If you’ve heard of someone donating their eggs—or have considered becoming an egg donor yourself—you may have questions about what it’s like being an egg donor, what happens during the egg donation process, and what type of requirements are in place.
Below, we’ve answered the most-asked questions young women have about egg donation.
How Much Do Egg Donors Get Paid?
Egg donors are paid for each egg donation they do. Typically, a first-time egg donor is paid around $9,000. Many egg donors go on to provide additional donations. Experienced egg donors can earn an additional $1,000 or more with every egg donation they complete.
Is It Painful to Be an Egg Donor?
Most egg donors will tell you that egg donation is not painful, instead they describe some parts of the process—such as the medications and retrieval—as uncomfortable. Egg donors even liken the egg retrieval process to having menstrual cramps.
Egg donor medications include injections with small needles. If you’re good with needles, you will likely be okay with the injections used during the donation cycle.
The retrieval is done vaginally with a catheter under a mild intravenous (IV) sedation. The retrieval takes about 20 minutes with about an hour in the recovery room. Afterward you may experience some mild cramping, bleeding, or bloating.
Is It Legal for a Woman to Sell Her Eggs?
Egg donation is legal in the United States. It is also legal for a woman to be compensated in the US for donating her eggs. When egg donors choose to work with a reputable agency like Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, they enter into a legal contract for donating eggs.
Will the Baby Look Like the Donor?
When a woman donates her eggs, she is providing 50% of the DNA makeup of the embryos being created in conjunction with the intended parent’s sperm (or donor sperm). Because of this, the baby born as a result of egg donation will share the donor’s genes and may not only resemble her physical traits but perhaps inherit her personality traits as well.
Is an Egg Donor the Biological Parent?
No, the egg donor is not considered a parent. The egg donor, her spouse (if married), and the intended parents will enter into an egg donor agreement, in which the egg donor relinquishes any presumed parental rights to any child born from the egg donation.
An egg donor agreement is entered into voluntarily, freely, and with full understanding that intended parents will be the legal parents of any child born from the donation. An egg donor may have to formally relinquish parental rights with a court prior to or after the birth of the child; however, it depends on the state in which the child is born.
What Are Requirements for Egg Donation?
Young women who are interested in donating their eggs must meet a set of physical, reproductive health, geographic and educational requirements.
Here is a short list of egg donor requirements:
- Be between 21 and 29 years of age (up to 31 for experienced donors)
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 28. Calculate my BMI.
- Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen
- Have no more than one occurrence of the same cancer in family history (except non-genetic cancers, such as leukemia and lung)
- Have a family medical history with no serious heart disease or heart attacks under age 55
- Not have psychiatric hospitalizations
- Be comfortable with giving yourself daily injections with small needles, like those used for insulin
- Have some education after high school, such as enrolled in college, college classes, certification programs, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD, etc.
See a full list of egg donor requirements here.
If you have questions about specific requirements and the screening process, you can email the Circle team.
What Disqualifies You From Donating Eggs?
Not every woman interested in becoming an egg donor will qualify and meet the requirements that are put in place by ASRM (the American Society for Reproductive Medicine).
Egg donors will not qualify for egg donor programs if:
- They are older or younger than the age requirement
- They live unhealthy lifestyles
- They use nicotine products or use recreational drugs
- They have a history of STDs or infertility themselves
- They have inheritable genetic diseases
If you are interested in learning more about egg donation, you can contact our experienced egg donor agency team by email.
You can also begin the application process to see if you qualify to donate your eggs and help grow a family.