The day you decide to become an egg donor is an exciting milestone in your life. From this stage forward, you are forever changed. The change is not outward, strangers won’t notice it on the street, but as our donors tell us, becoming an egg donor changes lives. You have probably already accepted the fact that you’ll be helping create or grow a family and make someone’s dreams come true, but there are other realities headed your way that may surprise you. Here are a few.
Reality #1: Screening
The process of becoming an egg donor is no joke. There are interviews, medical exams, questionnaires, background checks, and lots of questions to consider. This process may seem daunting, but it’s meant to ensure the best possible outcome for donors and intended parents alike. We have a great admissions department who will see you through every step of the process and answer any questions that come up along the way.
Reality #2: The Medications
Even if you’re young and fertile, you will need to take fertility drugs to be a successful egg donor. This is so that we can “turn up the volume” on what your body already does naturally. These medications help you produce as many viable, healthy eggs as possible. While the medications themselves aren’t too troublesome, the reality is that you’re going to have to give yourself a handful of injections, which can be emotionally difficult for some women.
Reality #3: Your Sex Life
In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. You’re taking all sorts of medications to make you as fertile as possible, but your goal is to not become pregnant. That means that your sex life may have to take a backseat to the process for a brief period of time. This can mean anything from abstinence from sex to introduction of different birth control methods to stimulate and control the timing of your menstrual cycle.
Reality #4: The Procedure
Sure, you’ve read about it and know that doctors will extract your eggs from your body as part of the process, but actually doing it can come as a surprise. Like any medical procedure, there is downtime and recovery. The egg retrieval process is quick, and recovery should only take a day or so, but you’ll need to be mindful of how your body feels after the retrieval, and some women are not prepared for that.
Reality #5: Closure
Once doctors retrieve your eggs, your journey is complete. No one will tell you how many eggs were viable, fertilized, or used. You will not know if your donation resulted in a successful pregnancy, and if so, if that pregnancy leads to one baby, twins, or even more. You will never know the gender of the children conceived with your eggs, and you won’t get updates about these children as they’re born and grow. For most egg donors, this is a relief or at least a non-issue. But if you’re not expecting this reality going in, you may find yourself surprised.
Reality #6: You Might Be Scared
And if you are, that’s totally OK! What you’re about to do is a big deal. It can be overwhelming. Just know that you’re changing the world for some would be parents, and it’s all worth it.
Reality #7: Tax Day
It’s illegal to sell organs in the United States. As such, the income that you’ll receive as an egg donor is taxable. You should plan accordingly.
Reality #8: You May Fall in Love
With the process, that is. So many of our egg donors tell us that their donation was life enhancing and empowering. Many women find themselves signing up to donate again and again as a result.