Thinking about becoming an egg donor? If you’ve done any research, you’ve probably encountered more than a few myths about egg donation. But urban legends and misinformation won’t help you make a sound decision when it comes to donating your eggs. Let’s explore how some common myths hold up against the facts.
False. Yes, compensation for egg donors can be generous. After all, being a donor is a real commitment. Donors at Fairfax EggBank can earn up to $48K (depending on the state in which she resides) for multiple cycles, including free screening for infectious disease, genetics, and fertility. Donors can also earn $1k every time they refer another donor into the program. Donors have used these funds to invest in the future—paying for college or reducing debt, for example.
But ultimately, it’s not just about the money. Egg donors have a sincere desire to help those enduring infertility, often because they have known friends or family go through the same struggle. Donors report a profound feeling of emotional satisfaction knowing that they’ve helped women—women they have never even met—achieve family dreams.
False. Every menstrual cycle, a typical woman produces approximately 15-20 eggs. However, only one egg is usually released for ovulation and the body discards the rest. In an egg donation cycle, the donor receives medication to develop all of the eggs naturally produced in a cycle. In short, the donation process doesn’t take out any more eggs than what the body naturally puts out.
False. Research into this issue is still ongoing. But recent scientific studies have not shown an association between donating eggs and developing the risk of ovarian cancer.
It depends. When donating through a traditional egg donor agency, the process can be long since donors that pass screening still have to wait to be matched to a recipient. Even if a match happens, menstrual cycles between the recipient and donor need to be synchronized; this can take months or even years. Donors also typically need to travel to the recipient’s city for the procedure.
However, at a frozen donor egg bank such as Fairfax EggBank, there’s little wait-time involved. Once donors have gone through screening and been accepted, the process can begin immediately because it’s based only on the donor’s menstrual cycle. The entire procedure takes place at a location near you. The process itself means approximately 6 to 8 20-minute visits during a 2-week period, which can fit easily into your schedule. The day of the egg retrieval is the only day a donor would need to take off of school or work completely.
False. Your risk for infertility wouldn’t be any higher as a result of being an egg donor. The hormones in the medications used for the egg donation process are similar to the ones your body naturally produce each month—just at higher levels during a two-week period of time.
False: If you decide to be an anonymous egg donor, recipients and offspring won’t know your identity, and you won’t know theirs. We do now offer the ID Option program as a choice for donors and families, as an option for offspring (once they reach 18) to learn about their donor’s identity—read our blog post on the ID Option for more information. No matter which donation option you choose, as an egg donor, you wouldn’t have any rights or responsibilities to any offspring, financially or legally.
Donating eggs gives hope to couples dealing with infertility…and at the same time, it’s a big decision. We encourage potential donors to do their homework as they make their choice. But myths don’t help. Please contact us if you have questions about any aspect of the egg donation process.