Egg Donation: For Donors

In addition to these common questions asked by potential donors you may want to read our Egg Donor Information which provides a comprehensive explanation of the donation process itself and will answer most of your questions. The answers are provided only to give a general overview of the donation process. Each donor and each cycle will be different; therefore, not all answers will apply to you or your specific situation.

What compensation can I expect to receive as an egg donor?

A Perfect Match allows egg donors to set their own compensation. The starting range is generally $8,000 to $10,000 and increases for each additional cycle. We strongly encourage all egg donor candidates to include an element of altruism to their interest in donation and we encourage all women to consider a reasonable compensation in keeping with the time and effort required for a donation.

What is the process after I submit my application?

After a potential egg donor candidate submits her full profile, genetic questionnaire, photos, and educational verifications the completed application package will be reviewed by our donor team. If we have further questions about any of the answers the candidate will be contacted directly by a team member for clarification. If the profile meets industry standards for genetic and psychological the candidate will be invited to join our program. If a candidate does not meet our criteria, we will inform her of our decision to not invite her participation in our program and we will give her an explanation of our reasons for that decision. Once we accept a candidate to be an egg donor with our program we will immediately begin presenting her to our infertile families.

How long does it take to be matched with a family?

The match time depends on the families who are looking for an egg donor at the time we accept a candidate into our program. Sometimes we match a donor on the first day she is presented to families; other times the wait may be a few months. Many of our families are international and of different ethnicities and their specific needs vary according to their desired characteristics—hair color, eye color, height, ethnicity, religious beliefs, education, etc. Matching an intended parent with a donor isn’t as simple as matching SAT, or hair and eye coloring—it is about finding a connection between a family and a donor. An intended parent is essentially inviting an egg donor’s genetics and personality into their home as these are heritable traits. Our families choose a donor who matches their own family traits, their own cultural traits, their own personal interests, and their own life values in as many ways as possible.

Our favorite match example: The intended mother and donor both went to the same university, belonged to the same sorority, were both nationally ranked in the same sport, and looked so much alike that you absolutely would have thought they were close relatives. This is the type of match our families seek whenever possible. A perfect match!

How long will I have to be on medications?

This depends on which of the two protocols is selected by the IVF center chosen by the intended parents. A donor is usually placed on a form of birth control for one month in order to synchronize her cycle to that of the woman who will carry the child; then she will begin a specific protocol chosen by the IVF center for the purpose of stimulating her ovaries in preparation of an egg retrieval. Most medications are administered as an injection with a small insulin-type needle. A long protocol cycle requires 3-4 weeks of daily medications before the egg retrieval is performed, while a shorter protocol requires only 12-14 days of daily medications before the egg retrieval is performed. As with all medical aspects of the egg donation process it is the IVF center that determines which protocol will bring the best results for the donor based on her ultrasound and bloodwork. Once a donor is matched, and we know which IVF center is chosen, we will be able to let the donor know the medication protocol they will use.

Will it hurt?

Most donors say the fear of injections is far more painful than the injection itself! Medications are usually administered with a small insulin-type needle and the staff at the IVF center will instruct the donor on the best way to administer the medication with the least amount of discomfort. During the retrieval procedure the donors are under anesthesia and they feel no pain. Once the retrieval is over and the donor awakes she will need to take it easy that day, but most donors complain only of some cramping and tiredness. The IVF center will give you instructions on pain management.

What are the side effects of the medications?

A Perfect Match is not a medical facility and we cannot give medical advice. We can tell you, however, that most of our donors have experienced only minimal side effects that may be similar to PMS type symptoms: bloating, headaches, moodiness, cramping, discomfort, slight weight gain, etc. The goal, of course, is to limit the side effects for donors—yet on rare occasions a donor may have post-retrieval symptoms of hyperstimulation that can range from mild to severe and on rare occasions it could result in a one-day hospitalization in order to balance her hormones after retrieval. It is always best to speak with the IVF center to understand the protocol they utilize in order to minimize side effects. A few organizations that provide information about medications and risks are: ASRMParents Via Egg Donation (PVED), and Resolve.

How long is the recovery period?

Most donors rest on the day of retrieval as they recover from anesthesia and the procedure. They are then able to return to their normal activities the day after retrieval. If a donor travels for her retrieval she may need to be seen at the clinic the day after retrieval and then she will be allowed to return home. Donors may still experience some mild discomfort and symptoms until she begins her post-retrieval menstrual cycle, which is typically 7 to 14 days after the retrieval.

How many eggs are taken for a donation cycle?

A Perfect Match recommends donors do independent research on every aspect of donation. https://www.asrm.org/splash/splash.aspx ) , Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) ( http://www.pved.org/ , and Resolve ( http://www.resolve.org/ ) , all of which are nonprofit organizations that provide information about egg donation. When you research using the search term “number of female eggs” you’ll find the following (paraphrased) information: “Females are born with a finite number of eggs (approximately 1 million +/-), and by the time a young girl begins puberty the number has already decreased significantly (approximately 400, 000 +/-). Although the number of eggs produced during a monthly cycle varies from female to female, the average number is 10-20. Some women produce more per month, others less. Each month the ovaries produce a varying number of potential eggs for fertilization, but also each month the body selects only one of those eggs to become the "lead follicle." This egg is selected by the body to be used for ovulation that month. The other eggs, meanwhile, stop growing and are absorbed or discarded by the body. If the lead egg is not fertilized, it will dry up and/or will also be expelled by the body.”

An IVF center’s goal during an egg donation cycle is to extract all the available eggs for that specific month. Egg donation is a wonderful way of putting a number of eggs to very good use that would otherwise be absorbed or discarded by the body that month.

If I donate my eggs, will I still be able to have my own children?

Although APM cannot give medical advice, we can say that many of our donors have given birth to their own children after donation. Please visit the following organization’s websites for comprehensive information about egg donation. ASRM, PVED, and RESOLVE. These are nonprofit organizations that deal specifically with fertility and they offer very helpful information about the risks involved with donation and they also offer information about how a woman’s age and the quality of her eggs affects the ability to become pregnant.

A little motherly advice... Women should not wait too long to have their own babies. The uterus may remain healthy for many years, but medical data shows that the quality of the eggs starts to diminish after age 29, and steadily decreases with every year after that. If a woman waits much past that age her eggs could be of such poor quality that she may have trouble becoming pregnant, or may suffer miscarriages, or may have a child with Down Syndrome or other developmental issues. Unfortunately, most physicians do not inform women about the risk of waiting until they are older to have children. APM’s average intended mother is a woman who started fertility treatments when she was about age 36 or so, and who had treatment and attempted use her own eggs for years before she had no other choice than to get an egg donor.

See this link for a study of how egg donors remain fertile after donating.

What is the difference between an anonymous donation and an open donation?

In an anonymous donation no one uses their names and personal identifying information is usually not shared by the parties. In an open donation, on the other hand, the parties share information and may communicate throughout the years in order to give and receive information about the child, the donor, or the donor’s children—so all parties have access to updated genetic and psychological information that could impact any of the parties.

What about egg freezing?

There is currently much media coverage that implies that egg freezing is a kind of insurance policy that allows women to delay pregnancy into their 40s, yet much of this coverage does not tell you how many eggs one needs to freeze in order to have one pregnancy and birth. What studies show, however, it that it takes approximately 20 frozen eggs to realize one live birth. In other words, it may take a few retrievals for a woman to have enough frozen eggs to produce a pregnancy and live birth. While egg freezing is not an insurance policy, egg freezing does provide some positive hope for those who are undergoing medical treatment (like chemotherapy) that may destroy their eggs, or for those who have not yet found their partner and/or aren’t ready to have children.

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