Becoming an egg donor, and making a woman’s journey to motherhood happen in a way that few can, is both a generous act and a serious commitment. To give the recipient the best possible chance for a successful pregnancy, there are strict guidelines that control who can be an egg donor. To ensure the healthiest eggs, a donor must be no more than 29 when they apply. A minimum age of 21 is in place to make sure that the donor can legally enter into a contract. Donors must be in excellent health, non-smoking, and with no significant, serious health issues in their history or that of their family. There should be no history of mental health issues, drug or alcohol abuse, and the donor should be within normal BMI guidelines.
Aside from possible medical issues, there are emotional issues to consider, and a psychological screening is performed to ensure that the donor is prepared for all phases of donation. Donors must be ready for the process of medication injections and subsequent egg retrieval as well as the emotional aspects of egg donation. Once donated, all eggs belong to the recipient, whether they are implanted, frozen, donated, or destroyed.
After the initial medical and psychological screenings, which are usually done locally, a donor travels to the recipient’s cycling doctor. There they have additional medical screenings completed, including drug and alcohol testing, and checks for various genetic diseases. This is often done in one day. Once cleared for donation, the legalities are completed, and the donor signs all necessary forms. Donors may wish to consult their attorney to review all paperwork before signing.
The final stage of the process begins with medications to synchronize the donor’s cycle with that of the recipient. More medications follow that stimulate the donor’s ovaries to produce many eggs, and when the time for retrieval is at hand, the donor travels back to the recipient’s doctor for the egg retrieval, which can take up to 10 days. There is a minor surgery that may involve anesthesia, and donors will need a companion with them to help. At every stage of the journey, the donor is medically monitored to ensure both the donor’s safety and the development of the eggs.
While this is not a simple process and may sound intimidating at first, it is a worthwhile one. Donors not only receive compensation for their time, effort, and possible discomfort, but they are also rewarded with the knowledge that they have helped a woman on her journey to motherhood.