Want to become an egg donor? You might think that you know quite a bit when it comes to the topic of egg donation. Maybe you have spent a good amount of time researching or you’ve simply seen articles about the topic in your favorite magazines. However, there may be some things of which you’re unaware when it comes to egg donation.
Without further ado, here are seven things you may not know about egg donation.
1. You can choose whether or not you have a relationship with the egg donor. More and more agencies are offering more than one type of donation. Circle offers three: known egg donation, semi-known egg donation, and anonymous egg donation. Believe it or not, more of Circle’s parents choose known donation than any other option. Here is a brief overview of what each entails.
- Known: In this arrangement, you and your egg donor will learn each other’s names and have the opportunity to get to know each other.
- Semi-Known: The amount of information that is shared is limited. For example, intended parents and egg donors may decide that they do not want to exchange contact information but may want to meet in person at our office or at the IVF clinic.
- Anonymous: There is no open contact or communication between the intended parents and the egg donor. The contracts use only first names and all information is exchanged through our agency. We ask that anonymous egg donors keep us informed of all changes in their health history and keep their contact information.
2. The egg donor doesn’t have the rights to the child. Egg donation agencies use contracts to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to prevent surprises from arising. The egg donor agreement gives intended parents control of all eggs retrieved from the donor as well as any resulting embryos. Intended parents can use them as they wish, including IVF to reproduce children of their own, donation to a third-party, or medical research.
3. More egg donors donate their eggs for altruistic reasons than financial reasons. A common misconception is that women become egg donors for the paycheck. However, egg donors are mostly motivated by the urge to help others. For many egg donors, the money is a perk, but it’s not the entire motive.
4. Egg donors go through extensive screening. In addition to the medical screening, an egg donor must complete a psychosocial evaluation. The screening process commences when an egg donor is matched with the intended parents. Once she passes the psychological screening, she moves forward with the medical screening at the IVF clinic (usually a one- to two-day appointment). The medical screening typically includes blood work, a urine sample, and an ultrasound (among other things).
5. Not just anyone can donate their eggs. While it would be wonderful to accept all women who want to help a family grow, agencies and IVF clinics simply cannot. In order to retrieve the highest quality of eggs for the recipients, the egg donor must meet specific requirements. Here’s an overview of our agency’s egg donor requirements:
- Between 20-29 years of age (up to 31 for experienced donors)
- Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 28
- Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen
- No more than one occurrence of the same cancer in family history (except non-genetic cancers, such as leukemia and lung)
- No serious heart disease or heart attacks under age 55
- No psychiatric hospitalizations
- Some education after high school i.e. enrolled in college, college classes, certification programs, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, Ph.D., etc. If you have questions about what qualifies for advanced educated, please email us.
- Applicants of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply
- Must be comfortable with giving yourself daily injections with small needles, like those used for insulin
6. Surrogacy is often the next step for intended parents if egg donation doesn’t work. The reality is that egg donation isn’t always successful. There are many factors that are attributed to a failed pregnancy. Many times the intended mother learns that she cannot carry a baby to term. Luckily, we live in a world where there are more options. One such option is gestational surrogacy, where a surrogate mother carries a baby for intended parents. This path to parenthood is chosen over adoption due to the genetic link to the child. However, both options are incredible family-building options.
7. There are several options for handling leftover embryos. Options include donating them to another infertile couple, donating them to science, freezing them for possible future use, and destroying them. You’ll have to decide when you’re finalizing your contract what you’ll want to do with them.
Hopefully, we’ve opened up your eyes to things of which you were unaware in regards to egg donation. The more people know about egg donation, the wider a practice it becomes. And that means more families to help build.
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