Conceiving Through Egg Donation (7 of 10): Out-of-Town Egg Donors

Posted On October 31st, 2008

Click here for Conceiving Through Egg Donation (6 of 10): Egg Donor Profiles.

Using an “Out-of-Town” Egg Donor

Some egg donors are able to travel to make their donations. Be aware that if you choose a donor beyond the vicinity of your clinic, you will be responsible for all travel expenses, including car fuel, airfare, hotel, food, and other incidentals, including the same for a travel companion in some cases. The egg donation agency will coordinate the donor’s schedule and handle all the arrangements, but will require money ahead of time based on estimates.

The typical cycle for out of town egg donors will require up to three separate trips. The screening requires about two days. A few weeks later, the FDA lab tests will require one day (these may be done in the donor’s home town, depending on the clinic’s policy). The third trip covers the monitoring and egg retrieval, and here protocols vary from clinic to clinic. Some allow nearly all the monitoring off-site at a clinic near the egg donor’s home town. Others require a full five or six days of on-site monitoring leading up to the retrieval. Both you and your agency should contact your clinic’s egg donor coordinator to find out their protocols.

Travel makes the process more complicated and expensive, but they can be worth it to work with the donor you want.


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Egg Donor Q&A: Matching Recipients and Donors

Posted On October 30th, 2008

How are egg donors matched with recipients at your agency?

At this current stage in technology, donor eggs are not frozen for later use. So a specific recipient has to choose you before you can donate.

When working with our egg donation agency, a recipient will select you from the donor database, and only then will you begin your medical screening. You may work with a local clinic or one in a different city, if that is convenient for you.

Before you start your medications, you will be presented with an egg donor contract and provided an attorney to review its terms with you (the clinic will present you with a consent form as well).


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Conceiving Through Egg Donation (6 of 10): Egg Donor Profiles

Posted On October 26th, 2008

Click here for Conceiving Through Egg Donation (5 of 10): Using a Private Agency.

Evaluating Egg Donor Profiles

Choosing an egg donor, just as with every other part of the IVF (in vitro fertilization) process, can be stressful. Unlike other components of assisted reproduction, there is no science to it. Some people have very clear ideas, and others have no set criteria at all. You may consider this choice overwhelmingly monumental, and feel pressure to make the “right” decision. But there is no right or wrong here. You just need to make a decision you feel really good about.  Most prefer egg donors who bear some resemblance to them, but they also want to feel an emotional connection. I suggest approaching the selection process with a list of prioritized criteria, but have your gut cast the deciding vote.

Different agencies present their profiles in various formats. We offer photos and summary profiles on our site. (Most recipients want to see photos, but those who don’t can choose an option not to view them.) Clients then request more information on the profiles that interest them, which we send by e-mail. Our more comprehensive profiles provide information gathered from the application as well as the interview, plus whatever additional photos of the egg donor candidates we may have on file.

In order to protect the privacy of the egg donor, we assign each one a code. We do not name the schools that they attended (but describe them as “selective 4-year private liberal arts college,” 


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Egg Donor Q&A: Birth Control and Egg Donation

Posted On October 25th, 2008

Can I be on the birth control pill or other form of contraception?

Yes. While applying to be an egg donor, you should continue to use your preferred form of contraception. (If you get pregnant, you are not able to donate.) During the screening and cycling process, you will be instructed to go off hormone-type contraception (the pill, Nuvaring) at certain times. Sexual activity will need to be avoided for the short cycle period, as instructed by the clinic.


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Conceiving Through Egg Donation (5 of 10): Using a Private Agency

Posted On October 23rd, 2008

Click here for Conceiving Through Egg Donation (4 of 10): Finding an Egg Donor.

Finding Your Egg Donor through a Private Agency

There are a number of companies, unaffiliated with any particular medical facility, which serve as egg donor brokers. Finding a donor through an egg donation agency offers a number of advantages which give you more control over the selection process. You will be able to review hundreds of egg donor profiles from candidates all over the country, each with much more detailed information than your clinic would offer, including photographs. Any eggs retrieved would be all yours; no shared cycles. You can choose to work strictly anonymously or not.

Most egg donation agencies have password-protected data bases on their Web sites, available to clients to view after they register. Some require a fee to view the data base. Excellent donors may be found this way, but there are a number of things you should keep in mind when looking at agencies (and chances are you will be looking at many).

Firstly, unlike your clinic, egg donation agencies perform no medical tests. They “pre-screen” candidates. This includes assembling information gathered through written applications and supporting materials such as driver’s licenses, photographs, and school transcripts. Your clinic will be responsible for medically screening the donor only after you have made your selection.

Many who manage these agencies have no medical or even legal training at all.


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How Much Do Egg Donors Get Paid?

Posted On October 23rd, 2008

The Northeast Assisted Fertility Group offers each egg donor $10,000, payable immediately after the retrieval.  The compensation is agreed on beforehand and does not correspond to the number or quality of eggs retrieved.

There are no laws regarding how much you can get paid to be an egg donor. However, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) establishes ethical guidelines for egg donor compensation; the current cap is $10,000 per cycle (egg donors get paid for the time and effort of the cycle, not for the eggs retrieved). Other programs may offer more than $10,000, but keep in mind that the egg donor, recipient, and clinic would all be working unethically under these circumstances.


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Conceiving Through Egg Donation (4 of 10): Finding an Egg Donor

Posted On October 21st, 2008

Click here for Conceiving Through Egg Donation (3 of 10): Egg Donor Candidates.

Finding Your Egg Donor through Your Own IVF Program

If your IVF (in-vitro fertilization) clinic has its own egg donor program, you may find your donor through their own pool. Although these programs are typically anonymous and do not show photographs of the egg donor candidates, they present non-identifying information as well as screening results. Some of the bigger clinics have waiting lists up to a year long for egg donors. It’s probably a good idea to put your name on the list even if you choose to look at other sources in your search.

Since egg donors are in great demand and costs are high, clinics usually match two recipients to each donor for a “shared cycle.” This means that the retrieved donor eggs will be divided equally between two recipients, who also share the costs of the procedures and egg donor compensation. One recipient is considered “primary” in case there are too few eggs to share (fewer than about twelve). The secondary recipient in that case would not be responsible for the cost, which then becomes the full responsibility of the primary recipient.  It may be possible to do a non-shared cycle at your clinic; keep in mind the cost will be higher.


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Egg Donor Q&A: Donor Qualifications

Posted On October 20th, 2008

What are the qualifications to be an egg donor?

You must be over 21 and in excellent health with a normal height and weight (your body mass index, or BMI, should not exceed 27). You must be familiar with the medical history of your parents and extended family (so women who were adopted traditionally are ineligible). You should not smoke, drink, or engage in risky behaviors.  Distinguished academic achievement and attractiveness are especially valued characteristics. The ethnic backgrounds in greatest demand are Caucasian and Asian (especially Chinese and Indian). There is no official maximum age, but the best candidates are under 30. Most candidates over 30 are hard to match unless they have donated successfully before.

In order to be an egg donor, you will fill out a lot of forms and answer a lot of questions. It is important to be as honest as possible, so the right match can be made for you. Your honesty, maturity, and responsibility levels will be evaluated during your psychological screening, so only the dedicated need apply.


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