Becoming an egg donor can be exciting and tremendously rewarding. Our team of experts are available to help you throughout your journey, but to get you started, these are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
How old do you have to be to donate eggs?
For ConceiveAbilities, the minimum age to donate eggs is 21 years old. While some egg donation agencies accept egg donors at age 18, we require donors to be at least 21 to protect their own reproductive health and to help ensure they are mature enough to understand the risks and emotional magnitude of donating eggs. Our maximum age to become an egg donor is 28 years old. This is to make sure the donor’s eggs are of the best quality, to give the intended parents the highest chance of conception.
How many times can you donate eggs?
ConceiveAbilities limits a woman to six egg donations. If a donor decides she would like to participate in a second or third donation, she will have already completed the screening process successfully and may be given approval to begin another donor cycle as scheduling permits. It's usually much quicker the second time around.
What might prevent me from being a donor?
The professionals involved in the screening process look very carefully at motivation, health and family medical history, emotional stability and other factors. Many factors are weighed, and often it is no one thing that disqualifies a donor candidate.
However, missing scheduled appointments without informing the professionals involved is actually the leading cause of disqualifying donor candidates. Due to the time sensitive nature of the procedures, keeping a schedule is one of the most important aspects of the egg donor program. Women who have a habit of making and breaking appointments are not qualified candidates. Please consider this point before making the overture to apply.
You can read our full list of egg donor requirements here.
Is it painful to donate eggs?
Every experience is different. Some donors go out to eat or shop the day of retrieval. Others take it easy for several days, particularly if they are experiencing any uncomfortable cramping and bloating following the procedure. Often Tylenol and rest are sufficient to diminish these effects. The medical personnel can discuss their experience with you regarding discomfort following egg donation.
How much do egg donors get paid?
Donor compensation through our agency generally begins at $8,000 and up, which can be dependent upon a number of considerations including location, number of previous donations and ethnic diversity. Egg donor compensation covers the time, effort, inconvenience and high level of commitment necessary to accomplish an egg donation. The program places expectations on you as an egg donor to follow through and feels that the compensation egg donors receive should mirror the importance placed on your commitment and generosity.
Click here to learn more about egg donor compensation.
What are my costs?
Along with your egg donor compensation, the intended parents pay the costs of the screening and donation process. The premium and any deductible for the supplemental short-term accidental health insurance policy will also be paid by the intended parents. You should be aware that donors receive a 1099 tax form at the end of the year for the compensation you earn. ConceiveAbilities withholds no tax. The only cost to you is a current pap smear and your local transportation.
What are the medications I must take?
The physician will determine what medications you will take. While ConceiveAbilities does not possess medical expertise, based on experience there are three medications or hormones most donors take.
The first medication, Lupron, prevents the donor's hormones from causing follicle (the sac surrounding the egg) production and ovulation on their own. It also allows for the next medication, FSH, to be more effective in producing multiple follicles. Pure FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) naturally occurs in a woman's body but in a smaller quantity than the dose donors usually take. FSH is responsible for the production of follicles. Lastly, the donor is usually given hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) that will stimulate her body to finalize the maturation of the eggs and induce ovulation.
For detailed information, please visit our Egg Donor Medications page.
Are these medications safe?
These are medications commonly used for the treatment of infertility. The use of the medications for fertility treatment and egg donation is widespread throughout the United States and the world. The use in the U.S. is the result of rigorous testing for effectiveness and safety by the scientific community and the FDA. Additionally, with approximately ten thousand cases of egg donation in the United States performed every year, and with the guidelines set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine at 6 donations per egg donor, the track record on safety is excellent.
As with any medicine, there can be adverse side effects. During the screening consultation with a physician, you should inquire about all of the risks and potential side effects of the medications and medical procedures. We also encourage you to talk with your gynecologist about your desire to be an egg donor, to help you feel more comfortable and confident in your decision.
For more detailed information, please visit our page on Medication for Egg Donors.
Will I always be able to have the appointment time I need?
The professionals involved understand that most donors work, have child care issues or go to school and have strict schedules to keep. Efforts will be made to accommodate you, but this may not always be possible. Occasionally a doctor is late, a desired time slot is unavailable, or some other scheduling problem may occur. Flexibility is key in the egg donation process.
What about my privacy?
Overwhelmingly, most donor matches are anonymous. There are some cases, however, when both parties – egg donor and intended parent – choose to meet one another. We will work to maintain everyone’s privacy to the extent they wish while also working with those who are interested in a more open arrangement. Some cases even allow future contact if both parties agree.
It is ConceiveAbilities’ policy to attempt to maintain your anonymity as well as that of the intended parents. Identifying details provided by you in your application will be deleted from information shared with the intended recipients. Likewise, identifying information about the recipient couple will be removed from what is disclosed to you. Donors who carefully research agencies feel most secure with our level of privacy and security.
How does the travel arrangement work?
If you consent to be matched in another city or state, you should plan to travel one day for the physician consult and testing at the beginning of the egg donor process. Later, when you begin medication, you can expect to travel to your destination city for a stay anywhere between 7-14 days in order to complete the process and undergo the egg retrieval. You are encouraged to bring a companion for the last trip. Airfare, hotel and daily stipend are all covered by your intended parents.