A donor will be asked to take medication to stimulate egg development in the ovary. She may have to take Lupron® or Synarel® daily for three weeks. Once menstruation starts, the donor will have to take Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) for 7 to 12 days. She will be closely monitored to see if her follicles have already developed. If ultrasound and blood tests show that the follicles are ready, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) will be administered to the donor and the eggs will be collected 2 days later.
Legalities – Egg Donation Risks For The Donor to Consider
If you are thinking of donating your eggs here are a few pointers to be mindful of. Before you are allowed to donate eggs, you have to disclose certain personal information to potential recipients. If you opt to donate anonymously, your name and contact information will not be given to the recipient.
If your eggs result in conception of a child, the State requires certain information about you to be kept on file so it may later be disclosed to the child. Current regulations though disallow access to contact details if you don’t want to be identified by the child.
Once your egg cells are collected, you will have no control over them. You will not be held responsible for anything that may happen to your eggs, to the outcome of the in vitro fertilization and to the success of the pregnancy. You should check the contract you sign and be aware of all egg donation risks. Make sure it says in there that the beneficiary will be legally and financially liable for any children that may result from your eggs. Be sure to check the contract the beneficiary will sign as well.
Most fertility centers offer compensation for the donor’s time, effort and inconvenience for going through the procedure. But, the compensation should not be mistaken as payment for the eggs. The compensation is a fixed amount paid to the donor – regardless of the number of eggs collected or the outcome of the pregnancy. Compensation typically ranges from $4,000 to $5,000, depending on the fertility center. Generally, there is no financial compensation if you are donating eggs to a relative.
Internal Revenue Services (IRS) requires you to pay taxes on the compensation you get from donating your egg cells. You should receive a Form 1099 from the fertility center. Form 1099 is what they will use to process your tax return.
Conceptions from egg donations have higher risks of multiple pregnancies – around 20% to 25% chance. There is also a 3% to 5% possibility of birth defects in the newborn.
The medications you take may cause hot flashes, abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, vomiting, sleeping difficulties and breathing difficulties. In very rare occasions with egg donation risks, the medications may cause ovarian hyperstimulation, the painful enlargement of the ovaries. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately.
Fertility clinics typically charge from $15,000 to $20,000. This is inclusive of donor fees, medications, in vitro fertilization, embryo freezing, embryo transfer, etc.
A study by Braverman et al. from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School on egg donation risks showed most women who had donated their eggs retained a positive attitude from the experience a year after the procedure. 75 donors were interviewed at the time of egg collection and one year after. The study found that egg donors remained positive and carefree about the egg donation experience.
Are you considering egg donation? What are your thoughts on egg donation risks? Would love to hear from you!
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.