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Becoming an Egg Donor

Thinking about applying to become an egg donor? Our teams in the San Francisco Bay Area; Boston, MA; and New York City can help steer you through the egg donation process as you embark on a journey that can forever change the lives of intended parents.

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 Making the Decision To Be an Egg Donor

Making the Decision To Be an Egg Donor

What is egg donation?

Egg donation is when a fertile young woman donates her eggs for others to use in order to create embryos. Being an egg donor is a selfless act that makes dreams of parenthood come true for intended parents.

Egg donation means making a commitment to be part of something that will positively and meaningfully impact the lives of others. As you embark on the process, it's essential to understand that being an egg donor means being "all in"—emotionally, mentally, and physically.

If you're thinking about becoming an egg donor, it's important to educate yourself about:

• Egg donor requirements (see below)
• Egg donor process
• Egg donation benefits

You can also read what other egg donors said about their experiences working with Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation.

Who becomes an egg donor?

Women from all types of backgrounds, ethnicities and occupations become egg donors to help others realize their dreams of parenthood.

What Are the Requirements To Be an Egg Donor?

Egg donation applications we receive in San Francisco, Boston, and NYC come from women across the U.S. with varied backgrounds and reasons for wanting to be an egg donor. Our database of egg donors includes bright, young women who meet specific criteria.

All Circle egg donors must:

  • Be between ages of 21 to 29 (up to 31 for experienced donors)
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 28
  • Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen
  • Have no more than 1 occurrence of the same cancer in family history (except non-genetic cancers, such as leukemia and lung cancer)
  • Have not have been hospitalized for a psychiatric condition
  • Have completed some education after high school (enrolled in college, college classes, certification programs, bachelor's degree, master's degree, Ph.D., etc.)

Egg donors can be of any racial and ethnic background and should be prepared to travel.

See a full list of egg donor requirements, including the types of medications to expect.

What Do Egg Donors Get Paid?

Egg donation is a commitment unlike any other, and we honor that pledge through compensation. With each egg donation cycle, you can earn anywhere between $9,000 and $15,000 or more. So, in addition to the lifelong joy you'll experience from making a family's dream come true, you'll be able to put money toward making your very own dreams a reality, too.

Many egg donors go on to donate their eggs more than once. Experienced egg donors can earn an additional $1,000 or more with every egg donation they complete.

How long does the egg donation process take?

The egg donation process from the day you match with intended parents until your egg retrieval can take place is around 1-3 months. The cycle itself is about 2 weeks long, which consists of daily injections, several appointments, and ends with the egg retrieval procedure. The egg retrieval itself is about a 30 minute long procedure.

How long does it take for egg donors to match?


The amount of time to match with intended parents varies. Once you apply to be an egg donor, and you are screened, approved and added to the egg donor database, you could match with intended parents in a day, or in a month, or it could take longer. You can improve your match time by uploading clear, high quality photos of yourself, as well as a short video introducing yourself, sharing a little bit about yourself, and expressing what brought you to egg donation.
 Fill out an application to become an egg donor

What Happens During the Egg Donor Process?

To make your experience as an egg donor as meaningful and memorable as possible, we use a thorough screening process. This process ensures you're matched with the intended parents with whom you're compatible and comfortable. At Circle, you can choose to work with single or coupled heterosexual or same sex intended parents from the U.S. or who live abroad.

Egg donation process for egg donors

Step 1: Application (2 parts)

  • Complete full egg donor application and provide information about: yourself and your traits and hobbies, education and more; a report of biological family medical and mental health history
  • Upload current photos and a video
  • Provide any additional documentation required

Step 2: Prescreening

  • Screening call with Egg Donation team
  • Activate your profile on the egg donor database
  • Get ready to be matched!

Step 3: Matching

  • Your profile appears on our egg donor database for Intended Parents to view
  • If you're selected for a match, you'll have a phone/video call with potential Intended Parents
  • If you agree to work together, you're considered matched!

Step 4: Screening and Contracts

  • 1-hour screening call with social worker
  • Online psychological evaluation
  • Complete medical screening at IPs' fertility clinic (2-day trip)
  • Negotiate egg donor contract with your attorney

Step 5: Medications and Egg Retrieval

  • Receive cycle schedule from IVF Clinic
  • Begin medications
  • Attend local monitoring appointments
  • Travel to IVF clinic for retrieval
  • Receive compensation!

You'll find more details on the egg donation process here.

 Intended Parents May Use an Egg Donor and a Surrogate

Intended Parents May Use an Egg Donor and a Surrogate

Some intended parents at Circle require both an egg donor and a gestational surrogate to carry the embryo.

Embryos created using donated eggs are often carried by surrogates who don't share any genetic information with the baby. Gestational surrogates are now a very common part of the surrogacy process. Many of our staff members in California, NYC, and Massachusetts have been either egg donors or surrogates themselves and can provide valuable guidance during what can be a very emotional journey.

When intended parents who require both an egg donor and a gestational surrogate begin their journey with Circle, they will match with their egg donors and create their embryos while they are waiting to be matched with a gestational carrier.

Once embryos are created, they will be frozen until the intended parents are ready to transfer the embryo(s) into the gestational surrogate's uterus.

3 Types of Egg Donation

One benefit for egg donors who apply with an egg donor agency vs using an egg bank, is that they have the opportunity to meet with – and agree to – the recipients of their eggs.

Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation is one of the few agencies that strongly encourages egg donors to meet with intended parents. "Known Egg Donation," as it's called, is one of 3 options for egg donors. The other 2 are "Semi-Known Egg Donation" and "Anonymous Egg Donation."

Known Egg Donation


We believe Known Egg Donation can have a positive impact for both the donors and intended parents. It's designed to give intended parents direct access to you if they or their children have any questions. We've found Known Egg Donation to be effective in creating longer, healthier and more meaningful relationships between egg donors, children and the parents whose lives they've transformed.

Semi-Known Egg Donation


This allows you and intended parents to agree on some contact to determine what type of relationship will be best for all parties. Despite the fact that you communicate through Skype, a phone call, email or an in-person meeting, there's no exchange of identifying information. This type of egg donation simply allows intended parents to connect with you to hear your story and helps both parties confirm it's the right match.

Anonymous Egg Donation


We offer anonymous egg donation for those who wish to keep their names and identities confidential, even though we highly suggest Known Egg Donation or Semi-Known Egg Donation. To ensure your privacy and anonymity, you won't have to meet the intended parents you've matched with unless you show interest and that interest is reciprocated, in which case we can arrange a meeting.

5 Questions about Egg Donation

Because many of us at Circle Surrogacy have gone through gestational surrogacy and egg donation ourselves, we know all about the processes and the physical and emotional impacts of each. To ensure your success as an egg donor, we pair you with a program coordinator who guides you from your initial application through the planning of your fertility treatments.

We've never met a potential egg donor who didn't have any questions. In fact, we expect most applicants to have many questions. We're ready because we've helped women navigate the egg donation journeys for decades.

1. Is it painful to be an egg donor?

Most egg donors share that the egg donation process is not painful. You may, however, experience some discomfort, similar to menstrual cramps. Over the counter pain meds usually do the trick!

2. Does donating my eggs affect my fertility?

Nope! Donating eggs doesn’t meaningfully reduce the number of eggs you have left. The average woman in her 20s has hundreds of thousands of viable eggs.

3. Can I choose who gets my eggs?

Intended parents review and choose an egg donor from our egg donor database, the match must be mutual in order to proceed. So while you will not choose your intended parents, you have the choice whether or not to match with them.

4. Do I have to give myself injections?

Yes. You should be comfortable with needles if you apply to be an egg donor. The needles are small and easy to inject.

5. When do I get paid as an egg donor?

Egg donors are paid upon the completion of their egg retrieval. All travel expenses and medication costs during the process are covered by intended parents.

More questions from egg donors.

As you consider egg donation, you may have questions along the way. With many experienced egg donors on staff, we've helped women navigate their donation journeys successfully, and have answered almost every question out there!

​What is egg donation?

​Egg donation builds families. It helps those who are unable to become parents on their own.

People choose egg donation for different reasons—some are struggling with infertility, others are same-sex couples or single individuals. Circle’s intended parents come from different backgrounds around the world. Our egg donors share this diversity.

How long does the whole process take?

​It’s important to understand that egg donation timelines vary. While there is no guarantee you will be chosen as an egg donor, it is possible to be chosen within days of being accepted into our program. Some intended parents at Circle Egg Donation also require a gestational surrogate. This means that even after you are matched, there can be a waiting period while your intended parents are being matched with a surrogate. Although the donation itself lasts only 3-4 weeks, commitment to the process is typically 3-4 months. Please keep in mind that these are average timelines and that no two egg donation arrangements are the same. Timelines are often determined by factors particular to your egg donation arrangement.

​What is the screening process like to become an egg donor?

When you apply to join our egg donor program, we’ll first have you take a standardized psychological evaluation along. The purpose of this test is simply to make sure that you’re mentally and emotionally stable. It’s very important to us that donating your eggs won’t compromise your long-term health.

We’ll also coordinate a meeting between you and a licensed clinical social worker. This discussion will ensure that you fully understand the medical procedure and any potential long-term effects, and that your interest in donating eggs is grounded in a healthy, stable outlook. Again, our screening process is built to protect the donor and recipient alike from any possible health risks. Egg donation should bring joy to everyone involved, and Circle is deeply committed to ensuring that’s exactly what happens.

​How will I get matched with prospective parents?

After you fill out your donor application and complete our screening, you’ll be accepted into Circle’s egg donor program. This means that intended parents will be able to find your profile as they search our egg donor database for the right potential donor. You’ll be able to include pictures and a detailed questionnaire in your egg donor profile so intended parents can really get to know you. (Note that these forms are fairly extensive. Most of the information we ask is requested by the fertility clinics we work with, but it’s just as helpful for intended parents!)

After reviewing your egg donor profile, the intended parent(s) can ask to be connected with you. We’ll give you a redacted version of their profile, so you can get a sense of the family you’ll be helping. If both the donor and recipient sides are happy with the potential match, you can move on to a Skype call, and potentially an in-person meeting. In the end, we hope you’ll be donating your eggs to intended parent(s) with whom you feel a strong bond and connection.

What is the actual medical procedure like?

To prepare for donating eggs, you’ll give yourself hormone injections to suppress your menstrual cycle. You’ll also take ovarian stimulating medications to encourage more egg production. The egg retrieval itself takes about 20 minutes (with an hour afterwards for recovery), and is performed in a clinic under a mild IV sedation.

How many times can I donate with Circle Egg Donation?

​Most of our clinics will only allow an egg donor to participate in an egg donation five to six times. However, we can only rematch you if the previous donation resulted in a pregnancy or a successful retrieval.

What kind of emotional issues are there with donating?

Emotional experiences vary throughout the process. The decision to donate should be well thought-out before you proceed with screening and matching. You are welcome to talk with the social workers who conduct your screening about any specific concerns or questions. You may experience moodiness from the medications; however after the donation, most of our egg donors enjoy the extreme pride and joy of having given such an incredible gift.​

What's the difference between being an egg donor with an egg bank or using an egg donor agency?

Women who wish to donate their eggs have the choice to donate with an egg bank or an egg donation agency.

Egg donations with an egg bank and more impersonal, and in most cases the egg donor does not know who receives her eggs.

Egg donations with an egg donation agency are for women who want to make a difference in someone's life, and be part of that wonderful process. At Circle, egg donors will work closely with an egg donation coordinator who will guide and support her on her journey. Egg donor matches will be mutual, and egg donors have a say in with whom they match. It's a much more rewarding experience!