Becoming an Egg Donor Guide
All you need to know
What is an Egg Donor and how to become one?
An Egg Donor is a compassionate and generous woman who chooses to help others fulfill their dreams of parenthood through egg donation. By donating a few of her eggs, an Egg Donor provides hope and a chance at starting or growing a family for couples or single parents who are unable to conceive naturally. Once the eggs are retrieved, they are fertilized with the Intended Parents sperm to create embryos which are then transferred into the recipient mother or surrogate’s uterus.
At Eggspecting, Inc, we understand that becoming an Egg Donor is a big decision, and we are here to support and guide you every step of the way. If you have any questions or concerns about the egg donation process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are always here to help.
Why do women choose to become an Egg Donor?
At Eggspecting, Inc, we recognize that while financial compensation is one of the motivating factors for women to become Egg Donors, it should not be the sole reason. We believe in working with compassionate women who understand the emotional and financial investment that Intended Parents make in the egg donation process. Empathy and kindness are key ingredients to success, and we are proud to work with Donors who embody these qualities.
Aside from the emotional reward of helping a fellow human being achieve their dreams of having a baby, becoming an Egg Donor also comes with some practical benefits. You can earn extra income while still going to school or work, and there may be opportunities for all-expenses paid trips for yourself and a companion if you are willing to travel out of state or internationally.
Why should I choose Eggspecting, Inc?
Why choose Eggspecting, Inc.? Our team consists of numerous prior Egg Donors with years of experience and a track record of successfully facilitating hundreds of egg donations. We have a deep understanding of the needs of both Egg Donors and Intended Parent(s) and are committed to providing expert guidance every step of the way. Our core values of service excellence, transparency, building long-lasting relationships, and going the extra mile set us apart from other agencies.
We are passionate about helping others, and we deeply respect and appreciate the contributions of our Egg Donors. Safety and happiness are our top priorities, and we follow the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Guidelines for Oocyte Donation to ensure the highest standards of care. We are proud to have a community of amazing Egg Donors who are willing to speak with you and provide additional peace of mind as you embark on this incredible journey with us. Ask us for our Donor references. Choose Eggspecting, Inc. and let us help you make a difference in the world.
If I’m interested in becoming an Egg Donor, how do I get started?
If you’re interested in becoming an Egg Donor, the process is simple. First, check the basic Egg Donor requirements to ensure that you meet the qualifications. Once you meet the requirements, you can register on our website and begin your Donor application. We recommend that you read through the information under the Process section on our website to fully understand the steps involved. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process every step of the way.
What’s involved in the screening process, and will I have to pay for any of it?
At Eggspecting, Inc., we use first world global standards for all our Egg Donor screening, regardless of the country of residence. The screening process is designed to ensure your safety and to confirm that you are a good match with the intended parent(s) for a particular cycle. You will need to complete some Doctor’s appointments and lab visits before you can begin treatment. This process includes fertility and hormone testing, comprehensive genetics panel, infectious disease testing, ovarian ultrasound and physical, communicable diseases, full overall health with drug panel, and a psychological evaluation.
The screening process is paid for by the Intended Parents of the cycle, and you will benefit immensely from the testing as it provides invaluable insight into your genetic, physical, and reproductive health. Once you have received clearance from the Intended Parent(s) chosen fertility clinic and Doctor, and you have completed all the necessary screening, you will move on to the legal phase.
Can I donate my eggs more than once?
To address concerns regarding egg donation and ovarian reserve, it is important to note that donating your eggs does not deplete your ovarian reserve and is completely safe. In fact, you can donate up to six times. However, it is crucial to take the required break between donations, which is a minimum of 12 weeks, to allow your body to recover and reset itself. It is recommended to follow this guideline for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it is essential to prioritize your health and well-being as egg donation is a significant commitment, both physically and mentally. Following clear instructions from your cycle coordinators and Doctors can ensure that the process remains safe. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, there is no reason to believe that egg donation causes long-term negative health effects. Nonetheless, your body deserves a rest after six rounds of fertility medication and egg retrieval procedures.
Secondly, limiting the number of related Donor-conceived babies is another reason for the guideline of six donations per Donor. Depending on the number of viable embryos resulting from an egg donation cycle, a family could end up having several children using the same Donor’s eggs. When multiplied by several families, the number of babies who share the same donor’s DNA can quickly rise. Limiting the number of donations to six helps minimize the chances of these children bumping into each other in the future.
Is it painful? Are there any side effects?
Egg donation should not cause significant pain, and the worst discomfort you may experience is similar to period cramps. As with any medical procedure, there may be some side effects, but they differ for each individual. Some Egg Donors report little to no discomfort during the donation cycle, while others may have various symptoms that typically go away after the egg retrieval.
Common side effects include: • Redness, swelling, or bruising on the lower abdominal area from the hormone stimulation injections. • Feeling of pressure or bloating. • Headache and fatigue. • Breast tenderness. • Irritability or moodiness.
All symptoms experienced should go away with the next menstrual period after retrieval. The egg retrieval procedure is performed under mild twilight sedation, so you will not experience pain during the procedure. After retrieval, you may feel tired from the sedation and may experience some spotting and/or cramping and bloating which is normal and usually goes away within a few days.
Does egg donation affect my future fertility, or deplete my ovarian reserve?
One of the most common concerns for women considering egg donation is whether it will affect their future fertility or deplete their ovarian reserve. The good news is that it does not. There is no proven evidence that donating your eggs will affect your future ability to have your own child(ren). The egg donation screening process, hormone treatment, and retrieval procedure do not have any long-term impact on your future fertility.
The female body is truly amazing!
We are born with millions of eggs, and each month, a group of eggs begin the maturation process. However, the body selects only one egg each cycle to ovulate, while the rest are absorbed by the body. The hormone stimulation injections used during egg donation treatment “rescue” some of these excess eggs that the body would have ordinarily discarded with your monthly period.
To ensure that you have enough eggs for your own fertility and for egg donation, certain medical checks will be conducted during the screening process. Donating your eggs has no known impact on your future fertility, and these medical checks will actually give you more information about your fertility status.
However, it’s important to note that there are potential risks involved with egg donation. We understand that this may cause some worry, but we will explain this to you in detail. You can also find more information in our FAQ section: “Am I restricted in any way during the donation process?” and “What are the potential risks involved?” Please refer to those sections here below for more information.
What are the possible risks involved as an Egg Donor?
Egg donation is a medical procedure that, like any other medical procedure, carries some risks. While most Egg Donors have no problems, it is important to be aware of the possible risks involved in the process. At Eggspecting, we take great care to ensure that you are fully informed and comfortable with the process before you begin.
Blood tests and injections may cause some discomfort, pain, redness, or bruising, but they are generally well-tolerated. The larger doses of hormones used to stimulate your ovaries can cause some mild side effects, similar to those of PMS, such as pressure or bloating, headache, breast tenderness, irritability, or moodiness. You might experience tiredness and mild cramping after the egg retrieval procedure. In very rare cases, an allergic reaction to the medication is possible.
The most significant risk of egg donation is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which is a rare side effect that usually occurs after the egg retrieval procedure. OHSS can cause enlarged ovaries and fluid build-up in the abdominal cavity, resulting in bloating, abdominal pain, and nausea. However, the risk of developing OHSS can be significantly lowered with careful screening, monitoring, and dosing of medication. Eggspecting provides Donor Complications insurance on every cycle that covers our Egg Donors for up to 3 months post-retrieval in both the retrieval country and their home country.
It is important to be fully informed before deciding to donate your eggs. At Eggspecting, we are committed to providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak with us.
Can I donate if I recently had a baby, or I am still breastfeeding?
If you have recently had a baby or are still breastfeeding, it is not possible to donate your eggs right away. In order to be an Egg Donor, you must have a normal menstrual cycle, which may take some time to return after giving birth or after stopping breastfeeding. You should have a normal menstrual cycle for at least 3 months before donating your eggs.
Furthermore, it is not safe to take injectable hormones or participate in egg donation while still breastfeeding or pumping. The hormones could pass through your milk, similar to other types of medications, which could be harmful to your child. Therefore, it is important to wait until you have stopped breastfeeding before considering egg donation.
Can I still become an Egg Donor if my tubes are tied?
Certainly! If you’ve had a tubal ligation (commonly referred to as having your tubes tied), you can still donate eggs. The procedure doesn’t involve the fallopian tubes at all; instead, the focus is on directly accessing and retrieving eggs from the ovaries. Although a tubal ligation renders you unable to conceive naturally, it doesn’t impact the normal function of your ovaries. Therefore, you can still produce eggs and potentially help someone else start or grow their family through egg donation.
Can you give me more information on the different types of acceptable contraceptives to qualify and become an Egg Donor?
We understand that many women have questions about acceptable forms of contraceptives when considering egg donation. We accept a variety of methods, including birth control pills, NuvaRing, hormonal patches, and non-hormonal IUDs. However, there are a few exceptions.
If you have been using the Depo-Provera shot, you will need to refrain from any shots for at least 6 months prior to applying. We cannot accept Egg Donors who are currently on the Depo-Provera shot.
Norplant, Implanon or Nexplanon
If you currently have a hormonal implant such as Norplant, Implanon, or Nexplanon, you’ll need to be willing to remove the implant in order to be accepted into our egg donation program. Once matched you would need to have it removed at your own expense.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
As for becoming an Egg Donor with an IUD, it all comes down to whether your IUD is hormonal or non-hormonal. We are able to accept candidates with non-hormonal IUDS (commonly called the copper IUD) as this IUD doesn’t interfere with hormones or stop the menses altogether as some hormonal IUDs do.
Brands such as Mirena are called hormonal IUDs. They use slow-release hormone therapy to prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus in the cervix, which reduces the chance of sperm fertilizing an egg. IUDs also suppress menstruation by thinning the lining of the uterus. Some IVF Doctors will allow a Donor to keep in her hormonal IUD as long as she is still having monthly period, even if they are light or only last a day or 2. If you don’t have a monthly menses, it is likely the Doctor will require you to remove the IUD prior to starting stimulations and this would be at your own expense. Usually, all hormonal IUDs must be removed to be an Egg Donor.
If you have any further questions about acceptable contraceptives for egg donation, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Can I donate if I have an hormonal IUD?
We understand that some potential Egg Donors may have questions about whether they can donate if they have a hormonal IUD, such as Mirena. While some clinics may accept donors with a hormonal IUD, we cannot guarantee that the clinic your Intended Parents are working with will accept such Donors. If you are chosen by Intended Parents to cycle, you can expect to remove your hormonal IUD before beginning the medical screening process. Removing the IUD involves scheduling a removal appointment with your OBGYN and waiting for your menstrual cycle to start again.
It’s important to note that keeping your hormonal IUD in may decrease your chances of being selected by Intended Parents, but it’s not a certainty. If you have a non-hormonal IUD, such as Paragard, you may donate eggs without having it removed. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Can I just remove my hormonal IUD?
We understand that deciding to remove your hormonal IUD before being selected by Intended Parents is a personal decision that requires careful consideration. It’s important to keep in mind that removing your hormonal IUD does not guarantee selection for an egg donation cycle.
Additionally, the cost of removing your hormonal IUD is not covered by the Intended Parents and may not be covered by your insurance plan. It’s also important to note that removing your hormonal IUD does not guarantee that you will pass the medical screening process, as there may be unforeseen issues that arise during testing.
If you are considering having your hormonal IUD removed before being selected, we recommend speaking with a representative at Eggspecting, Inc to ensure that you meet the preliminary eligibility requirements. It’s also important to discuss the decision with your OBGYN or healthcare professional to ensure that it’s the right decision for you. Ultimately, the decision to remove your hormonal IUD is yours to make, but it’s important to carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits before proceeding.
Do I receive any compensation for donating my eggs?
Yes, Egg Donors receive financial compensation for their time, commitment, inconvenience, and risks involved in the egg donation process. However, while financial compensation is an important factor, it is not the only reason women choose to become Egg Donors. The satisfaction of helping others achieve their dream of parenthood is also a motivating factor. For more detailed information please visit the compensation tab under our Donor page.
Why are Egg Donors compensations different globally?
At Eggspecting, Inc., we believe in fairness and transparency when it comes to Egg Donor compensation. To ensure equity amongst Donors worldwide, the base compensation amounts are determined by the Donor’s country of residence, local currency, and purchasing power. We use USD for all compensation-based rates. The compensation range for Egg Donors is typically 1-3 months of the typical salary for their age and educational level in their home country.
If all global Egg Donors were paid the same compensation, it would result in a large inequity in the actual rate once converted to local currency for the Donor’s home country. For example, $5,000 USD for an American Donor may be equivalent to 1-2 months’ worth of salary in America but 3-6 months’ worth of salary for a foreign Donor once the USD is converted into their local currency.
Compensation amounts are also influenced by factors such as the Donor’s past donation history, education level, and certain unique physical characteristics or rare ethnicities. These are just a few of the reasons that determine Donor compensations. At Eggspecting, Inc., we strive to provide reasonable compensation to our Donors for their time, commitment, inconvenience, and risks involved in egg donation. Eggspecting is well known globally for caring for and compensating our Donors well.
Do I have to give myself the hormone stimulation injections?
Yes. All Egg Donors are required to administer subcutaneous injections of IVF medications to mature their follicles. These injections are done in the privacy of your own home or accommodation. Your cycle nurse and our representatives will provide you with a clear demonstration of how to administer the injections, and they will be available to you to video conference (if requested) your first injection until you are comfortable doing them on your own.
Subcutaneous injections are relatively painless since they are administered into the fatty tissue of your belly where there are hardly any nerve endings. You will give yourself daily injections at the same time each day during your cycle. The final trigger shot, which is administered strictly 36 hours prior to the egg retrieval, is a one-time injection typically administered subcutaneously (but in rare occasions intramuscularly or into the buttocks). The staff at the IVF clinic will show you how to administer these injections. Although it may seem intimidating at first, most Donors get the hang of it after their first injection and are often surprised at how painless they really are.
How much of my time is involved to become an Egg Donor?
How much time does egg donation take? The sign-up process takes a few hours and completing your profile can take around 2 hours. This is an extensive and important process, as it is your way of presenting yourself to potential Intended Parents. We recommend taking your time to complete it with as much information and quality photographs as possible. You should also upload a brief 1-2 minute introduction video without any personal details or your surname. It’s important to log in periodically and keep your information up to date, including refreshing your photographs.
The matching process usually takes a few days to a few months, and the screening, syncing, and preparation for a cycle can take up to 6 to 12 weeks, starting from the screening until the first day of treatment.
There are several types of cycles:
In-State, Out of State and International. Donors who reside in the same state as the Intended Parents chosen fertility clinic will not be required to travel out of their home state for the retrieval procedure. Out of State cycles require donors to travel for 6-10 days to complete the donation cycle, and travel and monitoring arrangements will be coordinated by Eggspecting, Inc. International cycles involve the donor traveling to another country for the cycle treatment and require 15-19 consecutive days stay in the retrieval country. When travel is required for the cycle then all travel expenses are covered by the Intended Parents in addition to your compensation. Most Donors desire travel cycles because they get a free but chill semi vacation in addition to their gift of compensation.
Am I restricted in any way during the duration of the donation process?
Starting from around a month before your egg retrieval, it is necessary for you to refrain from certain activities to ensure the safety of the cycle and your own health. One of the most important restrictions is refraining from sexual intercourse. This is because unprotected intercourse could expose you to infectious diseases that could potentially harm the eggs and be passed on to the Intended Parents and the baby(ies).
Another reason to abstain from sexual intercourse is to avoid the possibility of multiple pregnancy. During treatment, your fertility is heightened and the chances of becoming pregnant are significantly increased. This means that the risks associated with pregnancy, such as multiple pregnancies, are also heightened.
Starting from the time of starting stimulation medications to about 2 weeks post retrieval Strenuous physical activities such as exercising, running, cycling, and jumping should also be avoided until after the post-retrieval period to prevent ovarian torsion and/or Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). Abstaining from alcohol and medications not cleared by the cycle coordinators, clinic, or doctor is also necessary, as certain medications can affect the quality of the eggs and potentially cause birth defects.
Although these restrictions may seem like a sacrifice, the short period of time during the treatment is totally worth it when you consider the reward of being an Egg Donor. You will have the opportunity to help others achieve their dream of having a family, which is truly an indescribable feeling.
Can I be a Donor if I’m fully vaccinated for COVID-19?
Yes, you can still be an Egg Donor if you are vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is not a clinical requirement for Egg Donors, however, if you have recently received any COVID-19 vaccinations or boosters, you will need to wait at least 60 days before starting the donation screening process. This waiting period ensures that the vaccination has enough time to work its way through your body and poses no potential risks to yourself or the cycle.
It is important to note that the protocol surrounding COVID-19 may differ from clinic to clinic. Typically, you should be prepared to possibly be tested for COVID-19 two to three times during the egg donation process.
Do I have any legal responsibilities to any children born through my egg donations?
As an Egg Donor, you do not have any legal responsibilities to any children born through your egg donations. All legal rights and responsibilities are outlined in the cycle legal agreements signed by you and the Intended Parents. By agreeing to donate your eggs, you give up all rights and responsibilities associated with the eggs, resulting embryos, and any child born as a result of them. It’s important to note that once your eggs have been retrieved and fertilized, they legally belong to the Intended Parents and not to you. Additionally, you cannot get back any of your unfertilized eggs that may have been frozen for any reason in the future, as those oocytes legally no longer belong to you.
What is BMI and why is it important to become an Egg Donor?
Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measurement system that calculates your weight relative to your height. It is an important factor to consider when it comes to egg donation. The global standard for Egg Donors requires a BMI between 18 and 27, which is not meant to shame anyone, but rather to ensure the safety and health of the Donor. Hormone stimulation medication needed for a cycle can trigger conditions like Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) if a Donor’s BMI is lower or higher than the average range. Additionally, being underweight or overweight can potentially impact a Donor’s fertility or egg quality. To find out your own BMI, you can use a BMI calculator such as the one found at https://bmicalculator.mes.fm/.
Can you donate your eggs if you have or have had depression?
While depression is a common mental health issue, good mental health is an important requirement for becoming an Egg Donor. Prospective Egg Donors are required to undergo a thorough screening process, including a psychological assessment with a qualified mental health professional. This assessment evaluates your mental stability and psychosocial health, including your family’s mental health history.
During the assessment, you will be asked about stressors in your life, any difficult or traumatic experiences, your interpersonal relationships, sexual history, psychiatric and personality disorders, and any instances of substance abuse. All of these factors can affect your coping skills and motivation to donate.
Mental health disorders
Such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are genetic, so there is a risk of passing them on through your eggs. Additionally, antidepressant medication can affect both your fertility and the impact of fertility drugs. If you are currently taking antidepressant medication, this would disqualify you from donating your eggs.
If you’re not sure whether you qualify, please reach out to us. We’re here to help you navigate the egg donation process and determine if you’re a good candidate for egg donation.
Can you donate eggs with PCOS?
It’s possible, but your eligibility would have to be determined by a physician. In general, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) may disqualify you from becoming an Egg Donor. PCOS is a common hormonal disorder affecting one in five women, and it is also a leading cause of infertility.
While some women with PCOS may be able to conceive naturally, others may have difficulty producing eggs. In severe cases, ovulation can be impacted as well. It’s important to consult with your gynecologist before applying to be an Egg Donor.
The good news is that recent studies have shown that egg donations from women with PCOS had no significant difference in the number of eggs retrieved compared to those without PCOS. Additionally, fertilization and implantation rates for the recipient were not affected. In fact, women with PCOS require less gonadotropin, a hormone used in fertility treatments, than Egg Donors without PCOS.
If you have PCOS and are interested in becoming an Egg Donor, it’s worth discussing with a physician to determine your eligibility.
Can you donate eggs if you have had any STD?
During the Egg Donor screening process, you will be tested for all sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV-I and HIV-II, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. If you test positive for any of these STDs, you will not be eligible to become an Egg Donor. However, if you had Chlamydia or Gonorrhea more than a year ago and have since been treated, you may still qualify to become an Egg Donor.
We understand that you may have questions or concerns about the egg donation process. If there is anything we haven’t covered in this FAQ, please feel free to contact us for more information. We are here to help you make an informed decision about egg donation.
Can you donate eggs if you have herpes or HPV?
Yes, it is possible to donate eggs if you have herpes or HPV. However, if you are currently experiencing an outbreak, you will be disqualified from becoming an Egg Donor until the outbreak has cleared up. It’s important to note that herpes and HPV are not transmitted through egg donation, so clinics usually accept Donors who have these conditions. If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.
What about my privacy?
The decision to become an Egg Donor is a very personal one, and we understand that you may have concerns about privacy. Rest assured that your safety and privacy are our top priorities. We take great care to protect your identity, personal information, and medical records throughout the egg donation process.
There are different types of donation cycles available, including anonymous, semi-open/known, and open/known cycles. You will have the opportunity to choose the type of cycle that you feel most comfortable with, and all of the details will be explained to you both verbally and in your legal agreements.
We understand that egg donation can be a sensitive topic and we are committed to providing you with the support and information you need to make informed decisions about your participation in the program. If you have any questions or concerns about privacy, please don’t hesitate to speak with us.
What is a semi known cycle?
Contracts are first name only. You and Intended Parents meet either by phone, zoom, in person, or combination of these. A representative from Eggspecting is usually present in all these potential situations. This is a chance for you and the Intended Parents to get to know each other while still maintaining privacy; and there is no exchange of any contact details. Often Intended Parents will want to zoom with potential Donor candidates before final selection of actual Egg Donor or have a short in person meeting during the donor retrieval trip.
What is an open know cycle?
All parties have comfortably and mutually decided prior to contract formation that Donor and Intended Parents will exchange contact details and last names thus removing the anonymous nature of the cycle and allowing for future contact amongst parties without aid of Eggspecting. This type of cycle is desirable by Intended Parents who want to give child option of contacting Egg Donor in far future. This in no way means you will be required to be a part of the child’s life.
What is Eggspecting, Inc Referrals Program?
The Eggspecting Inc. Referrals program is designed to reward Egg Donors who share their positive experiences with others and refer them to join the Eggspecting, Inc. database. By becoming an Eggspecting, Inc Ambassador, you can help us find more special individuals like you who are passionate about making a difference in the world and changing people’s lives through egg donation.
When you refer someone who meets the Egg Donor requirements and successfully joins our database, you will be generously rewarded financially every time they donate, which could potentially be up to 6 times per donor you refer. Each referral is paid out between $250-$1000 for each time they cycle so you could potentially make up to $6000 per Donor you refer to Eggspecting! To refer someone, they can contact us directly and provide your name as the referral Ambassador. Alternatively, you can pass on their details for us to reach out to them.
Sharing your donation stories and experiences with friends and family is one of the easiest and best ways to encourage others to become Egg Donors themselves. As an Eggspecting, Inc Ambassador, you will play a vital role in spreading the love and helping others on their journey to make a difference in the world. Contact us for more information on how to get involved and spread smiles by spreading the word!
Ready to start your journey to become egg donor? Contact us today.