Egg Donor FAQs
Thank you for being so interested in egg donation. The path you are considering is a remarkable gift that can fuel hope for a family to those having difficulty achieving parenthood. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. We greatly appreciate your interest; please get in touch with us with any questions you may have.
We accept egg donors between the ages of 21 and 31.
When getting tested to see if I qualify as an egg donor, do I have to go to your Raleigh office, or can I go to a doctor closer to home and have the results sent to you?
The initial workup & physical, monitoring, and egg retrieval are done in our Raleigh office.
If you meet the FDA’s criteria to donate eggs, you’ll move on to the screening process, which includes a physical examination; a pelvic ultrasound; blood testing for infectious diseases, and a urine drug screen. After passing the screening tests, you become an eligible donor and are added to the queue for matching. Matching you to a recipient will involve considering your height, weight, hair color, eye color, skin complexion, ethnicity, and lifestyle. Recipients may also have other specific attributes they are seeking. Once you are matched with a recipient, the process takes 6-8 weeks.
Having an IUD will not disqualify you and most likely will not require removal.
No. Having a child is not a requirement for donating your eggs. You may still be a virgin and donate your eggs.
I am a cancer survivor, or I have a family history of cancer and/or other illnesses. Can I still donate?
Depending on the type(s) of cancer in your family history, you may or may not be a good candidate for egg donation. Certain medical conditions make the egg donation process ill-advised for potential donors. You will undergo medical, psychological, genetic, and infectious disease screening during the application process to determine if you qualify.
Eggs are retrieved directly from the ovaries. The absence of fallopian tubes, the uterus or cervix, or having had a tubal ligation will not impair your ability to donate.
I know you have to be nicotine-free for at least three months, but how long is it for marijuana use?
We administer a drug test, and a potential donor would be considered ineligible if it returns positive for any screened substances.
Yes, because vaping also involves nicotine, we consider it the same as smoking. Once you’ve abstained from using any nicotine products for a period of 90 days, you will be eligible for consideration.
No. Smoking affects fertility and egg quality. Once you’ve abstained from using any nicotine product for a period of 90 days, you will be eligible for consideration.
Yes. You must have a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 – 29.9. BMI, or body mass index, is a measure of body fat based on the height and weight of an individual. A BMI over 29.9 may affect egg quality. We must provide our donors and recipients with the best opportunities for success.
Once you are matched with a recipient, the process takes 6-8 weeks.
- First, you will have an appointment with a nurse to review the monitoring procedures and medications involved.
- After taking birth control pills for a short time, you will be given medication to stimulate your ovaries.
- Ovary stimulation happens with natural hormones given by daily injection. As a result, you will have multiple eggs available simultaneously. Stimulating the ovaries and harvesting eggs takes about 11-16 days.
- A second medication is started when the follicles reach 13-14 mm, to prevent the premature release of the eggs. Ultrasound and blood estrogen levels monitor progress.
- When the lead follicles reach 15-20 mm in size, you will receive one last shot of a medication called Lupron (GnRH agonist) 36 hours before your scheduled egg retrieval. The Lupron prepares the eggs for fertilization and loosens their attachments to the follicle.
- The morning after taking Lupron, you will come to the clinic and have your blood drawn to see whether the trigger shot worked.
- The night before your egg retrieval procedure, you will be asked to stop all food or drink after midnight.
It is ideal if you send photographs of yourself each year between 1 and 10, but if you don’t, send us photos for those years you have.
You‚Äôll have to be very careful not to conceive during the month that you donate eggs, because we may not retrieve every egg and you could get pregnant. If you conceive during a donation cycle, you‚Äôll be at a high risk for conceiving more than one baby. Abstinence around the time of retrieval is the safest approach.
On average, 6-14 eggs are retrieved in a single cycle.
Are there any possible health complications regarding the retrieval stage that I should be aware of?
Though very rare, infection, bleeding, injury to internal structures, blood clots, ovarian hyperstimulation, and complications from anesthesia are possible.
Because you will be sedated during the procedure, you should not feel anything. However, you may experience a mild discomfort and/or cramping after the procedure.
Are there side effects or damage from the birth control and fertility injections? Is it mandatory to use the birth control?
It is extremely rare for any issues to arise, and you will be very closely monitored. The birth control pill is taken for a short period of time. Then, you will use daily injections of a hormone called Gonadotropin to stimulate your ovaries. In a natural cycle, only one egg matures; Gonadotropin injections encourage more than one egg to mature for retrieval. Only the eggs matured for a particular cycle are harvested and have no impact on future eggs.
The procedure is quite safe. We will explain it in detail during your phone consultation once you have filled out the application.
Once matched with a recipient, the process takes 6-8 weeks.
- Application – Click here to apply to become an egg donor: Donor Application
- Screening – Screening is free and includes a consultation with one of our endocrinologists, a physical exam, infectious disease screening, genetic testing, and a psychological evaluation.
- Matching – If you are designated as an eligible egg donor, you will be matched with a waiting recipient.
- Preparation – you will transition from birth control pills to injected fertility medications. You will then be monitored with ultrasounds and blood work approximately six times over the following week or two, and your medications will be adjusted accordingly if necessary. When your eggs are finally ready for retrieval, you‚Äôll self-administer one final injection that will determine the arrival time for your procedure.
- Retrieval – The actual donation procedure takes less than twenty minutes. You will be sedated and monitored in our Raleigh fertility center. Altogether, this visit will take approximately two hours, and you‚Äôll need someone else to drive you home.
What if I have to take time off from work to meet my obligations as an egg donor? Am I reimbursed for lost wages?
The $5,500 check is the total compensation you receive. Atlantic does not offer reimbursement for any lost wages. Usually, not a lot of time is required.
Compensation for egg donors is taxable. At the beginning of the following year, donors will receive a 1099 to file their taxes.
Yes, your compensation is taxable. You will receive a 1099 form at the beginning of the new year, which you will use in filling out your taxes.
If the clinic cancels your cycle for any reason, you will be paid a prorated amount for your time and effort.
You do not have to pay for your testing, hormone injections, or egg retrieval procedures.
The $4,500 payment is for all the steps to prepare yourself to donate a tiny portion of your eggs. The process includes the following:
- Taking good care of yourself
- Giving blood samples
- Giving yourself subcutaneous injections
- Coming in for multiple pelvic ultrasounds
- Coming in for a final egg harvesting procedure.
Payment is made by check payable to you and handed to you after your procedure before you head home.
Egg retrieval is the final stage as an egg donor. It is the day when the doctors do a short procedure and extract the ready eggs. After your egg retrieval, you will receive your check before you head home.
If you want to become a donor, click here for our Donor Application. The application includes questions regarding your medical history, menstrual cycle, lifestyle, and any family history of genetic disorders.
- The right age to be an egg donor must be between the ages of 21 and 31 and have an excellent ovarian reserve. We will test your ovarian reserve during the screening process to determine if you have a good supply of eggs for harvesting each month. Removing extra eggs will not cause you to reach menopause sooner, as all the eggs available each month either ovulate or die naturally. In essence, the fertility center is rescuing eggs that would otherwise die.
- Donors must be able to come to the clinic for frequent blood draws and ultrasounds at critical times for testing and monitoring.
- Willingness to receive subcutaneous injections.
- Medications used in oocyte donation are often administered by injection using a very small needle just under the skin.
Eggs donated by young, fertile women are needed to overcome various fertility issues. Eggs are the rate-limiting step in reproduction, and any situation that reduces either egg numbers or quality limits the ability to enhance a woman’s fertility. The most common issues are natural aging; premature ovarian failure; chemotherapy, or surgical removal of an ovary. Less commonly, a woman may choose not to use her own oocytes to prevent passing a genetic disorder on to her child. Occasionally, same-sex male partners achieve parenthood through the combined use of egg donation and a gestational carrier.
Would you like to bring hope to people striving to build a family? When you donate eggs, you‚Äôre providing amazing hope to a woman or couple hoping to become parents. Accepting eggs from a donor is often a patient’s last chance to conceive and experience the joy of becoming a parent, as they have most likely exhausted all other options. When a recipient chooses donor eggs, it is a choice that can dramatically increase the patient’s chances of pregnancy success. This is truly a gift of life.
While we do not anticipate you missing school or work as an egg donor, you must remember that the timing of injections is critical to a successful donation. You must plan accordingly to ensure you do not miss an injection window.
You are typically matched with multiple recipients until all mature eggs are used.
No, studies show that egg donation does not affect future pregnancies.
If I become an egg donor, will I have enough eggs left to get pregnant in the future should I choose to?
Females receive all of their eggs while still in utero. Of the one million eggs a woman has at birth, approximately four hundred will ever mature and be released into the fallopian tubes (ovulation) from puberty to menopause. The rest of the eggs (-99.96%) die within the ovaries without being released. As an egg donor, you will only donate eggs that would have died naturally or matured in your ovaries that month. Your supply of eggs for future months will still be there when you want to use them.
Your next menstrual period should commence less than two weeks after retrieval.
The number of times you may donate will also be discussed with you during your phone consult. Many of our donors do so multiple times, up to a maximum of six times, as they find it gratifying and relatively easy.
Recovery time varies by individual. We’ll explain it in detail during your phone consultation once you’ve filled out the application.
Atlantic utilizes undisclosed donors. The clinic does not facilitate any contact, nor disclose any identifying information about the donors or the recipients, neither between donors nor between recipients who may have chosen the same donors.
Closed or anonymous donation means the donor wants zero contact in the future, none at all, not even for medical emergencies.
Atlantic utilizes undisclosed donors, meaning that they do not disclose any identifying information about the donors.
An open ID donor is open to some form of contact at some time in the future.
As an approved egg donor, you give up all rights and responsibilities to the eggs you donate or any child born from your donated eggs.
The entire process is completely anonymous. However, if you move forward with a donation, there is an optional donor registry. While not mandatory, the donor registry exists so that a child (after age 18) conceived with a donor egg can find their donor.
We are dedicated to building families together and look forward to working with you!
Learn More or Sign Up to Become An Egg Donor