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Healthy women with regular menstrual cycles can donate eggs to help infertile couples realize their dream of becoming parents.
This not only gives the satisfaction of making a difference in people’s lives but they can also earn a good compensation for it. Whether you are donating eggs for money or just to help others, here is some information that can be helpful.
There’s a reason why they use the term ‘donate’ instead of ‘sell’ or ‘buy’.
In the UK, it is illegal to buy eggs or sell them to the highest bidder. This is to ensure that women donate eggs for altruistic reasons and not make it a means to make quick money.
Eggs donors in the UK are offered a legal financial compensation of £750 to cover their travel costs, loss of earnings or any expenses incurred in the process of donation.
Unlike the UK where the egg donation procedure is strictly regulated by the HFEA, women in the U.S. can legally donate eggs for money.
The standard compensation for first-time egg donors is $8,000 (£6,092.92) to $10,000 ($7,616.15), and repeat donors can earn up to $12,000 (£9,139.38).
If a donor has rare qualities, the agencies or direct families may pay them over $12,000 (£9,139.38).
The donor usually gets 7-10% of the total sum before the beginning of the process and the remaining after the completion of egg retrieval procedure.
A donor can help multiple families by donating eggs six times in a lifetime.
So, young healthy women donating eggs for money have the potential to earn up to $70,000 (£53,313.05) in the US. The compensation can be higher for women who are highly educated and attractive.
Whether you are donating eggs for money or pure altruistic reasons, there are certain factors that determine your eligibility. Most clinics or agencies prefer egg donations from women who are aged between 18 to 35 years.
They must be in good health with a normal BMI range and must be a non-smoker with no history of genetic or inherited health conditions. Ideally, a candidate should be over 25 years of age as they are physically more mature and emotionally stable.
The candidate will have to go through an initial screening process that involves medical tests to limit the chances of sexually transmitted diseases or genetic abnormalities.
Donating eggs for money may sound easy but there are certain health risks that cannot be ignored. The biggest concern is the Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) caused by medications taken to stimulate the ovaries to release more eggs.
Egg donors may run the risk of getting painful and enlarged ovaries, however, this condition is treatable, and it is unlikely to cause any long-term complications. Some of the side effects may be kidney damage, rapid weight gain, nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain.
After you pass the initial screening, the agency or clinic will match you with a couple that has infertility issues. Before the procedure, the donor will be given fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs. The clinic will monitor the donor closely during this time and any side effects must be reported immediately.
The donor is advised to abstain from having sex during this period to avoid becoming pregnant or at least use a condom or oral contraception. When the eggs mature, they are retrieved by an expert at the clinic.
During the process, the donor is sedated or given general anaesthetics.
It usually takes about 20 minutes to retrieve the eggs, but you may have to spend 2-3 hours at the clinic. After the egg retrieval process is completed successfully, the donor receives her compensation.
Some clinics offer egg-sharing IVF treatment for women who don’t want to donate eggs for money. Under this program, a healthy woman who needs an IVF treatment to become pregnant but can’t afford one can donate her eggs in return for IVF treatment.
This is called egg sharing because the donor gives her egg to an infertile couple and in return, she gets an IVF treatment that can cost £5,000-£10,000 per cycle at a heavily discounted price.