I am considering becoming an egg donor. I have never really wanted children of my own, but I am a science person so I would like to put my eggs to good use for other people who want a family. I recently graduated college with honors with 2 bachelor of science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Biochemistry. I have had two prestigious internships in Tissue Engineering and Breast Cancer Metastasis in New Jersey and Iowa, respectively, and I am now applying to several graduate programs across the country. So, I feel like I would not be in trouble on my own personal achievements. HOWEVER, one of my grandpas died of neck cancer at the age of 61 (he was a smoker in his younger years), one of his sisters died of lung cancer in her mid 70s, and my other grandpa died at the age of 87 with a blood cancer. On the other hand, I had a great grandma who lived to be 101, a grandma who lived a healthy life until she was 88, and I still have a healthy living great aunt who is 92. Would these cancer family history issues disqualify me from becoming a donor?
I am a 5x egg donor. Overall I donated over 100 eggs (so yes, a huge # of eggs during each cycle). My decision to become a donor was very well thought out, and I was confident that I would have no regrets. I was proud of what I did to help these families. It’s been almost 8 years since my last donation. The past year (maybe two) I’ve begun to struggle with some things. Can you help?
1. I’ve been having dreams about my biological children from the egg donations. Most of them are very traumatic (in the last one, I was at the birthday party for my biological donor egg child who appeared to be about 2-3 years old. An extended family member of the donor child whispered to me that their family never should have used egg donation, to stay away from their family, I wasn’t allowed to have anything to do with them, etc and ended with me running after their van screaming “I love you” to the child). But in “real” life, I’ve always respected the biological family’s wishes, which in most cases has meant anonymous donation with no contact and no idea if they had kids or how many. Have you ever had dreams about your donor egg children?
2. Even though I used to think I didn’t need to know if children were born or how many, now I really want to know (especially since I’m probably going to have a child in the next few years). But, I’ve gone back to my agencies to try and contact the recipient family through them (since I don’t have their full names or contact info) and 3 of the agencies I used said I’m no longer in their files and they no longer have any records from of my donation. WHAT?! Aren’t there laws that say they have to keep that kind of stuff on file? Otherwise, how would either party be able to get in touch if there was some kind of emergency (the kid needs me to donate bone marrow, I find out I have some genetic disease, etc)?
3. What if I have kids, and they grow up and fall in love with someone else who turns out to be their biological half-sibling? Do I need to be proactive to prevent this (ask the parents of every person they date if they used donor eggs to conceive)? That could get weird. I wish I would have required some sort of long-term contact with the donor family in my contract. But I didn’t, so I can’t change that now.
Dang, girl. No, I cannot identify with any of this. I mean, even if I could, we’d be looking at the same conclusion: Our feelings are moot. The dream sounds…eerie, but considering your other two questions, I can see why it’s occurring. No agency or doctor is going to release any information to you, so you could wear out your phone trying, but it’s not gonna help. And, quite honestly, the commitment they have to keeping these things necessarily private and confidential are the very reasons I agreed to be a donor myself. If there were ever the slightest chance of any of my seven theoretical cycle-children–or their recipient parents–getting a hold of me, I’d never have become a donor. As the for the possibility of a relationship finding its way between your eggs and actual offspring…girl, don’t stress yourself out about this. I think you’re looking at and imagining the absolute most slim margin of life-error; like, this is what-if-the-sky-falls stuff. If this is getting to a point where it’s disruptive in your life, you should talk to someone about it. But in terms of finding a tangible solution to any of these fears or concerns, I think you’ll end up just wearing yourself out instead. I’m sorry this is where you are and I wish you the best in figuring it all out. And, to all the prospective donors reading this, I cannot say it enough: You’re not donating blood or racing for a cure, you’re making a human being. It’s not all rainbows and love and hearts and storks with babies…this is, like, real, with Pros and Cons, and more than that, it’s forever.
I’m thinking about donating at a well known and trusted medical center that just so happens to be my graduate school! I am nervous just thinking about all the hormone injections I will have to take. Do they take me off my birth control in order to take the injections? Does this mean I have to abstain from sex during these two weeks of hormone therapy? What if I have really adverse effects to the hormones; am I automatically disqualified? I’m worried I’m going to put myself through all these medical tests, anxiety from waiting to be called, etc. just to be disqualified and miss out on a great experience and the compensation. Any advice for a first timer?
Glad you found the site, and I hope reading through it has helped! Don’t be nervous. I know it’s all SO foreign and you have nothing to bounce your ideas or concerns or thoughts off of, because it’s not exactly a resume builder people advertise–most of the time. That said, don’t be nervous! I mean, it’s involved and specific and important and forever, and all these really heavy words, but as for the actual process, it’s no big deal, as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into. First of all, once you’ve been selected by a recipient, you’ve been selected. You won’t be unselected, or “disqualified.” If you’re gonna be denied as a donor, it’s gonna happen before you even make to donor status. Should something come up in your cycle that prevents the cycle from going forward, that’s an altogether different story. Were that to happen, it could be that you’ve neglected to mention something in your screening along the way. Understand that ANYTHING you fail to disclose about your health will be discovered in your testing. You will submit vials upon vials of blood–and that will happen throughout the course of the donation itself–and you will be urine-tested several times as well. It’s not often a donor is pulled from a cycle, mid-cycle. Its possible you won’t yield great results, but that will just mean your agency and/or doctors won’t maybe wanna work with you again–which is a numbers-thing, it’s not personal. If you have adverse affect to the hormones, that’s a diffy story altogether, too, but I highly doubt that’ll be the case. If you are not paid your compensation, it’d be rare and it’d be for a reason that’s very likely unpredictable, and hard for me to warn you about, you know? And, yes, you will be taken off birth control and put on one of your doctor’s choosing. S/he will then align your period with the schedule of your cycle and your reproductive system will be, at that point, and for the next several weeks, under the jurisdiction of your doctor and your recipient couple. As such, yup, no sex. No sex from the time you start your meds until 10 days after your retrieval. We’re all adults here, you’ll live, and your boyfriend will understand. If you have a boyfriend, keeping your donation a secret from him is ill-advised. I know you didn’t ask for my opinion, but I can promise that egg donation is not something you’ll be able to hide-it takes over your life for the time you’re in the throes of it. As a first-timer, I encourage you to read every single entry I have posted on this site. There is nothing whatsoever to be afraid of, it’s an incredible experience, and in order to take away some amazing things–not just the amazing paycheck–is to fully embrace it. Pay attention at all your appointments. Ask your doctors questions and make sure you understand the answers. Your doctors and nurses won’t necessarily tell you information about your appointments. Not because they’re keeping anything secret, but because it doesn’t occur to them you’d care. But information, in this case, is vital to being cool, calm and collected. So, find out as much of it as you can. It’s your body, your business. Know that this will, honestly, take over your life once you begin the injections. Your ultrasound and bloodwork appointments will become unpredictable, regardless of the calendar you’re given, and you need to have the flexibility in your daily life/schedule. There will be nothing that can trump your cycle once it begins. To me, that’s the most important thing: The understanding of how involved you will be and how everything else will take a back seat. Have a good time; you’re doing an amazing thing. Own that, be proud of that and have fun with it! Good luck!
I’m in the process of doing egg donation and I actually have the removal scheduled in 2 days, I’m freaking out a little. You probably get this question a lot but how much does it hurt? How will I feel afterwards? Also my boyfriend doesn’t know I’m doing this, so how long after can I go back to sexual intercourse?
Congrats on getting to the end! I bet you’re waddling a little, huh? It’s weird, huh? I know. Okay, so the retrieval may be the most nerve-racking part to think about, but it’s one of the easiest parts, because you’re asleep the whole time. Like, knocked OUT. You go in to the doctor, usually pretty early in the morning, and you’re escorted like a VIP to the surgical part of the clinic. And you change and lie down, and go into the procedure room. And then you meet the most amazing person you’ll ever meet: Your anesthesiologist. It’s his (or her, but I never had a her in all my donations) job to make you sooooooo comfortable And boy do they ever. They don’t just knock you out, but they give you all kinds of relaxing preps beforehand. First, they rub some kind of cold cotton ball swap thing on the site of where they’ll insert your IV, so that you don’t even feel that happening, you just know because s/he’s telling you it is. Then, THEN, s/he will inject into your IV something to “relax you.” Whatever the heck is in that syringe is amazing. All the sudden, you just go warm. As far as you’ll be concerned, they could start cutting off your hair and tattooing your legs right then and there, and you’d be totally fine with it. But then comes the the kicker: The drugs. You’ll be asked to count backwards from ten. Honestly? I don’t remember EVER getting to 9. And then you wake up what feels like immediately, but it’s about 40-45 minutes later. You’ll be pretty groggy and out of it, but then you’ll snap to, you’ll be freezing and you’ll get apple juice and cookies or something hospital-y. After about an hour, maybe less, the nurse will determine you’re probs okay to be escorted outta there. You won’t really feel like anything had happened–maybe it’ll feel like you have period cramps, but there won’t be any pain; I never even bled. There shouldn’t be any pain related to the surgery at all. That said, the next day, maybe the day after that, you’ll need to poop for the first time since the surgery. That’ll hurt. It’ll really, really hurt. Not because of the surgery, per say, but because you have had some serious trauma up in your abdomen, and the muscles you use when you’re pushing out a kid from your uterus (ground zero) are the same muscles that you use when you’re pooping, which is why women poop on the delivery table all the time. It’s all connected. Just know nothing is causing any sort of damage, it’s mind over matter. You’ll need to take it easy for a few days, but then you can ease back into your life as you feel better. You will have swelling, and maybe some cramping, but none of it should last more than 3 days, mayyyyyyybe 4. As for getting back to your active, real life, give yourself about a week. Drink your electrolytes, get back into a routine and know you’ve gained about 5, 6, 7 pounds–they won’t just fall off, you’ll need to work them off as if it were holiday eating. As for your boyfriend: Consider telling him if you’re serious about him, first of all; this isn’t something you neglect to mention, you know? It’s not like you were an egg donor before you met him, you’re with him as you’re going through the process, he should know. You don’t have to care what he thinks about it, but you’re his business, and that–honestly–makes this his business. If you two end up, like, getting married or something, this is one heck of a by-the-way, you know? That said, none of that is my business, so live your life, boo. The sex part, though: If it were me, I’d wait until my next period to be sure. We’re all adults here, and you can wait 10 more days to have sex; you’ve probs waited 3 weeks already. It’s really not that hard–you won’t even wanna have sex for about a week, I promise you, so what’s another few days? If this sounds, like, an insane suggestion, then just wait 10 days–at least. Good luck with everything, you’re almost at the end!!
I put in my application to donate 3 weeks ago and have already been chosen even before my initial testing. I have a couple random questions for you before I start the process:
1. The clinic I’m donating to is really small and hasn’t done that many harvesting procedures; should I be concerned about the lack of experience in the clinic?
2. I will be doing the initial testing on day three of my period which is next week and I am wondering how soon after I will be able to start the donation cycle. Will I have to wait until I naturally start my next period?
Congratulations, girl! Sounds like my trajectory–I submitted, went in the next day for an interview, and was working by the end of the month. Okay, so the small, inexperienced clinic does unnerve me a little, yeah. I mean, it’s your reproductive system, not, a haircut, you know? It’s not gonna just grow back out, it’s gonna ruin something if it goes wrong. A small clinic, whatever, I have no objections. But the lack of experience doesn’t need to come at your expense. I’d drill your agency about the clinic…how many times’ve they worked with them? What’re the success rates? Who is your doctor? Would they send their daughter there? Research the HECK outta your doctor. I’m hesitant for you, but only because it’s not in context for me. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel like you’d recommend to a friend to be an egg donor and use this clinic? Don’t check any sort of fear at the door because you feel you’re overreacting; it’s your body and it should always be completely under your jurisdiction. I am sure you’re smart enough to discern comfort with complacency; use the good sense God gave you to figure this one out. As for your period, and the start date of your cycle, they will be correlated once it all goes down, yeah. You’ll start the whole ride on birth control. If the doc hasn’t put you on birth control yet, then your cycle will not start yet (the period you’re having will be your last “natural” period before you start…the birth control will be controlling the timing of your next period and the doc will be controlling the birth control. Again, it’s fascinating, pay attention.). And you won’t be allowed to start a single thing until you’ve signed all your contracts and been fully screened and tested out. Nothing will sneak up on you, don’t worry. There’s meds to be delivered, prescriptions to collect, forms to sign, vials upon vials of blood to be drawn. You’re just getting started. Embrace, ask questions, be vigilant and have a great time!
I’m 23 and Norwegian, in business school in the UK. Where I’m from, donating eggs is not legal, but I have heard of people doing it in the US. I do think I qualify as I am healthy and always have been, plus from my research some of my traits seem to be desirable for recipients. Thing is, I don’t know where to start. If I Google it, there are so many results. I don’t know which clinics are good and which are not.And so I’m wondering:- Are people generally interested in European donors?- How do I know who to get in touch with in the US?- I know some arrange private agreements, is it preferable to going to a clinic?- Does it in any way affect my fertility/ability to have children of my own later?
About 8 years ago, my doctor diagnosed me with a mild form of anemia. My best friend had a hard time conceiving and thanks to an egg donor, she was able to have her beautiful little girl. Witnessing what she went through still breaks my heart, so I’d love to be able to help another woman out there unable to conceive. I was wondering whether I could still donate my eggs even with anemia.
Eh, I dunno. I doubt you’d get a clean bill of health. You need to think about it from the recipients’ point of view: They have been struggling with infertility for who-knows-how-long, and they’re scouring through donor profile after donor profile, desperate for perfection–like it or not, that’s what they’re looking for. They’re not gonna take the time to dissect your profile if they see “anemic” as a bullet point. They’re gonna find someone who is as healthy as spinach and doesn’t have so much as a single ailment in her whole lineage, and looks enough like you that they’ll just move along to her. I know your heart is in the right place, and you’re trying to help someone, and you know what you bring to the table, but before someone cares what you’re bringing to the table, you’re gonna have to get through the door, and having anemia will most likely end your journey before it starts. But I could be totally wrong. Mama definitely does not know everything. Ask an agency, do some research from an industry standpoint, but I think you’re gonna be outta luck on this one. Good luck; serious.
This past Friday I received a phone call from a dental nurse who had cleaned my teeth earlier this week. She had already had one child through an egg donor. She wanted another woman who closely resembles the original donor and asked me. I am 21 and have never considered it until now. I thought about it and consulted my family and agreed. My mom was against is but she worries too much. As soon as I told her I would I began to panic. I am not worried about the pain, but about the child and the emotional baggage. Is this something that I will regret? In the back of my mind I will always know that there is a child out there with my genes. And what if this child wants to meet me? What if she is emotionally scarred by this? My family is my first priority and I have a very strong motherly instinct. When I have children, will I be haunted by the thought that there is one more out there? I have been raised to take pride in my family and “the Tison brand.” Am I ruining the brand? I know that last sentence makes you want to punch me in the face. My family consists of competitive star athletes if that helps you understand this absurdly prideful reasoning. I have thought of how much I am helping this woman and all of the good things, but these are all of the self-centered thoughts I can’t talk to her about. Did you feel any of this? Am I not cut out for this? What about my future husband?
I’m so glad I found you! I was looking for jobs online and I stumbled upon egg donors wanted for $10,000 so I thought I should read into it and contact the agency. I don’t know anyone who has donated before but I’m actually excited to be a donor. I have a few questions:
1) I have smoked marijuana before but I have never been a “pot head” and its been a few months that I haven’t smoked.. but I wonder if that will count against me?
2) I’m quite concerned about this one issue: If the Donor over-stimulates she may run the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which is quite rare (occurs in less than 5% of Donors). Severe cases of this syndrome may result in damage to the Donor’s ovaries. 5 % is a very small chance but I’m healthy and my weight is perfect.. I’m honestly a little scared for that one reason, I want to have children in the future. I don’t know if you have any suggestions about that as well?
3) Since it’s my egg the child will have my genetics, will I be able to keep in touch with the family or will the child be allowed to come looking for me? Also will he/she be my child regardless that I’m not actually carrying him/her? I don’t mind that my genetic is given to a woman who wants to start a family but I’m also very aware the child may one day ask the parents who I am, etc.. those are my main concerns.
4.) As far as other questions, if I choose to be a frequent donor how many times can I do these procedures a year?
Ooooooh, Mama loves questions! Okay, let’s go one-by-one, kay?
1.) Pot is fine. I mean, no, pot is not fine, but if it’s not currently coursing through your veins, you’re fine. Stop smoking pot, and while you’re a donor, do not even think about it. I failed a drug test once, when I came out of 2 years of retirement, and the doctor said to me: ”It’s not like you were smoking tobacco.” So….
2.) Every donor is concerned about OHSS. Don’t be. I mean, be. But, it’s like OD’ing on Motrin–follow the directions and you’ll be fine. For all 7 of my cycles, I was eventually monitored with daily ultrasounds (which is why you need such incredible flexibility in your schedule; you never know what will come up in the cycle) because the doctor was worried I’d end up overstimulating. I never did, I was never worried about it, I always felt amazing, and you get to know your body so well, that when something is wrong, you will certainly be able to tell. You need to make sure and ease waaaaaaaaay up on any exercising you may do, and load waaaaaaaay up on your electrolytes. That means Gatorade and Vitamin Water, not just an extra glass of water a day. Listen to every single instruction the doctor and nurses give you. Follow your injection schedule to the letter and ask any and all questions you feel like you need answered so you’re comfortable.
3.) This is the most valid concern you will have as an egg donor. Some donors do not seem to care, or don’t seem to think they will be affected by the fact that there will be a child of hers in the world from this point forward. I don’t have any reservations whatsoever when it comes to being a donor, but the thought that remains in the back of my mind–years on the other side of donation–is: I have 7 kids out there. Seven. That is insane, and if I think about it too long–like, 10 seconds is too long–then I start to get nervous and slightly anxious. There is no eliminating the fact that you will have off-spring. You will have a child who may try and find you. You may have moments later in your life where you want to try and find your child. You won’t know until it’s over, and then it’s always gonna be there. It’s why I openly, clearly and strongly encourage girls NOT to donate to women they may know–there’s no way it can’t get messy unless you’re super reconciled with your decision, and even then, eventually, that decision will be an adult, and free to come find you at will. Think about it. Be sure. It’s a child. It’s not a blood donation, it’s not a 10K for cancer research. You’re giving someone a child. Children grow up and become curious adults. Just think about it.
4.) You can be a donor as often as your body permits. It only ends up being about 2 times a year. I mean, you won’t want to get into any more than that, quite honestly. If you’re in demand, you will start a routine. You know the cycle will run you about a month, door-to-door, and it’ll take you about 2 full weeks to lose the baby weight, and have a period, and get back to feeling 100%. Then you need to have a second period before you can take the journey again, and then about 3 months have lapsed and then the whole things starts again, and on and on it can go until you’re out of cycles or you don’t wanna take another one on. Also, and something to really think about: You bask in the glory of your paycheck. You’ll look at it and think “this is all mine?” and, yeah, it is. Every single dime. Until tax time. And then you’re gonna owe, and you’ll owe big. More than two cycles in a year, and you won’t be able to afford the taxes–the taxes are alllllmost half the check. And when you’ve spent that check and your cycle is a year behind you, the number you’re told for “Total Owed for Federal Income Tax” will downright knock the wind out of you. If you know you’re in high-demand, you won’t not be–recipients want the donor they want, so pace yourself. You get 6 cycles before you’re outta the game; there’s no need to rush them.
Good luck. These are great questions, and you know where to find me if you need more of them answered!
I’m 21 and I have my high school diploma. Would I qualify to donate my eggs? And what’s the weight you have to be to donate eggs?
Unfortunately, no, you will need to have graduated high school, and provide proof of college graduation and full test scores/grades to complete your application. And the weight depends on a lot of things. It’s not based on a number or a Body Mass Index or anything quantifiable, it’s based on overall appearance.