What is egg donation?
Egg donation is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in which a fertile woman undergoes a medical procedure and donates eggs to another woman in order to help her conceive. Typically a doctor removes the egg, fertilizes it in a laboratory, and transfers the resulting embryo into the recipient’s uterus.
Why is egg donation important?
People choose egg donation for a variety of reasons. Some couples are struggling with infertility, some are same-sex couples, some are single individuals. Intended Parents at AsiaWest come from diverse backgrounds around the world. As an egg donor, you play an important role in helping build a family.
How do I become an egg donor with Asia West?
To be an egg donor with Asia West you must meet the minimum requirements:
If you meet all of the above, you can fill out an egg donor application here.
After applying and meeting the prerequisites above, donors must also meet certain medical requirements determined during screening. These include a follicle count, AM test, genetic testing, medical history and physical exam. Donors must also pass a background check and participate in a psychological exam.
What are the age limits on being an egg donor? Why?
The reproductive endocrinologists and clinics that we work with set the age standards. We welcome egg donors in our program between the ages of 20 and 28.
I am adopted – can I still be a donor?
Yes, if you know your biological family’s health history. The process requires full knowledge of your biological family’s information.
I am on birth control – can I still be a donor?
Yes, but it depends on the form of birth control you are using. Acceptable forms of birth control include birth control pills, the nuva ring, the patch, and non-copper IUDs. If you have an IUD, the clinic may require it be removed.
If you are currently using Implanon or Depo-Provera for birth control you will need to switch to one of the acceptable forms listed above and have at least two regular menstrual cycles before applying to become a donor.
Always remember to consult your OB/GYN before making any decisions about changing your contraceptive.
For further information on this email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don’t live in the United States – can I still be a donor?
Unfortunately we only accept egg donors who reside in the United States and are able to legally accept compensation.
Does my family have to be supportive of me as an egg donor?
You will definitely need to have someone that can be your support person during injections and can travel with you for the retrieval process. This support person does not have to be a family member, but we strongly recommend telling your family.
The application is very long. Why do you need so much information?
Most of the information on our application is requested by the IVF clinic for its screening. We also use the information for matching purposes with the intended parents and the information helps them learn about you.
What tests and screenings will I need to do?
Donors will participate in a number of screenings to determine if they are eligible to donate their eggs as well as to prepare them for egg retrieval. These may include but are not limited to:
How many and what kind of pictures should I submit?
We prefer to have 10-15 photos, with 3-5 of them being childhood photos. Pictures taken in natural light, with little to no make up or filters are ideal. We like the donors to have pictures where they are smiling and showing teeth.
For more detailed photo requirements see here.
How often can I donate my eggs?
A donor can donate up to 6 times. Most clinics review your first cycle to see if a subsequent donation is appropriate. If it is, you generally take two months off and then can proceed with a second donation.
Will I have to travel or can you match me with local intended parents?
Your screenings and medical appointments including egg retrieval will take place at the fertility clinic the intended parents are working with. If you are matched with intended parents who are using a fertility clinic outside of your area, you will need to travel to that clinic for the initial office visit after match, the baseline monitoring appointment, and at the end of stimulation for the final monitoring appointment(s) and the retrieval. Your pre-match screenings and some monitoring appointments can typically be done in your area. If you do not wish to travel, we may be able to match you with a local family. However, your options may be limited.
How will I be matched?
We start the matching process when an intended parent expresses interest in working with you. Our matching process is a reciprocal process in that we will work around your schedule and ensure that the timing works out for you.
It is important to note that the length of time it takes for a donor to be matched with intended parents varies widely. Intended parents are looking for a variety of different attributes in an egg donor and not everyone will meet their specific criteria. Not every donor whose profile is placed on the database will necessarily be selected by intended parents.
What are the differences between anonymous, semi-anonymous, and known donations?
Donors can choose to be either anonymous, have semi-open or open donation with intended parents. Anonymous donors are just that, their full name and contact info are not provided to the intended parents and there will be no direct contact between the donor and intended parents.
In a semi-open donation, both the donor and the intended parents register on the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). There, both parties can communicate in the future regarding medical information, for example. Your contact information remains anonymous unless you and the intended parents choose to exchange contact information through the DSR at a later date.
In an open donation, the donor and intended parents may exchange contact information and possibly agree to a meeting. The type of contact is agreed upon and outlined in your contract. Donors are matched with intended parents whose desired level of anonymity and contact matches theirs.
How do I know which kind of contact is best for me?
Once your application form is fully completed and you pass that portion of screening, you will be in touch with our Egg Donor Team for continued screening. They will help you decide which is best and what you are most comfortable with.
Does AsiaWest do more known or anonymous donations?
We do more varying levels of known donations than anonymous.
How much will I be compensated?
Compensation is a sliding scale between $15,000-$24,000 per donation depending upon certain criteria. You will discuss with your donor coordinator to determine your level of compensation.
For more information on donor compensation, click here.
Who is responsible for paying the bills?
The family that you donate to will be responsible for medical bills, travel bills, and other expenses related to the donation.
Is egg donation compensation taxable income?
Yes. The United States Tax Court has concluded that amounts received by a donor represents taxable compensation income. AsiaWest will issue 1099s for all egg donors who receive egg donors fees.
Am I required to have my own medical insurance?
All medications and procedure costs are covered by the Intended Parents. Insurance will be purchased on your behalf that covers you in case of complications that arise from the donation process.
Can you briefly tell me what the egg retrieval process is like?
The retrieval process is a four week process which includes two weeks of self administered hormone injections.
The retrieval itself is minor surgery through the vaginal wall requiring anesthesia. It takes approximately 15-30 minutes, during which time you are asleep.
Afterwards you must have a ride home for the procedure and will not return to work or school for the rest of the day. You may be crampy and will be given medications to help with the discomfort. Sometimes you are given pain medications or a prescription for pain medication if needed.
What kinds of medications will I need to take?
Many clinics will have donors on birth control pills prior to donation, even if you have an IUD.
Medications most often include:
What are side effects of the medications?
The side effects differ for each person, but commonly antibiotics can cause some nausea and allergic reactions can occur.
Stimulating medications can cause irritation or bruising at the injection site, bloating, increased vaginal discharge, moodiness and the possibility of a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Allergic reactions can occur.
While on the stimulating medications, you will likely feel fullness in your lower abdomen along with increased vaginal discharge. You may feel bloated towards the end of the stimulation which can last after the retrieval and until your next period.
Will donating affect my own fertility?
There aren’t any studies specific to egg donors, but the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends no more than 6 donations to be safe. There are multiple studies showing that taking the medications themselves doesn’t increase the risks of cancers. Again, the studies were done on patients with infertility issues undergoing stimulation which may be a more “at risk population” than a healthy young donor. Screening the donors for potential risks like family history of breast, ovarian or colon cancer is an important part to reduce any risk.
The donation process encourages multiple eggs to develop to maturity. In a normal monthly cycle, multiple eggs begin to develop but only one will fully mature, the rest are discarded by your body. The medications used in egg donation encourage more of the eggs present during that cycle to develop in order to increase the number of eggs available for retrieval. The process does not deplete your future supply of eggs, it just recruits the eggs that would normally not develop to maturity.
During the egg donation process, will I need to make any lifestyle changes? What if any are the restrictions?
Most clinics will ask you to restrict activities during the cycle and for two weeks after the retrieval. Your ovaries will be increased in size which makes them uncomfortable with most exercise. Walking, swimming, bike riding and low impact, low weights with heart rate under 140 are often okay.
In general, people who are going to donate eggs to another person should not engage in risky behaviors including unprotected intercourse, using any tobacco or marijuana products, recreational drugs of any kind or consuming alcohol during donation. Many clinics do random drug and nicotine testing and positive results will often eliminate you from being a donor.
Some prescription medications are an issue for donation, so be sure to list all medications you take on your questionnaire.
Different clinics may have their own restrictions and guidelines. Be sure to follow the instructions given to you by your fertility clinic.
Is it possible that I could get pregnant during the donation process?
Yes, even though as many eggs as possible are retrieved, there is a possibility that an egg or more may not be retrieved and would become available for fertilization in your body. That is why there are recommendations regarding abstinence during the process.
Most clinics will have you abstain for 4-5 weeks during the process. Once you have started your menses following the retrieval (2 weeks), you will need to go back on a reliable birth control prior to resuming intercourse. Different clinics may have their own restrictions and guidelines. Be sure to follow the instructions given to you by your fertility clinic.
What can I expect on the emotional side of egg donation?
Emotional experiences can vary throughout the process and person to person. The kind-hearted decision to donate should be well thought out before you proceed with screening and matching. That time is the initial opportunity to ask questions, gather information, and be sure you and your loved ones feel comfortable with the process. You are welcome to talk with the social workers who conduct your screening, with experienced egg donors, or even IVF doctors about any specific concerns or questions you might have. During the donation, you may experience moodiness from the IVF medications; however after the donation, most of our egg donors enjoy the extreme pride and joy of having given such an incredible gift.
To hear from one of our own donors about her experience, click here.
Who should I contact if I have more questions?
If you have more questions, email us at email@example.com.