Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does egg donation work?
Over a course of approximately three weeks, a donor will self-inject hormones to stimulate her ovarian production. She is closely monitored by the fertility physician through this process with frequent blood draws and vaginal ultrasounds. Once the eggs are ready for maturation, the egg retrieval is scheduled to remove them from the ovaries. The procedure is done under sedation in an outpatient setting. Most donors return to work or school the following day.
Q. How does egg retrieval work?
The egg retrieval procedure is usually performed in the morning and takes approximately 30 minutes. Prior to the procedure, an IV will be used to administer fluids and medication. In the operating room, IV anesthesia will be administered. Then, utilizing the ultrasound transducer/wand for guidance, a needle will be placed through vaginal wall into each ovary to draw out the eggs and surrounding fluid. All eggs seen on the ultrasound will be removed from the ovaries. The donor will be given some pain medications to take, if necessary, after the egg retrieval.
Q. Does it hurt?
During the stimulation phase, a donor might experience PMS-like symptoms, some bloating and minor irritability. The retrieval procedure is done under sedation so a donor will not experience pain during the procedure. After the procedure, a donor will generally feel groggy from the sedative and may experience some spotty bleeding and/or cramping. This usually subsides after a few hours.
Q. What are the risks? (No long term side effects have been reported for egg donation)
The primary risk is a condition called Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome. This is relatively rare (1-2% of IVF cases). Careful monitoring is done by your physician to avoid this possibility. Symptoms include weight gain and a feeling of extreme bloating. Also, as with any procedure, a risk of infection exists, you will most likely be given antibiotics to avoid this.
Q. How long will it take?
Once a donor is in cycle, the process is quite short, approximately 3 months from selection to the retrieval procedure. However, before beginning this process, a donor must be “selected” by an infertile couple or individual and this can sometimes take several months.
Q. Will my future fertility be affected?
No. The medications nor the procedure compromise the possibility of becoming pregnant in the future, unless infection occurs which is extremely rare. The fertility doctor takes every precaution to ensure your comfort, health and safety throughout the process.
Q. Will I miss a lot of school or work?
Hopefully not. Most appointments are scheduled for early in the morning so a donor will have as little disruption to her schedule as possible. The egg retrieval procedure will require an entire day free, however. It is very important that you recognize the level of responsibility required in making and keeping these appointments, and in doing so, be very honest with yourself as to whether or not donation would be possible for you and your work, school and personal schedule.
Q. How much am I paid?
At The Donor Source, our egg donors receive a base compensation that varies based on location, ranging from $5,500 to $8,000 for first-time donors. Your compensation will be discussed with you during your consultation with our staff. Donors are paid their full compensation upon completion of the cycle.
Q. Is egg donation anonymous?
From its infancy to a relatively short time ago, third party reproduction was a taboo subject and not many people talked openly about it. A completely anonymous donation was the norm and accepted by everyone involved. Now, more is known about the importance of a donor-conceived person’s need for access to their full genetic identity. Coupled with technological advances such as at-home DNA test kits, being anonymous is a thing of the past.
At The Donor Source, we take the views of anonymity for Intended Parents and Egg Donors into account when helping find the best match. There are many different ways to facilitate communication and we are here to support both our Egg Donors and Intended Parents based on their wants and needs.