By: Lauren Carmichael
About 10%-12% of women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I have been in the process of trying to donate my eggs since February 2017. I have always had an interest in the process. I applied to be an egg donor when I was a lot younger and ended up never following through with it. I was re-inspired again a few years later by listening to the experiences and struggles from some of my friends who were struggling with infertility. I decided to go for it again.
The qualification process wasn’t very long. You have to fill out a lot of paper work, but it’s no difficult task. There are a lot of qualifications you must meet to be considered for egg donation.
Some of the qualifications include:
- be in your 20s (30s is considered too old)
- have regular periods
- have a healthy BMI
- must be a non-smoker.
After filling out my paper work, it was determined I was a qualified candidate. After you are accepted and entered into the company’s database, you must have a medical screening and a psych screening. They test your blood for your AMH fertility, which gives them an estimate of your remaining egg supply. Once they determine you are physically and mentally fit for the task, they show you to recipients.
Recipients will look at your info, your history, and your photos on the company’s database to determine if your egg is a good fit for them. I remember when I got an email stating a couple was interested in my profile. I was so excited. It’s hard to explain, but it felt like Christmas. I couldn’t help but wonder who they were and why they chose me. It was so exciting for me. At this point, you have no contact with any recipient. A nurse will act as a middle man for all communication between donor and receiver. The recipient might have questions regarding something they read on your profile or specific information not mentioned in your bio. I remember I was asked a difficult question by a recipient: if I would consider the option of meeting the child from my egg donation after they turn 18, if the child so chooses. This was something I was a little nervous about but, ultimately, decided I would. That is something to think about when considering egg donation.
Once you are chosen by a family, you will begin your daily shots. You will need to take a shot every day for about a month. During that month, you will have to visit the company multiple times a week for checkups to make sure everything is going smoothly. Finally, you will reach the point of the extraction procedure. I have heard mixed experiences about post-procedure. Some say it is very painful; while others said it felt like regular period cramping and were at work the next day. You are compensated based on the number of viable eggs the company is able to obtain. Every company has different rates and slightly different procedures which are explained in the initial paperwork.
I have yet to be chosen as a donor. I had couples who have chosen me from the database, but they decided not to go through with the procedure either for personal reasons or cost issues. This has happened about three times. I put my application on hold when I found out I was pregnant over the winter and hoping to be put back on the list after my son is born in September. I will be 30 at that time, but with my fertility record and high AMH numbers–as of right now–I will still be considered.
There are so many reasons to consider donating your eggs, such as helping people in need of eggs to grow their family; becoming more familiar with infertility and possibly raising awareness about the issue with people around you; and you will be compensated for the entire experience.
I have learned a lot about myself and my body through this process, and I am trying to remain hopeful that I will be able to finally donate my eggs to a family in need.