Once you apply online to become an egg donor and you have been approved, your profile becomes available to Family Creations’ clients online. Your identifying information will not be viewable, and you will be listed by your first name or a nickname. The profile is a great way for your personality to shine and for the recipient parents to see pictures of what you looked like as a child and as an adult. There will also be family health history, ethnic background, and physical attributes listed on your profile.
Once you have been selected by a recipient, that is when you go forward with the medical aspects of the egg donation cycle.
The Medical Process
The first two appointments you will have are both extremely easy as they are both done over the phone. Your first appointment is a telephone interview with a therapist. She will be asking you general questions about your lifestyle, upbringing, and your relationships with your family and friends. The next appointment will be with a geneticist; this appointment is also over the phone. The geneticist will be asking you questions about your ethnic background as well as your family’s medical history.
You are now ready to meet with your recipient’s doctor.
Family Creations works with IVF clinics all over the country which means you may get the opportunity to travel! Your recipient’s doctor will conduct a full evaluation which typically includes a full physical, hormone testing, ultrasound, drug screen, nicotine screen, genetic testing, and infectious disease screening. If you do need to travel for your medical screening it is generally done without needing to stay overnight, (you fly in, have your appointment and then fly back home). All of your travel expenses are paid for by the recipient that has selected you.
Your case manager at Family Creations will make all of your travel arrangements including flights, hotel, and ground transportation. There are no out of pocket expenses that you as the donor would incur. If the recipients clinic is local to you (which there is a huge chance it will be) traveling will not be necessary.
Once you have been medically cleared to move forward with the egg donation process you will receive instructions to begin taking medications to prepare your body for the egg retrieval. The first medication is typically regular birth control pills used to coordinate your menstrual cycle with the recipient moms. Then there are typically 3 medications that you will take over the course of 2-4 weeks; these medications allow your body to produce multiple eggs in one cycle. The medications are self injectable, so you will need to administer daily injections to yourself.
The injections are not intravenous; they are subcutaneous (right under the skin), and they are extremely easy and painless. A nurse will give you instructions and an overview of how to administer the injections to yourself.
The side effects to the medications are very similar to PMS- you might feel a bit moody, tired, and bloated; however, most donors report not feeling any differently while taking the medications. During the course of your medication you will go to approximately 3-7 doctor’s appointments at a clinic local to yourself. These appointments are typically scheduled during regular business hours- Monday thru Friday. And are usually scheduled first thing in the morning.
Once you get closer to your estimated retrieval date you will travel back to the recipient’s doctor. For this trip, you will be required to travel with an adult companion of your choosing. (This is so you have assistance the day of the egg retrieval procedure and someone to accompany you back to your hotel.) When it comes time for the egg retrieval both you and your companion will fly back to the location where the recipient’s doctor is located, and this time stay typically anywhere from 4 to 10 days. Many donors describe this visit as a mini vacation; although you are gone for 4 to 10 days you are in about 5 hours of doctor’s appointments total so there will be a lot of free time that you and your companion can spend checking out the sites and enjoying a new city!
Just like the first trip, there are no out of pocket expenses for you OR your companion and Family Creations will make all the necessary travel arrangements. In addition to your flights, hotel and transportation being paid for, you will be provided with $125/ day to cover the cost of food and entertainment for you and your companion while traveling.
Your Egg Retrieval
The morning of your egg retrieval you and your companion will go into the doctor’s office (even if you are not required to travel you will need to have a companion with you the day of your retrieval). You will be given a light sedative that last for about 30 minutes-called twilight sleep. You will be completely asleep and will not feel or remember anything. The doctor will use an ultrasound guided needle aspirator that is inserted vaginally. The aspirator will go into your ovaries and with gentle suction the doctor will remove the eggs and follicles produced throughout your cycle. A typical egg donation will result in anywhere between 5-25 eggs retrieved.
After your retrieval you will feel groggy from the sedative, you will also have mild-menstrual like cramps that will last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. Most donors report feeling slightly bloated for a few days after the retrieval as well. Most donors fly back home the day after their retrieval and are able to return to work/school immediately.
About 12 days later you will have a regular period that will be slightly heavier than normal. After that you will be back on your regular menstrual cycle and have your next period about 28 days later.
The first egg donation you do earns a compensation of $7,000. When you begin taking your “injectable” medications you will receive a check for $500 of your compensation. Then after your retrieval you will receive the remaining balance of $6,500 (within 7 days of retrieval).
You can chose to donate up to six times, and with each additional time you chose to donate you receive an additional $500.
Example: this time you receive $7,000 next time $7,500, then $8,000 and so on.
The majority of donors find the process to be quick, easy, and extremely rewarding. Not only do egg donors receive a substantial amount of money for their donation, but they receive the knowledge that they helped someone in need fulfill their dream of a family!
Visit Family Creations for more information and to apply to become an egg donor.