Before you decide to become an egg donor, the egg donation process will be explained to you in detail at your initial consultation. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions, voice concerns and share your particular situation with our staff at your first meeting. At that time, we will provide you with an application, if you have not filled one out already. You may take the application home and return it to us when you have made your decision.
Our egg donation program is anonymous – meaning you will not be given any identifying information about the recipients, nor will the recipients receive identifying information about you. In addition, recipients and donors will not have any opportunity to meet in order to protect the anonymity of all those involved.
It may be possible for you to donate for someone you know, such as a sibling, family member, or a friend. Under these circumstances we may assist you in coordinating the necessary tests, appointments, legal contract, and medical visits.
The process of egg donation can generally be divided into five steps:
STEP 1 // APPLICATION
If you are interested in becoming an egg donor, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire of health history and health habits, an application, and to provide photos of yourself. Since we are an anonymous program, pictures from early or late childhood or professional portraits are preferred.
STEP 2 // SCREENS
Preliminary drug and infectious disease screening: the FDA requires blood and urine tests for infectious diseases. You will first go through preliminary tests, and once the results qualify, you will go through the second set of screens. These tests typically include tests for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and recreational drugs. Tests are performed at the fertility clinic.
STEP 3 // MATCHING, PSYCH & LEGAL
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be added to our pool of donors. Once you have been chosen and matched with a couple, you will meet with a licensed psychologist. The therapist is there to make sure you are psychologically prepared for the process and to provide advice and support. After the psychologist has determined that you are a suitable egg donor, you will sign a contract, which explains your rights and responsibilities, as well as the recipient’s rights and responsibilities to protect both parties. Typically the contract spells out the financial agreement.
STEP 4 // MEDICAL PROCESS
As soon as the contract is signed, you will be ready to begin. You will first learn how to give yourself subcutaneous injections with a small needle shorter than 1/2 inches. Most donors have expressed that the shots are relatively easy and “much less painful” than they had imagined. The shots are typically administered in an area where there is a thick layer of fat. You will be given a calendar with medication laid out for you so you may coordinate it with your schedule. We have four locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, making it easier for you. During the last 5 to 10 days of your cycle, you will need an ultrasound and blood work to be closely monitored. You may need 3-4 appointments during that short period of time. Egg donation will not impair your fertility in the future, since the retrieved eggs are the ones your body will naturally dispose of that month. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has stated that it is safe for an egg donor to donate up to six times in their lifetime.
STEP 5 // RETRIEVAL
Once your follicles are ready, you will undergo egg retrieval. Egg retrieval takes about 15 to 20 minutes and it will be done by a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist doctor, with IV sedation by an Anesthesiologist doctor, in the physician’s office. You will need a trusted person such as a friend or family member to take you home after the procedure. You will receive your compensation on the day of the retrieval or at your follow up doctor’s appointment following the retrieval. As long as you have followed the doctor’s instructions for egg donation correctly and have completed the egg retrieval successfully, you will be entitled to the compensation for your time spent and effort in donating your eggs.
NO EXPENSES/FEES FOR DONORS OR SURROGATES
You will not be financially responsible for any appointments or exams. However, there is no additional compensation for travel expenses or any related expenses incurred during the egg donation or surrogacy process unless you live outside of the area, at which time the intended parents may cover the expenses. The egg donor compensation is provided to cover the egg donor’s expenses unless otherwise agreed. Surrogacy compensation is very different from egg donation. Please refer to the surrogacy section for details.
Our coordinators have numerous years of experience and knowledge about the process and will be available to provide the support and guidance required throughout the various stages of the entire process.
PRIVACY AND DISCLOSURE
We generally do not provide egg donors with the outcomes of their egg donation cycle. Our donors have to consent to being notified of any medical information about themselves that is discovered during the donation process. For example, if one of your infectious disease screening test results comes back positive, we reserve the right to inform you.
All medical procedures carry risks and side effects. We highly recommend that all our donors and surrogates obtain as much information as possible from independent sources and to consult with their own physicians to ask any questions to their satisfaction before making any commitments to donate. For more details on egg donation and surrogacy, please consult www.asrm.org or refer to the literature available at our office.