The Pros and Cons of Being an Egg Donor

True or False? Can donating your eggs result in early menopause?
False: During puberty, a woman’s ovaries hold about 400,000–500,000 eggs, and throughout her childbearing years, only 400–500 may be suited for ovulation. With so many remaining, there’s no evidence that egg donation will reduce your reserves and lead to premature menopause.

Egg donation is a truly altruistic gesture, allowing others to realize their dreams of parenthood. In its history, it’s led to many successful births, with an average birth rate of 55% for all programs. Yet the decision to donate is personal and unique, and potential donors should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks, including those for your health, time management, and finances.

The Benefits of Donating Eggs

Often, women are motivated to donate just to perform a selfless act, by helping others who want children, but cannot get pregnant with their own eggs. Through your actions, you’re helping LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, those with health concerns, or people focused on work or other life matters, to start or grow their families.

Egg donors are rewarded with certain health-related benefits. To qualify, you must meet the egg donor agency’s stringent requirements, including those for your physical and emotional health. As part of this screening process, you’ll undergo extensive medical and genetic screenings to assess your general health and fertility. You’re able to review these findings, which should demonstrate that you’re medically capable of completing the donation process, with your eggs leading to a healthy baby’s birth.

While not often the main driver, donors are fairly compensated. You’re being paid for your time commitment and the effort involved, rather than the eggs themselves. It’s important that the agency is upfront and open regarding donor compensation. While it may vary, at Egg Bank of America, we typically pay our donors $5,000 to $10,000, although previous donors or those with exceptional qualities may get more. Donors are also paid for additional costs, like travel and accommodations, legal representation, medical and psychological screenings, and insurance.

Egg Donation Drawbacks

Before committing to donation, you should be aware of some potential negative factors, to make an informed decision. We require potential donors to be between 21 and 31 years old, and in good health, based on our screenings. You’ll be required to self-inject hormonal medications to stimulate egg production and prepare for egg retrieval. While risks are low, most often, you may experience adverse, and temporary, reactions, including bloating, mood swings, nausea, headaches, and hot flashes.

Another medical risk is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome {OHSS}, which is your body’s reaction to the injectable hormones promoting ovulation. Among its symptoms are: mild-to-moderate abdominal pain, abdominal bloating or increased waist size, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and ovarian tenderness.

As egg donation is an involved process, potential donors must be able to commit the necessary time. You have to attend all screenings, including a blood draw and a vaginal ultrasound. Two weeks after your menstrual cycle starts, you must attend monitoring appointments, followed by the egg retrieval. Occurring during the last two weeks, these are the most important dates, although the agency may adjust for donors’ travel needs.

Make An Informed Decision About Egg Donation

While egg donation can change lives, you must account for all factors, good and bad. If you’re ready to start the process, or you have questions, contact Egg Donor America for a consultation today.