If you’ve heard of egg donation but are not exactly sure what it is, you’re not alone. While egg donation has been around since the early 1980s, it remains relatively misunderstood.
However, as technology advances, egg donation is becoming more common—particularly in the U.S. A 2017 report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), found that approximately 18% of recorded IVF births in the U.S. resulted from egg and embryo donation.
At Surrogate Parenting Services, we don’t currently manage egg donation, but we work closely with fertility clinics and intended parents, many of whom use egg donors for their surrogacy journey.
Here are some commonly asked questions about egg donation.
What is egg donation?
Egg donation is the process by which a woman with normally functioning ovaries donates her eggs (oocytes) to another person to help them conceive. The egg recipient has the baby with their partner or with donor sperm.
What is the egg donation process?
Typically, the first step of the egg donation process is matching the egg donor with a recipient. After the match, the egg donor must go through medical, genetic, and psychological screenings to ensure that she’s capable of producing eggs, is mentally prepared for the process, and fully understands the risks involved.
Once the screenings are complete and legal agreements have been signed, the donor receives a series of hormone injections for approximately 10 days. When her eggs have matured and are ready to be retrieved, the procedure is scheduled. The egg retrieval process is an outpatient surgical procedure and only takes about 20 to 30 minutes. The donor is sedated and the doctor inserts an ultrasound probe into the vagina and uses a needle to remove the eggs from each mature follicle.
The eggs are fertilized in a laboratory using sperm from the recipient’s partner or a sperm donor. Following fertilization, the resulting embryos are transferred to the recipient’s uterus (who is sometimes a surrogate) through an implantation procedure such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
How can you become an egg donor?
The specific egg donation requirements vary from agency to agency, but typically an egg donor should:
- Be between 18 to 29 (sometimes higher for experienced donors)
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 30
- Be a non-smoker and non drug-user
- Have regular, monthly periods
- Have no family history of inheritable genetic disorders
- Have both ovaries
- Be willing to undergo medical and psychological evaluations
- Be willing to get (or give yourself) injections
- Have completed some education after high school (at some agencies)
Can you get paid to be an egg donor?
In many countries, egg donation is illegal. Other countries such as Australia, France, and Canada, only allow “altruistic” egg donation, meaning the donor can’t receive a financial benefit from donating her eggs. In the U.S., egg donation is legal and donors can be compensated.
Egg donor pay varies between agencies and the exact amount is often determined on a case by case basis. Generally, donors are typically paid between $5,000 and $10,000 for a completed egg donation cycle (in other words, when the eggs are retrieved).
Learn More About Becoming a Surrogate with Surrogate Parenting Services
Surrogate Parenting Services is proud to celebrate 30 Years of helping to bring dreams to life! Founded in 1990, Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) is a full-service surrogacy program that offers both parties an exceptionally supportive environment throughout the surrogacy relationship. We’re passionate about creating ideal matches between surrogates and intended parents, so the journey is fulfilling for both sides and the future child is brought into this world in the best possible circumstances.
Learn more about our Surrogacy Program online or by calling (949) 363-9525.