Egg Donor Process
Thank you for considering Simple Surrogacy to help you connect with a deserving couple or individual to achieve their dreams of a family. It takes an extraordinary and caring woman to consider giving such an enormous gift. The information below is a brief description of the Egg Donor Process. If you need more information or have further questions, please contact our Executive Program Director, Stephanie Scott for a consultation.
Once you complete our Application on the site, you have completed your first step towards becoming an egg donor through our program. Our administrative staff will review your profile and contact you to discuss our program and to verify that all of the information in your profile is correct. The pictures you include are very important to the Intended Parent(s) in our program. Please send pictures that show you at your best. Many women cannot have a baby because they no longer produce eggs, or because their remaining eggs are no longer healthy enough to lead to pregnancy. Other women produce eggs which carry genetic diseases which they wish to avoid. Still others produce eggs that lead to pregnancies which repeatedly miscarry. These conditions may be due to normal aging in women over 45, or arise from early menopause in much younger women. Regardless of the reason, these women are the highly grateful recipients of donated eggs. By using eggs which are stronger and “younger,” these women can carry the baby which they dream of — as a direct result of the generosity of an egg donor. Since our average egg donor is 25 years old, older women using an egg donor achieve the pregnancy rate that a woman in her twenties has when she undergoes IVF. In other words, the pregnancy rate using donor eggs is based on the age of the egg (not the uterus) and is therefore extremely high. Since generally the embryos are highly viable, miscarriage and birth defects are also much less common as well.
Egg Donor Compensation and Expenses
Compensation for donors varies widely based on experience, education, and demand. The compensation for an inexperienced donor is $5,500, plus all expenses are paid and legal fees are covered. Experienced Egg Donors or otherwise qualified donors are compensated between $7,000-$10,000, and up, based on prior egg donation success and educational or genetic background. Rest assured knowing that any/all of the expenses related to you participating as a donor through our program will be taken care of. Our donors are paid mileage to and from doctors/lab appointments, childcare for doctor/ lab appointments, lost wages, airfare, hotel accommodations, and a meal allowance for out of town travel for you and one companion.
What kind of egg donation arrangement do you prefer?
Simple Donations handles anonymous, open and semi-open donor arrangements. You will need to decide which is the right option for you before your profile is submitted to the Intended Parents. Anonymous donation is the most common. If you choose anonymous donation, you will not be given any information about your Recipient Parent(s), and they will not be given any information about you, and it is possible that you will not be informed as to whether or not a pregnancy occurs. In semi-open donation, a small amount of information is exchanged between the IP’s and the Egg Donor. You will be given some very basic information about them (first names, state of residence, etc.) before going forward with the egg donation process. Open Egg Donation is just that, open. All information about the parties is shared, and you agree to keep the lines of communication open with the IP’s potentially throughout the life of the child(ren). In open donation, you are given the opportunity to review the Intended Parent(s) profile before agreeing to be matched, and may speak on the phone or even meet in person if the parties desire. After you decide which kind of arrangement you prefer, and have completed the application form, you will be available to be matched!
After you are matched with your Intended Parents you will undergo psychological and medical screening, at their expense. The screening process takes place to ensure you are in healthy physical and mental condition and to confirm that you are a good candidate for egg donation. This includes evaluation of your hormone levels and testing for genetic diseases. You will also undergo testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), as will your spouse/partner when applicable. You will have a psychosocial assessment with a Psychologist who specializes in third party reproduction. You may also be administered the MMPI by a Psychologist, which is a psychological assessment test.
Upon clear results of the screening process, we will provide you with an attorney, at no charge to you, who will walk you through the legal contracting with your IP(s). After contracts are negotiated and signed, your compensation will be deposited into Escrow and you will then begin medication to synchronize your cycle with the Recipient Mother’s (or Gestational Surrogate’s) cycle. Simple Surrogacy will go over all of the information with you to make sure you understand the cycle and medication instructions, as it is vital that all directions are followed precisely.
Following is a summarized version of the medical protocol for egg donation. Your protocol may differ from the medications below:
While the Recipient Mother or Gestational Surrogate is being prepared via medication and monitoring for the upcoming embryo transfer, you may be directed to go on birth control pills for a short period of time before starting Lupron injections. To prepare the body for the Advanced Reproductive Technologies (ART), various hormonal medications are used alone or in combination, to stimulate the development of ovarian follicles. This is known as “superovulation” or “controlled ovarian stimulation” (COS).
These medications are administered for two reasons, (a) to enhance the growth and maturation of as many follicles as possible, thereby improving chances for fertilization and development, and, (b) to control the timing of ovulation so eggs can be retrieved before they are spontaneously released.
Hormonal medications are administered for nine to twelve days; doses may be adjusted during the cycle depending upon follicle growth. The patient is carefully monitored using laboratory tests (estrogen levels), ultrasound, and physical examination. When, in the physician’s judgment, follicular development has reached the stage where an optimum number of eggs will be produced without untoward effects, HCG will be administered to trigger ovulation. Egg retrieval will be scheduled within 34 to 36 hours after HCG administration.
These medications have been used for over twenty years to treat women who do not ovulate regularly. As with any medication, side affects are a possibility and should be discussed with your physician. The effects most commonly reported include allergic sensitivity, and pain, irritation, or swelling at the injection site. Occasionally, overstimulation of the ovaries may occur. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) generally causes enlargement of the ovaries accompanied by abdominal discomfort and/or pain. In severe cases, additional symptoms may require hospitalization of the patient. There appears to be no increased incidence of birth defects, congenital abnormalities or spontaneous miscarriages associated with the use of these medications. There is, however, an increased possibility of multiple births when more than one egg is transferred. Lastly, the reproductive endocrinologist will instruct you when to take the final HCG injection, which will prepare your ovaries to release the eggs from your follicles. The retrieval will be scheduled for 36 hours after the HCG shot. Once the eggs are ready to be harvested, a fertility specialist identifies the eggs to be retrieved. A needle is passed through the top wall of the vagina and is inserted into the ovary to remove an egg. This process is repeated for each egg. This procedure usually takes 30 – 60 minutes total. You will be under sedation during this process and will not feel anything. After about 20 minutes of recovery, the donor can go home. You will return for an exam after your retrieval, and should not have intercourse until you have your next period due to greater chance of becoming pregnant. Once retrieved, the eggs may undergo testing; if they’re okay, they are fertilized (with sperm) and grown in the lab for 2 – 3 days in a Petri dish before being inserted into the recipient’s uterus. Any remaining embryos will likely be cryogenically frozen.
The Recipient Mother (or Gestational Surrogate) will take a pregnancy test 8-14 days after the transfer. If the test is positive, you have helped create a new life, and brought joy and happiness to a couple or individual who could have not have fulfilled their dreams without your help. Congratulations!
Potential risks for women Egg Donors include
- Bruising or hemorrhaging of the ovary from the needle used to retrieve the eggs. (Very rare)
- Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome nowadays a very rare occurrence, this is a series of negative side effects experienced over a two-week period following the release of a large number of eggs. This condition is caused by high hormone levels resulting from hyper stimulated and enlarged ovaries due to fertility drugs, particularly FSH, used for egg growth. The Reproductive Endocrinologists we refer our clients to are the best in the country and work very hard to ensure the safety and comfort of their donors, are a top priority.
- Long-term consequences that are not fully known.