Couples who can’t have a baby on their own may need something that you probably produce plentifully: healthy eggs. The woman in a couple may not have enough eggs or she may have other reproductive challenges. Or she may even have a genetic condition she doesn’t want to pass down to her children.
Infertility can be an agonizing state of let-downs and disappointments. Couples may go through years of frustrating attempts before looking for an egg donor. If you become an egg donor, you can offer relief to couples and help them achieve their dream of building a family. But it’s not a one-way street; you’re compensated, too.
Donating eggs isn’t as simple as writing a check to your local charity. You have to be willing to invest the time and go through a physical egg-retrieval process.
At Columbia Fertility Associates, with offices in Washington, DC, Bethesda, Maryland, and Arlington, Virginia, our highly skilled and knowledgeable OB/GYNs help you decide if egg donation is right for you. If you’d like to be an egg donor, here’s how to do it.
1. Make sure you’re healthy
The top requirement for becoming an egg donor is being in good physical and mental health. In fact, before you’re accepted as a donor, you must undergo a complete physical and take a psychological evaluation, too.
Requirements include that you:
- Are at a healthy weight (not obese or underweight)
- Are a nonsmoker
- Don’t use drugs
- Don’t use alcohol excessively
- Menstruate regularly
- Are between ages of 19 and 29
If you’re pretty sure you’re healthy, and you’re young enough to donate, you can move to step 2.
2. Fill out our online application
Before you’re accepted as an egg donor at Columbia Fertility Associates, you must complete our online application form. You’ll create an account with us and then answer all of the questions.
The application has about 40 questions and should only take about 15 minutes. After we review your application, we’ll contact you if we think you’re a good fit. Then you move on to the next step.
3. Get tested
You undergo your physical and psychological tests at our centrally located offices.
Tests and evaluations include:
- Psychological evaluation
- Complete physical exam
- Genetic screening
- Fertility evaluation
- Full blood panel
- Tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Tests for other infections
- Family and personal medical histories
You don’t have to pay for these tests. We cover the costs.
4. Fill out a profile
If you’re healthy enough to be a donor, you then fill out a profile for prospective parents. You list key physical attributes, including hair and eye color. You might also list special interests or talents you have that could match with the prospective parents’ interests, too.
5. Sign a contract
Donating an egg has legal implications that you must fully understand. Because of online DNA tests, it’s very possible that your donated eggs may one day manifest as adults who are curious about you. However, the donation process itself can be completely anonymous.
If you opt for anonymous donation, your recipients never learn about who you are. You don’t learn their names either.
You can also donate to friends or family who are infertile. Whether it’s an open donation or anonymous donation, you sign away all legal rights to whatever children are born from your eggs.
6. Take hormones
Normally, your ovaries produce one egg per menstrual cycle. If a couple chooses you to donate eggs, however, you must self-inject medications that stimulate your ovaries to release multiple eggs at a time. The expense of the medications and all of your tests and OB/GYN visits are covered by the prospective parents.
7. Abstain from sex
Because you’re producing eggs for another couple, you can’t take the risk of becoming pregnant while you’re in the donation process. Abstain from all sexual activity that could result in pregnancy that month.
8. Come for regular checkups
We must monitor your cycle to be sure the hormones are stimulating your eggs and to identify when the eggs are ready for us to retrieve them. It takes your body about two weeks to make eggs. We then administer an injection that helps them ripen.
9. Undergo egg retrieval
Once you have a plentiful supply of ripened eggs, you’re ready to give them to the couple who needs them. The egg retrieval process is simple and pain free. You stay awake, but are lightly sedated so that you don’t feel anything when the eggs are removed.
10. Collect your compensation
You’re paid $8,000 after we retrieve your eggs. You can donate up to six times.
To learn more about donating eggs, contact our team at Columbia Fertility Associates to schedule a consultation. You can also call (202)552-2814 or email email@example.com to speak with the egg donation program coordinator.