The Five Biggest Misconceptions of Egg Donation
#1. Donating my eggs will cause me to be infertile, and unable to have children of my own
To date, there are no studies that correlate egg donation to infertility. In the womb you have all the eggs you have in a lifetime, approximately 6 to 7 million eggs, this number declines at birth to approximately 1 to 2 million. When you enter puberty, you have an average of 400,000 eggs. Each month, whether a woman is using hormonal contraception or not, a given number of eggs are absorbed. This occurs due to attrition, so eggs are lost naturally. During each menstrual cycle, you typically have between 15-30 eggs developing in the follicles, however only one egg is fully mature enough to be released for fertilization. The rest of the eggs are naturally discarded. During the egg donation process all readily available eggs are stimulated to mature, instead of just one, to a point where they can be retrieved and hopefully fertilized for the recipient. Therefore, only the eggs naturally ready during the cycle are donated. All in all, it does not obstruct or deplete your egg reserve causing the inability to have children.
#2. Donating my eggs is a painful process
Donating eggs is a quick 20-30-minute procedure which you are sedated for through an IV. The process itself takes place transvaginally with an ultrasound and needle guide which enters the ovary to retrieve each egg. Of course, with every procedure, risks are present, and post procedure you may feel like you have a heavy menstrual flow, period cramping, bloating or spotting which is completely normal. In rare cases the possibility of OHSS can occur and even more unlikely can ovarian torsion occur. Donors are asked to have down time and avoid any strenuous activity to prevent these risks from occurring.
#3. The self-injections are painful and difficult
The self-administered injections are small needles injected into the subcutaneous fat of the abdomen region (stomach). This tends to be what most donors find concerns and are typically timid of this task. However, with practice, the help of our nurses who will guide you in conquering this task and an instructional orientation, you learn how to administer the injections properly with no difficulty and minimal pain. If this task is something you cannot find yourself doing on your own, you may choose to come into the office to have a medical professional administer it for you. The injections are roughly between 8-12 days and should not interfere with your daily routine or prevent you from your regular activities.
#4. Anyone can become an egg donor
No, it is actually very challenging to meet our strict requirements and be accepted into our program. To become an egg donor, you must be between the age of 21-28 years of age, be a nonsmoker, non-drug user, have at least some college education, trade school or furthering education past high school. Other qualifications required is a BMI (body mass index) of less than 28 based on your height and weight. Along with these requirements, you must be willing to commit to the program and participate for at least 6 months with good communication, honesty and trust with your doctors, case managers, and nurses. Becoming an egg donor is a serious commitment and is not suitable for everyone’s lifestyles or intentions. Along with these tasks you must pass a medical screening and psychological evaluation before any donation can proceed.
#5. Egg donors must take extensive time off from work or school
Typically, many donors do not need to miss many school or work days. Donors will have to attend at least 6 office visits; though, these can be scheduled around your needs. The actual donation procedure itself is only around 30-minutes and will require a maximum of 24-48 hours of downtime. Depending on the donor’s residency, she may need to travel and stay for an extended period near our facility for labs and close monitoring, this is of course to be scheduled in advance and for the most convenient time both the donor and intended parents can agree on.