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Before You Donate Your Eggs - Things to Consider
If you would like to become an egg donor, these are some things you need to consider before donating your eggs:
- Are you comfortable with the physical process of egg donation? You will have to give yourself subcutaneous injections, have multiple transvaginal ultrasounds, undergo a psychological evaluation, genetic screening, and the retrieval process, all of which can be painful. There are side effects from each drug taken. Some cause bloating, headaches, cramping, and there is even the risk of OHSS or ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome.
- Are you prepared to relinquish parental rights to any biological children born from your donation? Perhaps not now, but sometime in the future you might wonder whether any children were conceived using your eggs. Some clinics use donors who live in the same town as the recipients. If you undergo an anonymous donation, you will never have the opportunity to know who received your eggs. If there are any oocytes or embryos left over from a transfer, the recipients might decide to have them destroyed or donate them for research. You must consider whether this will be a moral issue for you.
- Are you able to set aside the time required to donate? You must attend numerous doctors’ appointments, and lab tests. Many will be last minute; some will take an hour or more. The screening process could take months depending on how long it takes to receive test results back. Some clinics will even make a donor wait to begin the donation process until they are chosen by a recipient which could take months.
- Are you okay with not knowing whether a baby was conceived with your eggs? Many women become egg donors to help other couples achieve their dreams of becoming parents. If you are an anonymous donor, you might never know whether an IVF cycle was successful or not. You will have no contact with the recipients and most clinics won’t share this information. This might be a difficult predicament for donors who wish to know whether they were able to help. On the other hand if you are a known-donor, what if the intended parents were unable to conceive using your eggs? Will you be prepared for the potential success or failure?
Donating your eggs can be a wonderful way to help an infertile couple, but you must be completely comfortable with the expectations that come with this process. If you would like to become an egg donor, contact a local clinic and ask whether they're looking for donors and how to apply.