Egg Donation: Frequently Asked Questions
The Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine & Fertility thanks you for your interest in becoming an egg donor. Your generosity can help a couple otherwise unable to have a child fulfill their dream. To assist you in understanding your important role in this process, we have compiled a list of questions frequently asked by prospective donors. All prospective donors must first complete a comprehensive screening process prior to becoming eligible. Should you then enter into our egg donation program, a more detailed description of the donation process will be discussed with you on a personal level during your teaching session with one of our coordinators.
- What is involved in the screening process to become a donor?
- What type of medical procedures will I need to have?
- Will I experience any side effects as a result of these medications?
- How can you tell when I am ready for the actual egg donation procedure?
- How is the egg retrieval performed?
- Will the egg retrieval hurt?
- Will being an egg donor affect my future ability to have a child?
- How often will I have to come to your center?
- Where is your center located, and is mass transit available?
- When will I receive my financial compensation?
- If I am interested, how do I get started?
At any point, you are welcome to complete our egg donor form, your first step toward earning $8,000 and helping people become families.
What is involved in the screening process to become a donor?
Upon completion of the enclosed questionnaire, we may contact you to fill out a more comprehensive form that also includes your family history and background. We will explain the necessary blood work, and ultrasound to check your ovaries, that will initially be performed, and after these testing results are reviewed, you may then be asked to meet with one of our doctors on staff for a brief interview. Once you have entered into our Egg Donation Program, we will attempt to match you with an appropriate recipient as soon as possible, and the remainder of the screening blood tests, visits, and examinations will then be completed.
What type of medical procedures will I need to have?
When donating eggs, you will need to undergo what is referred to as “controlled ovarian stimulation”. This means that instead of just one egg maturing and releasing during your cycle, several more may develop. This process is achieved by using injectable fertility medications to stimulate the development of multiple eggs during the treatment cycle. In no way does this deplete the number of eggs you have left for the future, nor does it hasten the onset of menopause. Increasing the amount of eggs you produce thereby increases the likelihood of achieving pregnancy in your recipient. The actual injectable medications to be used in your cycle will be discussed with you during your teaching session, but are similar to the hormones naturally produced by your body. In order to obtain the desired response, these medications must be administered daily for approximately eight to twelve days. During that time you will be required to come to our office periodically for vaginal ultrasounds to view the developing follicles, which contain the eggs, as well as blood testing for hormone levels.
Will I experience any side effects as a result of these medications?
The medications required by egg donors are generally very well tolerated. You may experience some local discomfort, redness and/or slight bruising at the injection sites. Some relatively uncommon side effects of the medications include breast tenderness, headache, fluid retention, bloating, and/or tenderness in the area of the ovaries. We attempt to prevent and/or control any adverse reactions by frequent monitoring during your treatment cycle.
How can you tell when I am ready for the actual egg donation procedure?
This procedure is referred to as an egg retrieval. By monitoring the growth of your follicles in your ovaries (which contain the eggs) through ultrasounds, and by checking your blood hormone levels, the doctors can evaluate how the follicles are maturing. This will determine the appropriate time for you to take the last injectable medication, hCG, which will trigger the eggs to be released (ovulated) at the time of the egg retrieval. The egg retrieval itself is generally performed 36 hours after the hCG injection.
How is the egg retrieval performed?
A vaginal ultrasound probe will be used to identify the follicles, then a needle will be passed through the vagina and into the ovaries to reach the follicles and draw out the fluid that contains the eggs.
Will the egg retrieval hurt?
An experienced anesthesiologist will be present to administer anesthesia medications to you during the egg retrieval. These medications will be given through an intravenous (IV) to keep you relaxed and comfortable, thus you will not feel any pain during the egg retrieval procedure. You will then be required to stay at the Center for at least one hour after the procedure, and must be driven home by a companion. It is advised that you continue to rest at home that day following your discharge, as you may experience some sleepiness and mild cramping or bloating after the retrieval. You can expect to get your next period within two weeks thereafter.
Will being an egg donor affect my future ability to have a child?
No, being an egg donor should not adversely affect your ability to have a child in the future.
How often will I have to come to your center?
You will be required to come in person to our center for an interview with our donor coordinator as well as the physician in charge of the program. In addition, once you are matched with a prospective recipient, you will meet with our Fertility Counselor for an evaluation. When you are then ready to start your cycle, you will have to be available approximately 5-7 mornings for monitoring visits, which generally require a stay of 10-15 minutes each. In all, you must be willing to make 6-10 visits to our Edison, NJ facility over the course of 1-2 months.
Where is your center located, and is mass transit available?
Our primary office is located in Edison, NJ. We are approximately 45 minutes from Manhattan and 15 minutes from Staten Island. We are close to NJ transit trains and buses; however a cab may be necessary. You may complete your bloodwork and ultrasounds at our Princeton office or Cranford location, but your egg retrieval must be performed in Edison.
When will I receive my financial compensation?
Upon completion of the egg retrieval, financial compensation will be made at your follow-up visit one week later.
If I am interested, how do I get started?
If you are a healthy, non-smoking woman between the ages of 21-32, you may be eligible to donate eggs to an infertile couple. The process is completely confidential and anonymous. Donors are compensated $8,000 per cycle.
Your first step to becoming an egg donor is clicking here to complete this form.