Frequently Asked Questions
What Method of birth control do I need to be on to participate in your egg donor program?
You need to get regular cycles if you are going to be an egg donor, meaning that you need to get a period about once every month. You may use birth control pills, nuva ring, copper tip IUDs, etc. as long as you are getting a period regularly. You may not be on Depo Provera, using a plastic tip IUD, or any other method of contraception that prevents you from getting a period. No matter what method of contraception you use, you will be asked to take a birth control pill starting about one to two months in advance of your egg retrieval procedure in order to regulate your cycles and hormone levels more precisely.
Can I be an egg donor if I have my tubes tied?
The answer is yes, you may absolutely be an egg donor even if you have a tubal ligation because you still produce eggs. The eggs are retrieved using an ultrasound-guided needle that goes through your uterine wall and into your ovary, so your tubes being tied will not have an impact on your eligibility to be an egg donor.
What will the timeline be between when I get selected by intended parents and the egg retrieval?
Our agency facilitates egg donor programs at clinics all over the United States and in Canada. Each clinic has different procedures, so the timeline will vary depending on the clinic at which you are donating. The average timeline is about 3 months.
Do I have to take any medications, and does it have any side effects?
You will have to take injection medications for about 6-8 weeks prior to the egg retrieval. For more information regarding the medications you will need to administer, click here.
What is the egg retrieval procedure, and what are the risks?
Prior to the day of your egg retrieval, you will have several monitoring appointments where the physician will use an ultrasound to determine the number and size of the follicles that are being produced as a result of the stimulating medications. Once the eggs are developed to the ideal size, you will take a trigger shot and your egg retrieval will happen the following day. For the actual egg retrieval procedure, you will be partially or fully sedated depending on the clinic, but either way, you will be made to feel comfortable. The eggs will be retrieved using a trans-vaginal ultrasound probe with a needle guide, so the physician has precise and direct access to the egg follicles. The physician will use the needle guide to quickly remove the eggs. Most egg donors are able to easily tolerate this non-invasive procedure, and about 1 out of 10 actually fall asleep while the physician is removing the eggs. Once the retrieval is completed, you will need to rest for 1-2 days before you are able to fly home. You will feel drowsy and bloated after the procedure, so most donors appreciate having that time to rest before returning to their normal schedule. Abdominal discomfort is normal for at least a few day after the procedure.
There are several possible complications:
- An unknown allergic reaction may occur as a result of the medications.
- Pelvic infections may occur following the procedure, and the liklihood of this occuring is higher in women who have a history of pelvic infections. The risk of a pelvic infection is small.
- The needle used to retrieve the eggs could inadvertently injure a blood vessel.
Will I have to travel for my egg retrieval?
Your egg retrieval will occur at the clinic the intended parents work with. This will likely not be in your local area, so you will have to be prepared to travel to the clinic for monitoring and the egg retrieval for 7-10 days. You will have at least 4 weeks notice before traveling, and any time restrictions you have will be worked around. Our staff makes all of your travel arrangements and pays for them in advance, so you will not have to pay for any of your travel expenses out-of-pocket. Also, you will be sent funds in advance of traveling for food, transportation and a phone card to use while you are away. Upon request, you may get a doctor’s note to provide to your employer, professor, etc. that states that you will be traveling for medical reasons.
Do I receive any child care reimbursement?
If you have children, the person who cares for your children will receive reimbursement directly from IARC up to $40 per day for one child and up to $50 per day for two children or more. The person who cares for your children will be eligible to this reimbursement whether they are a licensed child care provider, a family member, etc.
Can I bring a travel companion with me for the procedure?
The fee the intended parents pay to our agency covers the travel costs for their donor only. You may bring a travel companion, but their expenses will have to be paid out-of-pocket. If you decide to bring a travel companion, we will help in arranging their flight so you can travel together if possible.
Do I receive any reimbursement?
You are able to select your reimbursement amount based on your own personal circumstances. First-time egg donors are able to receive between $2,500-$5,000 per donation and experienced donors are able to receive up to $6,000. First-time donors are highly encouraged to select a reimbursement amount between $2,500-$3,500 since you do not know how you will respond to the stimulation medications, how many eggs your will produce, etc. You may adjust your reimbursement amount after each donation.
Will my donation be anonymous?
Almost all of the donation programs through our agency are anonymous, meaning that you will not have any information about the intended parents except which clinic they are working with, and they will not have any identifying information about you. Occassionally, intended parents will request a donor who is willing to have a ‘known’ or ‘open’ program, so it is important to know whether you would be willing to take that into consideration.
Is there a limit to the number of times I can donate?
Our agency follows the guidelines of The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and they recommend that a woman donate up to a maximum of 6 times. Occassionally a donor will be okayed for a 7th donation by the physician who sees them for their 6th donation. A donor’s ability to repeat successive times will be evaluated by the physician after each donation.