5 Common Questions About Egg Donation

A graduate student who is considering egg donation carries her books across a university campus.

Young women thinking about becoming egg donors typically have several questions about the egg donation process. Our San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Boston, Massachusetts, specialists answer a wide range of questions from potential egg donors and help guide them through the process.

Some questions, though, come up more than others, and we highlight them in this blog post. Many women ask if COVID-19 has changed the protocols for surrogacy and egg donation, a topic we addressed in an earlier blog post. In addition to the questions answered here, you can find a list of frequently asked questions on our website.

What can disqualify you from donating eggs?

Egg donors do need to meet a list of requirements we’ve adopted to ensure that you are in the best emotional and physical state for egg donation. These qualifications include factors ranging from education (donors must have some formal education beyond high school) to age (first-time donors must be between the ages of 21 to 29). Because so many college students are attending school via online classes, it’s actually an ideal time for them to apply as egg donors because they likely have more time to complete the application process.

Even women who meet all the basic requirements for becoming an egg donor may be disqualified if they aren’t able to travel to the intended parents’ in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic for a medical screening and egg retrieval. Also, egg donors need to give themselves hormone injections for up to 21 consecutive days. That may be difficult for some potential donors.

Do they take all of your eggs when you donate?

Women are born with about 2 million eggs. Each month, about 10 to 20 eggs begin maturing, but only one ovulates while the body absorbs the remaining eggs. For egg donors, the fertility medications lead to several eggs maturing, and those 10 to 20 matured eggs are retrieved during a procedure that takes about 20 minutes.

How much money do you get for donating eggs?

There are multiple benefits of being an egg donor, and the compensation earned is one of those. Qualified egg donors at Circle Surrogacy and Egg Donation typically earn between $9,000 and $15,000 per egg donation cycle. The pay can help donors pursue future goals. It also gives donors the satisfaction of helping individuals who can’t have children on their own, including gay couples or women affected by infertility, to achieve their dreams of having a baby.

How long is an egg donor cycle?

The full donation cycle usually takes about 14 to 21 days, during which the donor gives herself daily hormone injections. Medical appointments for blood work and ultrasound scans checking the medication’s effects occur during this time. It’s important to remember, however, that the process of being an egg donor can require a commitment of 3 to 4 months in many cases. This includes the application and screening process and being matched with intended parents, in addition to the actual donation cycle itself.

egg donor doing research

What are the side effects of donating eggs?

In most cases, the side effects of egg donation are fairly minor. Headaches, mood fluctuations, and cramping—common side effects of menstruation—occur after the egg retrieval process. Some women choose to take pain relief medication to alleviate the symptoms. It’s also important to know that the process can have some emotional side effects, and it may be helpful to speak to one of our social workers about feelings you may experience.

Once you’ve been an egg donor, Circle Surrogacy and Egg Donation offers financial incentives to refer other women as egg donors through our referral program.

We are always accepting applications from potential egg donors, and you can begin the process right now. Egg donors help build families and typically experience an overall sense of well-being from their decisions to donate eggs. If you have additional questions, you can contact us using the online form or by calling one of our offices. Call (617) 439-9900 (Boston, MA) or (415) 579-3624 (San Francisco Bay Area in California).

In a related blog post, see what egg donors have to say about their egg donation experience in their own wordsWhy did they want to donate their eggs? What was their first-hand experience with the egg donation process? What is their relationship with the intended parents?