Frequently Asked Questions
If you are thinking of donating eggs, you probably have many questions! We have answers. Our Egg Donation FAQ section answers the questions that we receive from prospective egg donors. If you have a question that we haven't answered here, please contact us or start an application if you're ready to take the first step.
Q. Why would someone pursue Egg Donation?
A. Intended Parents pursue egg donation because of their strong desire to have a family. The most common reason for using a donated egg is diminished ovarian reserve, meaning the mom waited too long to attempt a pregnancy and now finds it difficult or unhealthy to conceive. Some women have premature ovarian failure which results in difficulty conceiving at a younger age or other medical problems which prohibit pregnancy. Others are afraid of passing on genetically transmitted diseases to their children. Same-sex male couples turn to egg donation to enjoy having children with their genetic link. In all of these situations, the intended parent(s) require the assistance of an egg donor in order to fulfill their dreams of parenthood.
Q. How long is a typical egg donation cycle?
A. The calendar for egg donation cycles is dependent on the donor and the intended parents' availability as well as the timing of the donors' menstrual cycle. Frequently the donor is put on oral birth control so the physician can control the timing of her cycle. If everything moves along without any delays, the donation process takes about 8 to 12 weeks from the time of donor selection until the retrieval of the donors eggs and transfer to the intended mom.
Q. What is the medical process like?
The donation cycle takes anywhere from 10 to 14 days from the initiation of medication to the retrieval. During this time, the egg donor must commit to daily hormone injections that encourage egg production. This is done with a small needle on a syringe, similar to those use by diabetics. The egg retrieval itself takes about 20 minutes (with an hour afterwards for recovery), and is performed in a clinic under local anesthetic. The donor will rest the day of the donation but the following day can return to normal activities. If she has traveled for the donation she will likely fly home the day after the donation.
Q. Does it hurt to donate eggs?
A. The egg retrieval is done under a local anesthetic so the donor will not experience pain during the procedure. Afterwards, the donor will generally feel tired. Any discomfort can be managed with Tylenol. This usually goes away by the next day or two. Bloating after the donation can last until the donor gets her next menses, which is typically about a week after the donation. While she may be more comfortable in sweat pants than tight fitting clothing, the bloating is not painful.
Q. What are the risks of donating eggs?
A. The main risk of egg donation is a temporary condition called Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, only 1% of egg donors experience any form of hyper-stimulation syndrome and the majority only experience mild to moderate bloating. Also, as with any procedure, a risk of infection exists. Donors are advised to review the risks with their physician.
Q. How many times can I donate?
A. Most egg donors donate more than once. The guidelines of American Society for Reproductive Medicine limits an egg donor to six egg donation cycles.
Egg donors are frequently asked to donate repeatedly for the same family. Usually though, the eggs from each donation cycle go to families. Limiting the number of egg donation cycles helps to decrease possible risks of donor-conceived children accidentally meeting up with each other.
Q. Will I have to travel?
A. Travel will depend upon where you live, and where the recipient’s IVF center is located. If the donor chooses to do a cycle away from home, the donor would be put up in a hotel for the last few days of the donation cycle. Usually traveling on medication day 8, she will have all her travel expenses paid for by the Intended Parents. This includes airfare, hotel accommodations, rental car or taxi, gasoline for travel between the hotel and fertility clinic, and a meal allowance. The donor is allowed a companion whose airfare will also be paid for, but they must share a hotel room and car. All travel arrangements will be made by the agency at no cost to the donor.
Q. Will I meet the parent(s)?
A. Most donations are anonymous, meaning that the egg donor does not know the identity of the intended parents and they do not know the identity of the donor. Sometimes parents request to meet the donor and, if the donor agrees to it, this meeting will occur prior to any medical appointments or legal agreement between them. In this case, they can meet anonymously and all arrangements will be made by the agency. They will have a chance to see each other in person or on Zoom, and can ask questions that maintain anonymity. This gives the intended parents a better feel for the donor and the donor is content knowing where her eggs are going to create a family. Most commonly the parents go ahead and work with this donor. Rarely the egg donor and intended parents agree to stay in contact and share identifying information such as name and contact information. You may choose the arrangement that suits you the best.
Q. Do I have to claim my compensation on my taxes?
A. Neither The Stork Society nor the Intended Parent(s) will issue a W-2 or 1099. Egg Donors are not considered employees or independent contractors. With that in mind, we recommend having your egg donation agreement reviewed by a tax professional.
Q. Will I Be Compensated?
Egg donors are financially compensated for their gift. Nationally our egg donors receive a base compensation of $6,500 for their first donation and up to $12,000 for experienced and high demand donors. In addition, all travel costs are paid for prior to travel.
Q. Why should I become an egg donor?
A. Becoming an egg donor means providing a gift of unparalleled compassion for those experiencing infertility. Most women become egg donors in order to help others create a family and fulfill a dream parenthood. In gratitude of the gift they are receiving, the intended parents provide egg donors with substantial compensation which can open new opportunities for the donors. Common examples of things that become possible for the donor include launching their own business, putting a down payment on a house, buying a car, paying off student loans, traveling the world, paying for wedding expenses, etc.