For Prospective Egg Donors - Frequently Asked Questions

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For Prospective Egg Donors - Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What does it mean to be an egg donor?
  2. Will it hurt?
  3. Are there any side effects?
  4. Will I be paid?
  5. Will I have to take time off from work?
  6. Will I meet the recipient of my eggs?
  7. What does my biographical information include?
  8. How many times can I donate?
  9. How long does it take?
  10. Why should I work with Parenting Options?
  11. Can I be an egg donor if I am pregnancy
  12. What is my first step?

1.  What does it mean to be an egg donor?

An egg donor is a special woman willing to donate her eggs to help someone who otherwise would not be able to have a child. There are many reasons why a woman may need donor eggs, including ovarian problems, genetic risk factors or age. Egg donation involves a physician supervised IVF process in which the donor's eggs are retrieved, fertilized outside of her body, and then transferred to an intended mother with the hope that the intended mother will become pregnant.

2.  Will it hurt?

That will vary depending on the individual. In an average retrieval cycle you will be taking a series of subcutaneous (small needles injected under the surface of the skin) shots over an 8 to 14 day period to cause you to produce a number of mature eggs instead of the single egg that normally develops each month. Throughout the process the physician will use blood tests and ultrasounds to monitor your health and the development of your follicles. You should not feel any pain during the egg retrieval procedure itself because you will be under light anesthesia. Some donors have reported soreness and discomfort the following day.

3.  Are there any side effects?

Most of the side effects of fertility medications are minor and will vary depending on the individual. Some donors have reported bloating, nausea, hot flashes or headaches. We recommend that you talk to the IVF physician before beginning treatment if you have any questions, since he/she is best qualified to answer medical questions. The official website of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine is also an excellent source of information on infertility treatments and medications.

4.  Will I be paid?

According to American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines, donors may be compensated for the time, inconvenience, and risks involved in egg donation. Remaining within the ASRM guidelines, we offer compensation from $5,000 to $8,000 per completed retrieval cycle, depending on the number of times the donor has worked with our program.  In addition, donors receive $500.00 for gas, tolls, parking, and missed work expense.

5.  Will I have to take time off from work? 

It is usually not a lot of time but you will have to miss some work to be an egg donor. The initial screening visit with Parenting Options generally takes 3 to 4 hours. Once you are matched with a couple, an average retrieval cycle requires from 5 to 7 doctor visits over a 6 to 8 week period. These visits can range from 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the reason for the visit and the doctor's schedule on any particular day. You will not be able to return to work the day of your retrieval. AND DUE TO THE ANESTHESIA YOU CANNOT DRIVE HOME THE DAY OF YOUR RETRIEVAL.  For donors who travel, travel time will vary depending on your location and the attending physician.  If you are interested in traveling, talk with a Parenting Options counselor.  Donors receive an additional $500.00 travel bonus.

6.  Will I meet the recipient of my eggs?

Most arrangements are anonymous, which means that you will not know the identity of your recipient and she will not know your identity. However, the recipient is given a copy of the biographical background information that you will fill out during your initial screening visit with us.

7.  What does my biographical information include?

Your biographical background information includes a three-generation family health and genetic history, physical characteristics, educational background, sexual history, and talents and interests. We will also ask you to write a one-page letter explaining why you would like to be a donor. Since the recipient will not meet with you personally, some of our questions are meant to give you the chance to express your personality.

8.  How many times can I donate?

Based on American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines, we allow each donor up to 6 completed retrieval cycles. However, we require a six-week rest period before you start the medical process for each successive arrangement. And between your fifth and sixth donation we require a three-month rest period.

9.  How long does it take?

The length of time is difficult to predict because it will vary widely depending on the circumstances. However, from the time you are selected for a match it usually takes about 6 to 8 weeks to complete your retrieval cycle. The biggest unknown is the amount of time it takes before you are matched with a recipient, which can range from immediate to indefinite.

10.  Why should I work with Parenting Options?

Established in 1993, SSA/Parenting Options is the oldest and most experienced third party reproduction agency in Texas and among the oldest agencies in the nation. With licensed counselors and attorneys on staff, you have the comfort of knowing that your arrangement is in the hands of experienced professionals. A counselor is always available to talk to you regarding any questions or concerns, and we also offer ongoing emotional support through periodic donor support groups and parties. In recent research conducted at Northwestern University in Chicago and Fertility Centers of Illinois, a survey indicated that 35% of the donors say they will donate again. By contrast, Parenting Options has a 75% repeat rate with the donors in our program.  Also, it is very important that  you work with an agency that does not mix your fee paid by the couple with company funds.  There  have been quite a few agencies recently who have gone bankrupt, or disappeard.  The money the couples paid for you the donor's fees disappeared too.  Please make sure you work with a reputable agency.  Verify qualifications of the person who owns the agency.  Make sure the owner/operator(s) will be someone who answers to an ethics board.  The person(s) needs to be a mental health professional, attorney, RN or a physician run program.

11.  Can I be an egg donor if I am pregnant.

No, you cannot be an egg donor while you are pregnany.  You have to take follicle stimulating hormones which could be harmful to your baby and also receive consciense sedation for the retrieval.  If you are pregnanct, your body is not currently stimulating eggs.  You will need to wait six months post the birth of your baby before you can donate.  You can apply three months post the birth, but we will not be able to match you until it has been six months.

11.  What is my first step?

Your first step is to fill out  fill out the online brief application. Our staff will then guide you through the application process. click here.

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