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FAQs: Egg Donors

At Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, we make the egg donation process as smooth and enjoyable as possible. See some of the common questions we often receive from women interested in becoming egg donors.

Common questions from women interested in becoming egg donors.

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 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.

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 can I expect emotionally from doing egg donation?

Emotional experiences can vary throughout the process and person to person. The kind-hearted decision to donate should be well thought out before you proceed with screening and matching, that time is the initial opportunity to ask questions, gather information, and be sure you and your loved ones feel comfortable with the process. You are welcome to talk with the social workers who conduct your screening, talk with experienced egg donors, or even IVF doctors about any specific concerns or questions you might have. During the donation, you may experience moodiness from the IVF medications; however after the donation, most of our egg donors enjoy the extreme pride and joy of having given such an incredible gift.

How many and what kind of pictures do you want me to submit?

We require a minimum of five, but you can send as many pictures as you want. We do require that one needs to be a recent close-up of your face and one needs to be a recent photo of your full body. If you choose, childhood photos or photos of your children or family are also welcomed. Keep in mind that these photos are the first impression intended parents will have of you when they are selecting a donor. They are looking for the best representation of physical attributes to help them find an egg donor who is right for them. While selfies are easy to take, they don't always accurately capture you (especially when taken in a car). If possible, please have a friend or family member take your photos so you get the best quality and reflection of who you are.

I have more questions, whom do I contact?

If you have any other questions about egg donation, email us.

How do I become an egg donor with Circle Egg Donation?

All egg donors must meet the following requirements:
• Between 21-29 years of age (up to 31 for experienced donors)
• Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 29 (calculate your BMI here)
• No more than one occurrence of the same cancer in family history (except non-genetic cancers, such as leukemia and lung)
• No heart disease under age 55 in family history

• Cannot use nicotine products or recreational drugs
• No psychiatric hospitalizations
• Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen (Women living in Canada must have their egg retrieval done at a clinic in the United States to earn compensation)
• Some education beyond after high school i.e. enrolled in college, college classes, certification programs, bachelor's degree, master's degree, PhD.
• Applicants of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply
• Must be comfortable with giving yourself daily injections
• Must answer all detailed family health history questions thoroughly

You can fill out an egg donor application here.

What are the age limits on being an egg donor? Why?

Egg donors in our program must be between 21-29 years of age. The reproductive endocrinologists and clinics that we work with set the standards. We do, however, accept previous egg donors up to the age of 31. Please email us for instructions on how to apply if you are a previous egg donor over the age of 29.

I am adopted. Can I still be a donor?

Yes, if you know your biological families health history. Unfortunately, if your adoption was closed you may not be able to provide us with all of the necessary medical information.

I am on birth control, can I still be an Egg Donor?

Yes, but it depends on the form of birth control you are using. Acceptable forms of birth control include birth control pills, the nuva ring, the patch, any IUD, non-copper or copper. Hormonal (non-copper) IUDs will have to be removed if matched before cycling.

If you are currently using Implanon or Depo-Provera for birth control you will need to switch to one of the acceptable forms listed above and have at least three menstrual cycles before applying to become a donor.

Always remember to consult your OB/GYN before making any decisions about changing your contraceptive.

For further information on this, email us.

If I don’t live in the United States, can I donate my eggs for Circle Egg Donation families?

We’re sorry but we only accept egg donors who reside in the United States and Canada.

Does your family have to be supportive of you as an egg donor?

Yes. Having a committed support person who can provide you with emotional support, assist around the house, and even help with hormonal injections is crucial to a successful egg donation journey. Circle requires the consent and support of egg donors’ primary support system.

Does Circle encourage known egg donation?

Yes. We feel it is important to realize the very large impact this donation could have not only on the lives of potential intended parents, but also on your life. With that in mind, we often encourage known donations so the intended parents can meet you to see more of your personality than is revealed in the application. Your health history may change years from now and you would want keep the intended parents to whom you have donated informed. Some of our couples are same-sex couples and often prefer a known donor, which can help to relay honesty and dispel the mystery of the child's birth story in the future. Finally, we want you to be aware that even if you prefer to have an anonymous donation, information technology is constantly evolving and there is no guarantee you would remain anonymous. We would hate to disrupt your life and potentially cause a negative situation for you and the child in the future if the child were to search for you.

Given all of this, we also feel strongly about discussing your intentions to donate with your family. We hope you realize we advocate this for your sake as well as for the sake of the child potentially brought into the world and do not wish to cause any relational difficulties in your life in the future. That said, there are ways our agency can stay in touch with you if you prefer an anonymous donation.

The application to be in your program is very long. Why do you need all this information?

Most of the information on our application is requested by the IVF clinic for its screening. We also use the information for matching purposes with the intended parents and the information helps the couples and single individuals in our program learn about you.

What is involved in screening egg donor candidates?

Our egg donors are screened by a licensed clinical social worker. We ask questions to learn more about your desire to donate your eggs and to ensure you fully understand the process. You will also take a standardized psychological test, the purpose of the test is to identify any possible illnesses, emotional problems and personality disorders.

Will I have to travel or can you match me with local intended parents?

We work with intended parents who have chosen clinics throughout the United States. Where you travel will depend on the IVF clinic chosen by the intended parents. This is where you will most likely travel to twice. We will disclose that information prior to matching, so you will be aware of where the potential travel. We can certainly try and match you only locally, but that will decrease your chances of being chosen as an egg donor, and limit you to those couples working with an IVF center in your area.

How will I be matched?

We start the matching process when an intended parent expresses interest in working with you. Our matching process is a reciprocal process. We believe that egg donors should be able to decide whom they want to help. We will send you a redacted version of the intended parents profile for you to review. We will also arrange a Skype call when appropriate (in a known egg donation).

What are the differences between anonymous, semi-anonymous, and known donation?

The matching for each process is the same and you are able to review a redacted profile for the intended parents, as they are able to view yours.

Known Donation: We can set up communication between all parties, and you can carry on the relationship to your agreed upon level of comfort. For example, you can meet and exchange information to be in touch in the future, if necessary, or can form a relationship and have consistent contact. Our social workers will discuss this further and answer any questions in your screening.

Semi-Known Donation: You donate your eggs and limit the amount of information that is shared. For example, you can decide that you don't want to exchange information but may want to meet in person at our office.

Anonymous Donation: You would not have open contact or communication with the couple or single to whom you agree to donate. The contract would use only first names, and all information is exchanged through our agency. We ask that you keep our agency informed of all changes in your health history and keep your contact information up to date.

How do I know which kind of contact is best for me?

Once your application form is fully completed and you pass that portion of screening, you will be in touch with our Egg Donor Team for continued screening. They will help you decide which is best and what you are most comfortable with.

Does Circle Egg Donation do more known or anonymous donations?

We do more varying levels of known donations than anonymous.

I see on your website that you have a donor database. Do we have to have our information on the website?

No. You do not have to be listed in the database. But it gives our intended parents and many other families more opportunities to learn about you being their potential donor. This is a database that can only be accessed with a user name and password. We do not provide any identifying information on the database.

How do I decide which fee is right for me?

Our first time donors generally receive a fee of $9,000 whereas experienced and successful donors will receive a higher fee. It can also vary based on certain characteristics (donors of certain decents, and other donor types that are harder to find such as a professional degree, etc. can, in some cases, request a higher fee.)

Donor compensation ranges from $9,000 to $15,000+. Speak with your donor coordinator to discuss what works best for you.

Who is responsible for paying the bills?

The family that you donate to will be responsible for medical bills, travel bills, and other expenses related to the donation.

Is egg donation compensation taxable income?

Yes. The United States Tax Court has concluded that amounts received by a donor represents taxable compensation income. Circle Egg Donation will issue 1099s for all egg donors who receive egg donors fees on or after January 15, 2015.

Do I have to have medical insurance?

It is recommended that all people have medical insurance but if you don't you can still be a donor in our program. The intended parent you are matched with will purchase complications insurance for you.

Can you briefly tell me what the process is like?

Medications are given to suppress the menstrual cycle and ovarian stimulating medications are given to stimulate the production of eggs. Most of these medications are injections and are self-administered for 2-4 weeks (this can vary) until retrieval. 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. Afterwards you may experience some mild cramping, bleeding, or bloating.

What kinds of medications are used?

Medications are used to coordinate cycles, suppress ovulation, stimulate follicles, and to trigger release of eggs. Examples of these include birth control pills, Lupron, Ganirelix, Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur and HCG. These may be used in different combinations depending on the clinic and physician and some of the medications can be known by various names.

Are there any complications of which I should be aware?

Most women experience little to no complications. You can experience minor discomfort after the procedure, or symptoms associated with your natural cycles, such as headaches, moodiness, or cramping. There have been a very small number of extreme cases of hyper stimulation. Although it has never happened in our program, there is a need to disclose that there have been very rare and extremely limited cases of infertility or death.

Will donating affect my own fertility?

No relationship between egg donation and future fertility has been clearly established, although research is continuing. Egg donation does not deplete your ovarian reserve. Each month you release a number of eggs, but only one comes to maturity, generally. The hormones administered in the donation process stimulate more than one to reach maturity. Women in their 20s have hundreds of thousands of viable eggs.