Becoming an egg donor is a big decision, and there are many various reasons why a person might choose to go through this process. Many women are drawn to egg donation because it allows them to give another family a life-changing gift. Other women do it as an empowering way to use their fertility without having children themselves. Some are drawn to the financial compensation and see egg donation as a way to supplement their income while helping others in the process.
In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons that egg donors are compensated, a recent lawsuit you may want to know about, and why it’s so important to work with a clinic that is open and honest about the financial element of egg donation.
Getting the Facts About Egg Donation
Like many aspects of women’s health, egg donation is something that many people don’t openly talk about. Because of this, it can be hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction. Understanding the science and process of egg donation will help you feel confident about your decision to donate.
Egg donation has been around since the early 1980s and the demand for egg donors has significantly increased as women have earned more rights in the workplace, often making a decision to delay motherhood. As we’ve mentioned, there are numerous reasons why a woman might choose to donate her eggs. There are also various reasons why someone would choose to use donor eggs, but the three main reasons are:
- Issues with ovarian function
- Lack of success using IVF treatment with their own eggs
- The desire to use donor eggs for genetic reasons.
Not only has the demand for egg donation increased over time, but the success rate of egg donation has increased as well. However, the process of egg donation can still be complicated and will require commitment; multiple doctor’s appointments and a variety of hormone treatments that – if not monitored closely – can have a range of side effects.
Egg Donation Risks and Time Commitment
So what are the side effects of the hormone treatments you’ll receive? The symptoms – and their severity- will vary from woman to woman, but common symptoms may include:
- A temporary feeling of bloating
- Hot flashes
- ‘Feeling blue’
Some women can also experience painful abdominal swelling due to the hyperstimulation of their ovaries. This condition is very rare (risk is less than 1%) and can be avoided – here at Santa Monica Fertility, Dr. John Jain closely monitors the level of hormones that each egg donor receives throughout the process, making sure that the medication is properly dosed and adjusted as necessary. And if you are wondering if egg donation may cause infertility in the future – there’s good news; a number of studies, such as this Belgium based center concluded that Egg Donors remain fertile after the procedure.
Egg donation often involves synching your menstrual cycle with the cycle of the woman who will be receiving your eggs. This process – as well as the egg retrieval and fertilization at the right time in your cycle – can take time to establish and will be closely monitored by your doctor. Unlike sperm donation, egg donation requires a significant time commitment and an understanding of potential, albeit rare, medical complications.
Egg Donation Rewards
Even though there may be some temporary side effects and risks involved with egg donation, there are rewards as well. Helping a woman carry her own child is a life-changing gift that you will never forget. Using your reproductive system to help another person create a family also gives many women a great sense of empowerment. The emotional rewards are endless.
Of course, there is another benefit to egg donation that intrigues many women. Most people know that egg donors are compensated, but there is a lot of misinformation floating around on the topic. Before you begin this journey, you may want to thoroughly research not only the egg donation compensation, but also all additional benefits, or out of pocket expenses that you may or may not incur.
The Truth About Egg Donation Compensation
So how much money will you get paid for donating eggs? This question illustrates a common (and harmful) misconception about egg donation. Donors are not paid for their eggs, rather they are compensated for their inconvenience, time, as well as for the effort and the medical procedures needed for the donation.
Saying you’ll be paid for donating eggs makes it sound like your eggs are a commodity. This language also simplifies the egg donation process and makes the whole thing sound like something you can quickly do to earn some extra cash without much thought. Understanding why egg donors are compensated will help you understand just how big of a decision egg donation is.
ASRM Lawsuit – Know Your Rights
This language difference might seem like splitting hairs, but it is actually the basis of an important lawsuit that helped change egg donor compensation policies. In 2011, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In this case, four plaintiffs accused the ASRM of fixing or capping compensation for egg donation. While ASRM’s compensation structure was designed to avoid the commoditization of “selling” eggs, the plaintiffs believed that it unfairly limited the amount of money egg donors would receive for their donations.
The case was settled out of court, but the effects of it are still felt by egg donors and fertility clinics across the country. It’s an example of what can happen when doctors, patients, and ethics committees are not clear with one another about egg donation.
Choosing the Right Fertility Clinic
If you choose to donate your eggs, you deserve to donate at a fertility clinic that truly has your best interests at heart. At Santa Monica Fertility, our doctors, nurses, and staff work with you as an individual to make sure your needs are safely met during every step of the egg donation process.
You will work directly with our Medical Director and Fertility Specialist Dr. John Jain throughout the whole journey and we will never ask you to go through the egg retrieval process with a clinic or medical team that you don’t know. You will receive fair compensation that is always discussed openly and you will never have any out of pocket expenses; when donating eggs all your expenses are paid; we cover all additional costs, from your own legal representation, through all medical and psychological screening, insurance, to the cost of travel and parking.
We only match our donors with Dr Jain’s patients whom we have established a trusting relationship with; you can be assured that your eggs are part of someone’s journey to starting a family they otherwise might not have had the opportunity to create.