority of donor programs.
8. Why does a donor need to attend all appointments? Timing is very important during a donation cycle, so it is important that a donor not miss an appointment. If an appointment is missed, it can put the cycle at risk. Additionally, appointments are used to monitor the donor’s health and check in with how the donor is feeling.
9. Are egg donors compensated more than sperm donors? Yes. Because of the time and effort required of egg donation that are not part of sperm donation, egg donors receive a higher compensation. Most sperm donation compensation is between $50–$100 per deposit.
10. Can a donor have intercourse during a donation cycle? Because of the increased risk of pregnancy and potential for discomfort due to cycle medications, donors are asked to abstain from sex during the two weeks when they are taking hormones and for at least two days post-egg retrieval.