What does it take to be an egg donor?
You may have been giving egg donation a lot of thought recently. Maybe you read an article in a magazine or heard that your best friend’s roommate donated her eggs last year. The idea might never have occurred to you before, but suddenly you’re seriously considering it as an option. Now the questions start. Is this the right choice for me? Would I make a good egg donor? Will I meet specific egg donor requirements? How will I know?
The criteria to become an egg donor vary slightly from agency to agency, but all of the basic egg donation requirements center around making sure that you’re physically healthy and mentally in the right place to donate your eggs. When we’re evaluating applications at Bright Expectations, the candidates we choose must:
- Be 20 to 29 years of age - In your 20s, your body is at its reproductive prime. You’re likely to respond well and easily to fertility medications and produce high quality eggs which will offer a waiting family the best chance of success.
- Have regular monthly periods - A regular period is a good sign that everything’s working well in there!
- Have no known reproductive disorders or abnormalities - We’ll run a series of screening tests to make sure, which can give you lots of useful information about your own fertility. But starting out, you can’t have a history of problems like this.
- Be physically and emotionally healthy - We’re not looking for perfection but being physically fit and mentally well is important for both you and the long-term health of any babies who are born from the eggs you donate.
- Have a BMI of between 18 to 29 (BMI calculator) - Being at a proportional weight is important, because a lower or higher BMI can change the way your body responds to fertility medications and leave you at a higher risk of medical complications.
- Be a non-smoker/nicotine user and non–drug user - Nicotine and other recreational drugs can cause damage to your body, your reproductive system, and your eggs.
- Not currently be on Depo-Provera or Implanon - If you have had the Depo shot and are interested in being an egg donor, you’ll need to discontinue use and apply in six months. If you have an Implanon implant, you will have to have the implant removed and wait for four to six weeks before becoming eligible.
- Have continued education, such as trade school, some college, etc. - Intended parents have lofty dreams for their future children and almost always look for a donor with at least some higher education. While continued education or a lack of it has no connection to the quality of your eggs, we want to make sure you have the highest chance of successful matching!
- Not have traveled to a Zika risk area within the last 6 months- You cannot be an anonymous egg donor if in the last 6 months you've traveled to or had sex with someone who has traveled to an active Zika transmission area. Check out this map for up-to-date information on Zika risk areas.
- Be willing and able to attend medical appointments - You’ll need to visit the clinic several times over the course of the donation process, with a total of 6 to 8 appointments. Most of these are flexible, are usually in the morning, and can be arranged to fit with your schedule! If you need to travel to get to us, we’ll pay your expenses.
- Be willing to undergo a psychological evaluation - Egg donation is a very personal choice, offering a deeply personal gift to another family. There’s a lot to think about! Meeting with a psychologist can help you figure out if this is right for you and helps us make sure that you’re in the right space to make this choice with full consent.
- Be willing to take injectable medication - We’ve never met anyone who was a huge fan of needles, and the truth is that being an egg donor involves a fair amount of needles. It’s honestly not a big deal, and we’ll show you exactly how to give yourself the fertility medication, but you should have a heads up that shots are part of the deal!
What other things make someone a great egg donor?
That list takes care of the fundamental egg donation requirements, but beyond the basics there are some other factors which can indicate that egg donation could be an amazing choice for you:
- You’re excited about helping to build a family and you have a giving personality
By donating your eggs, you have the power to possibly make someone’s dearest wish come true. Helping others in such an intimate way takes a special kind of person, someone who is generous, big-hearted, and deeply compassionate. For many egg donors, the knowledge that they have changed the world for the better in this fundamental way is even more significant than the financial compensation.
- You have big dreams you’d like to fund in the near future
Egg donor compensation is a recognition of the time, inconvenience, and irreplaceable value of the assistance you have given to the intended family. The whole process of donating your eggs takes a little more than a month from start to finish, but the compensation available is enough to jump-start your graduate school career, add to a house downpayment fund, pay for a few months of backpacking around Europe, or any number of thrilling goals. It’s a wonderful win-win situation for everyone involved.
- You’re part of a population in high demand
Egg donors of all races, ethnicities, and creeds are welcomed with open arms and excitement here at Bright Expectations. However, due to the scarcity of available donated eggs from young women of Asian, East Indian, and Jewish backgrounds, there is very high demand for donations from these demographics. Some families have been waiting a long time for a baby who shares their heritage. Obviously, ethnicity is not one of our egg donor requirements, but it can help you match more quickly with intended parents.
Do you meet the egg donor requirements in this list? If so, you might make an exceptional donor, and we’d love to hear from you! The first step is to fill in our application form. Then, if you match with intended parents, you’ll be contacted right away. You’ll need to respond to our coordinator and clinical staff within a 24-hour time period to begin the egg donation cycle, and the adventure will begin!