5 Crucial Facts to Know Before Becoming an Egg Donor


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Becoming an egg donor is a great help to couples having infertility issues or struggling with having a child of their own. If you’re thinking about helping out by becoming an egg donor, here are 5 things you should know before jumping into it:
Physically, psychologically, and emotionally taxing
Egg donation means that the patient is willing to donate their eggs for it to become an embryo and be birthed by the mother of the child. Before becoming an egg donor, however, the patient has to undergo a series of medical tests before the clinic or agency accepts. The medical tests include physical and gynecological exams, blood and urine tests for HIV and other infectious diseases testing, and a pelvic ultrasound exam. They will also need the patient’s personal details such as their medical and family history as well as to conduct a psychological evaluation. The patient needs to make several visits to the doctor’s office and can take a toll on the patient in the long run.
Compensation
The donor is paid not for donating her eggs but for the time and effort spent in the process. Payments for egg donation approximately range from $4,000-$10,000 usually for infertility reasons. It can go even higher especially if the preferred characteristics are met—in terms of ethnicity, physical features, and the like.
The prospective parents will shoulder all the costs and expenses necessary for the egg donation cycle including egg donor insurance, medical expenses, attorney fees, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and so on. Beyond the monetary compensation is the fulfillment of being able to help couples achieve their dream of having their own child and creating a family. This is what motivates some egg donors far and wide.
Egg Donation Process
As soon as the donor finds its match and agrees to donate her eggs to the interested party, the patient will take medication to prepare the body for injectable fertility drugs. The goal is to stimulate egg production so that they would be able to harvest a number of mature eggs. That said, the patient will undergo frequent blood tests and ultrasound examinations for the doctors to monitor how the eggs are developing and the patient’s response to the drugs. Afterward, the patient will undergo a minor surgical procedure to remove the eggs. The egg retrieval process is the last medical procedure and takes more or less an hour to get it done.

Health Risks
For any medical procedure, it always comes with potential risks. During the egg donation cycle, the patient might have reactions to medications such as hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, soreness, headache, etc. The medication for stimulating egg production will make the patient produce more mature eggs than the normal amount. Thus, the medications could lead to hyperstimulation or Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) wherein there is swelling of the patient’s ovaries and they become heavy with fluid. Rarely does OHSS become fertility threatening and life-threatening? However, if the patient shows signs of this syndrome before retrieval, the doctor may stop the medication, and ultimately, the cycle is canceled. It is also an important reminder that the patient must abstain from sexual intercourse as this will possibly result in multiple births. After the retrieval, the patient could experience some levels of discomfort such as nausea, pain (due to a blood clot), severe pelvic pain, and the like. When such things occur, a doctor is immediately called to find out if there are complications.
In addition, there aren’t many studies that show how the egg donors are affected, in terms of either their fertility or health, in the long term and these effects are unknown as of yet. Thus, the patient must take her time and think about it before making her decision.
Financial and Legal Considerations
Before any contract signing, questions and clarifications must be addressed such as who will shoulder the cost if there are complications? Does the patient relinquish her rights on the child? It is important that the patient consults with her obstetrician and gynecologist, a psychologist, and a lawyer that specializes or is familiar with the reproductive health law. This is to ensure that the patient’s interests and safety are protected. On the donor’s part, she must research the clinic and know the experience and qualifications of the practitioners. The patient must at least know the capabilities of the clinic and its practitioners as she would spend her time with them throughout the cycle.
As previously stated, the process requires commitment and patience, including finding a match which could take a long time. However, if the patient knows what to expect, she may go on with the procedure and find joy in helping out a couple conceive their child and create a family.

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