When it comes to donating eggs (ovum), the health and well-being of our ovum donors and surrogates are our top priority.
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Typical egg donation processes aren't too complex. Still, we recommend you familiarize yourself with a handful of egg donor prerequisites before deciding whether or not ovum donation is the right choice for you.
If you are considering becoming an egg donor yourself, you may be asking yourself:
"Is donating my eggs safe?"
"Will donating my eggs require that I take powerful medications and see multiple fertility specialists?"
This means you've come to the right place! We're here to help you understand what egg donation entails, and to help you figure out if you qualify to donate your eggs in the first place.
What is egg donation anyways?
There are many ways to help a woman start a family who can't bring a child to term on her own. Sometimes aging, hormonal changes, or a medical condition may preclude a woman from having a child herself.
In fact, about 10% of the United States' women, equal to ~6.1 million people according to the Office on Women's Health, can't produce their own eggs or have difficulties staying pregnant.
One way to help her start a family is to commit to the long haul, choose to become a gestational surrogate, and go through in vitro fertilization. If you're interested in this route, you can contact our surrogacy coordinator here.
However, becoming a gestational surrogate isn't the only way you can help a family have child. You could also decide to allow a couple or an intended parent to use your unfertilized eggs, also known as becoming an egg donor.
Top requirements for donating eggs
While egg donor requirements are fairly straightforward, there are a few caveats to keep in mind too.
Firstly, you must be in good health with a BMI below 28 to donate ovum. It is also helpful if you can show a track record of successful pregnancies.
Secondly, you must also be a resident of the state in which you'll donate your eggs. State laws regulating surrogacy vary state-to-state, so you'll need to find out where surrogacy is legal in order to qualify for egg donation.
Lastly, most egg donors take medication to stop their normal menstrual cycle. Side effects could include:
- Body Aches
- Hot flashes
What's the process like to volunteer as an egg donor?
Initially, you'll undergo a screening process to determine whether or not you qualify as an egg donor. It's a simple questionnaire that goes over the basic requirements we've already mentioned.
Once approved, you'll have to sign off on paperwork that specifies the arrangement between you and the intended parents. In effect, you give them the right to use your eggs to conceive a pregnancy.
As an egg donor, you don't retain any legal rights over the child after the intended mother gives birth. You've already received compensation for your donation, so the relationship is expected to end there.
The purpose of the screening is to determine if you're healthy enough to donate eggs because you'll have to take fertility drugs to boost your egg production and ovulation.
A gestational surrogate has to do the opposite; they need to take medications to halt egg production and ovulation.
That's a critical difference between the two types of infertility treatments. Egg donation is the easier of the two choices because it's far less invasive.
What disqualifies you from donating eggs?
"Okay, so I'm ready to apply to become an egg donor!" Not so fast. The below will disqualify you from becoming eligible to be an egg donor:
- Substance abuse
- History of miscarriages
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Inheritable genetic abnormalities
But in general, if you're in good health and approximately between the ages of 21 and 31, you're likely a good candidate for egg donation.
Are you ready to donate eggs?
So, if you think you might be ready to donate eggs, we invite you to contact us for more information.
You may be able to help someone start a family of their own faster than you think!
At SurrogateFirst, we're a boutique surrogate agency specializing in matching intended parents around the world with our fully-vetted, exceptional surrogates.
We help individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, build their families through the miracle of surrogacy.
Every team member at SurrogateFirst is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate herself. We also have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an incredible, successful surrogate journey.