The choice is partially up to you and partially up to the Recipient(s). On your questionnaire you can specify if you’d like to meet the Recipients before the donation, and also if you are open to meeting any children created from the donation after they turn 18. We can assist with all of this and discuss the options.
Even though you were taught in biology class that each month one egg is released, it’s actually more complex than that. Each woman starts her life with a finite number of eggs - usually about 300,000 – 400,000. Each month anywhere from 10 – 40 start to grow, but only one usually matures and is ovulated – the other 9 – 39 are absorbed back into your body, never to be used again. When you are given fertility medications it allows all 10 – 40 or so eggs to mature and be harvested and potentially fertilized...although not all may be mature enough to do so. So you are not using up any more eggs than you would if you were to ovulate naturally.
This all depends on the comfort level/choice of Egg Donor. Some women want to be anonymous while others are very open with their communication. As it turns out, many of our donors are comfortable with having contact with the Recipient(s). If this is the case you’re your donor, we can arrange a facilitated face-to-face meeting after your donor is confirmed for your cycle. If open communication is super important to you, you can see for yourself in our database who is willing to communicate and who isn’t and only select those appropriate donors.
In many cases the Recipients’ Reproductive Endocrinologist (aka RE or fertility specialist) will not be located near to you. Most times the RE will want to evaluate you in person – this evaluation is similar to a gynecological exam. That is a quick trip and depending upon how far you live from the clinic can often be done in one or two days – with all of your expenses being taken care of by the Recipient(s). The second trip will be for the egg retrieval. Some doctors would like you to be there the day before, but others like to see you a few days before. We will try to alert you as to what your doctor would prefer but individual circumstances and your response to the medication may often determine the amount of travel. You can expect to be in the city where the RE is located for approximately 3 -7 days. At a minimum you will arrive one or two days before the retrieval, then stay for two days after the retrieval. Most women feel ready to travel within a day or two after the retrieval. All monitoring while preparing for the retrieval will be done at a facility close to your home or work for your convenience.
Your egg retrieval will be painless and you will receive a light sedation. Most women go home to nap after the retrieval, wake for dinner and feel fine the next day, although some prefer to relax the day after too. Most women feel ready to travel within a day or two after the retrieval. You will most likely feel bloated after the retrieval for about a week – water and protein (protein drinks are great for that!) will help with the bloating.
In almost all case the answer is yes! Most egg donors are surprised at the warm feeling it gives them to be such a pivotal player in helping a very wanted child or children come into the world and are quick to offer to do it again. The ASRM suggests that a woman not donate more than 6 times. This has not proven to impair your own family building when the time comes.
In all honestly there are many factors that go into whether or not you will be selected. Most recipients have a variety of qualities they are looking for including: a certain look; level of education; good genetics when it comes to hereditary diseases, health and longevity; talents – sports, art, music, etc., ethnicity, height; etc.
Each recipient has their own set of preferences when search for an egg donor – but a first impression can often be the most important factor and in this case it is your photographs. Of course if they like what they see they will continue on to review your entire profile. But in most cases, it is human nature to look at a person as your first impression. So when selecting photographs – please find ones where you feel you look your best or show off the qualities you are most proud of – including sports or academic achievements. The more photos you select for us to choose from the better. So send as many as you have and feel free to include family photos and childhood shots too!
While we feel all eggs are created equal, there are some qualities that can be in higher demand and since other agencies are paying more for those qualities we have to do the same to remain competitive...but we know that all donors are wonderful, giving, caring women and we and your recipient(s) will feel the same. Some qualities that do tend to command a higher fee are those with certain ethnicities (i.e., full Chinese), or education from more well known and prestigious schools, or high SAT or ACT scores. Of course, like anyone that does a job well and gains experience, you will receive a bump in fee each time you do a donation.