Frequently Asked Questions

Learn More About Egg Donation

What are the basic steps to becoming an egg donor?

You must complete Fertility Link’s forms and screening process, from there you will be anonymously listed in our secure, password protected database available to only our registered Intended Parents. Once you are matched with Intended Parents, Fertility Link will provide your information to the Intended Parents’ clinic. You will go through the clinic’s required screenings and if, following the screening process, you are deemed an appropriate candidate for egg donation, the clinic will advise as to next steps in the process.

Will donating eggs cost me any money?

No. All donors’ expenses including legal, medical, insurance and travel are paid for by the intended parents.  If donors are required to travel to intended parent’s clinic out of state, donors will be given a per diem of $75/day and their companion will be given $50/day.

What are the medical risks and side effects of a donation cycle?

Donors will be prescribed fertility medications to stimulate their ovaries encouraging increased follicle stimulation to produce eggs. Most women respond differently to the medications, most common side effects are similar to PMS:  bloating, breast tenderness and moodiness.  After retrieval, donors may feel cramping, but it is only temporary for a few hours post procedure. In rare cases women have more serious sides effects, most commonly Ovarian hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) affecting 1-2% of all patients treated with follicle stimulating hormones, it is commonly treated with rest and a possible course of antibiotics.  There are no known long term studies linking egg donation to infertility or any other medical conditions.  However in order to feel totally comfortable we recommend our donors read Becoming an Egg Donor and speak candidly with the fertility physician about all medical risks prior to starting the donation process.

Are there any other risks I should be thinking about?

Because the egg donation process entails the relinquishment of certain rights, you will have an opportunity, once matched and screened by the clinic, to discuss your legal interests with an attorney engaged specifically to advise you about egg donation. Generally speaking, egg donors who enter into a legally enforceable Egg Donation Agreement with Intended Parents will be recognized under the law as a donor and not a parent. Your attorney, assigned by Fertility Link, will further discuss any legal concerns with you. The Intended Parents will cover the fee billed by your attorney.

Any other opportunity to discuss risks?

In addition to the meeting with a physician and, later in the process an attorney, you will also meet with one or more nurses at the clinic as well as a mental health professional. It is important to Fertility Link that donors proceed in the most informed manner. If you have any specific questions or concerns about a particular risk, be sure to let us know so that we can assist in getting you connected with the right professional to answer your questions.

Will I meet the Intended Parents?

For the most part the matches we make are mutually anonymous.  However, there are situations when the Intended Parents request to meet the donor they have chosen.  Fertility Link will contact the donor and ask if she is willing to meet the recipients, if both parties agree to meet, Fertility Link will facilitate a meeting.  Typically they are telephone meetings and only first names are used unless agreed otherwise. Some Intended Parents may wish to preserve the opportunity to have any children who result from the donation meet with the donor. If Intended Parents are interested in such “future contact” we will discuss this with you and if you are comfortable with meeting the child/children, we will inform the attorneys and the terms of the anticipated “future contact” will be addressed in the Egg Donation Agreement.

What medications do I have to take and for how long?

The medications donors will be prescribed are those used for an IVF cycle.  Initially for a period of 2-4 weeks, hormones are prescribed for ovarian suppression (this is mostly commonly the birth control pill) sometimes coupled with Lupron that is an injection.  Then donors will be prescribed ovarian stimulation injectables for 8-12 days.  Starting after about 5 days of the stimulation medications donors will begin regular monitoring that includes visits to the clinic for an ultrasound and blood test.  During days 8-12 of stimulation, the physician will identify when ovulation should be triggered.  In the final steps, donors will be advised to take a final “trigger shot” and the egg retrieval will take place 36 hours later.  Throughout this entire process, the clinic will be communicating with you daily advising you on specific dosages.

Will I have to miss work or school?

All clinics require a screening process that will require about three appointments, these can be scheduled all in one day or multiple visits.  During monitoring, the appointments are scheduled before 9am and on retrieval day you will need to take the day off, retrievals can be scheduled for any day of the week, it may occur on a weekend, at the Clinic’s discretion. Once you have completed the screening process typically the donor egg nurse coordinator at the Clinic will establish a “cycle schedule” for you. It is very important that you be able to adhere to the cycle schedule. Any conflicts or “black-out dates” should be discussed as much in advance as possible with both Fertility Link and the Clinic.

If the Intended Parents are out of state, donors will need to travel for the screening appointments, some of the monitoring appointments will be done locally at a monitoring clinic near to the donor (if allowed by the Clinic) and donors will need to travel for the final monitoring and retrieval which will be about a week total.  All travel and expenses will be paid in advance by the Intended Parents.

How much do I get paid?

First time donors receive $12,000 and donors who have a proven past donation get $15,000.

How long do I have to wait between donations?

Fertility specialists advise donors have two normal periods before starting another donation cycle.

Worried About the Unknowns?

Follow the journey of a four-time egg donor in our blog series “The Egg Donor Experience. Kate walks you through her thought process and tells it like it is. Check it out >

This experience is hard but so worthwhile. I know the family I helped to create is beyond grateful! Fertility Link was with me through every step of the process.


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