how many eggs do they take when you donate

how many eggs do they take when you donate

how many eggs do they take when you donate

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How Many Eggs Do I Donate?

When you first start thinking about being an egg donor, it’s totally normal to have a lot of questions. Egg donation isn’t something that’s talked about a lot, and when it does show up

in the media or in pop culture, the details are sometimes pretty sketchy. As a result, there are quite a few myths and mysteries around this topic. We’re here to help clear things up.

One of the most common questions we get is “How many eggs do you take?” Some potential donors are even under the impression that they might be signing up to give away

ALL their eggs. Some think they’re only donating one. In reality, the exact number of eggs that are retrieved during a cycle is usually somewhere between 10 and 20.

You Need to Know About Becoming an Egg Donor

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1. EGG DONATION IS A HIGHLY REGULATED PART OF FERTILITY TREATMENTS.

Dr. Levine says that the FDA treats eggs just like any other organs when it comes to donations, and there are lots of rules and regulations in place to become an egg donor,

just like with any tissue donation.

how many eggs do they take when you donate
how many eggs do they take when you donate

2. THERE ARE THREE MAIN WAYS OF DONATING YOUR EGGS: THROUGH AN AGENCY, THROUGH A CLINIC THAT RUNS A DONOR SERVICE, OR DOING A DIRECTED EGG DONATION.

Agencies are basically headhunters and can pay more depending on the specifics of a donor. Compensation varies but Dr. Devine says, “Appropriate compensation for eggs donors

should be based on the local cost of living and should cover her lost wages, mileage, parking, and other expenses.” For example, she explained that in the Washington DC area,

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compensation for donors ranges from $6,000 – $8,000. Going through an agency, however, you can earn up to $25,000 for donation.

You can also seek out an agency or clinic with a donor service on your own, without being headhunted by them. There’s also directed egg donation, which could be a donor donating

eggs directly to a family member or friend, but without the process of the agency or clinic doing the matchmaking for them. Levine also adds that some families who have specific criteria,

like wanting a donor who goes to Harvard, might put an ad in the Harvard newspaper and pay anywhere from $25,000-$50,000 for that directed donation.

3. ACCEPTING A LARGE PAYOUT FOR A SPECIFIC DIRECTED EGG DONATION ISN’T ALWAYS RECOMMENDED.

The suggested compensation guidelines are specifically in place to make the process of egg donation not financially coercive. Michele Purcell, director of the egg donor program at

Shady Grove Fertility in Maryland, discourages that practice, and says “You really want to identify women that are doing it for the right reasons. And that’s that they’re helping

someone else while also helping themselves, and sometimes, those ads that patients may place, the emphasis is much more on the financial benefit. And you worry about situations

like that, that the woman might be donating her eggs just based on the financial compensation. Then in the long run, she might regret that donation [which] could impact her for the rest of her life.”

how many eggs do they take when you donate
how many eggs do they take when you donate

4. IT’S RECOMMENDED TO ONLY DONATE SIX TIMES.

Levine says this is both for the health of the donor, and also so there aren’t a bunch of half-siblings running around unknowingly. Levine says there’s no national registry or

forced disclosure policy in the U.S, so parents don’t have to tell their children if they came from an egg donor or not. Because of this, the six time limit is not very well monitored. Someone could donate six times at one hospital, and then six times at another, though you’d hope they wouldn’t.

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Sperm banks also have a limit to the amount of times you can donate, though it varies from place the place. The guidelines stated by the American Society for Reproductive

Medicine suggest a donor limitation to 25 live births per population area of 850,000.

5. TO DONATE EGGS, YOU NEED TO UNDERGO A SERIES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL SCREENINGS.

Psychologically, doctors want to make sure you’re of sound mind and comfortable going through the donation process. There are also several physical screenings to undergo.

According to FDA regulations, you can be disqualified if you’ve gotten tattoo or piercing where sterile procedures were not used (or if it is unclear whether sterile procedures were used)

in the last 12 months. Doctors may also check your travel history to make sure you haven’t been to a Zika-affected country in the past six months.

Levine says young women will often come in wishing to donate their eggs, only to realize they’re ineligible because they recently traveled to Mexico for Spring Break. In the physical exam,

they’ll also check your blood work and do an ultrasound to see how many eggs you have, and the likelihood of getting a good outcome. Dr. Devine explains that the screening process

for an egg donor is usually mutually beneficial. “This [info] may serve that egg donor very well, whether or not she’s ultimately accepted to donate her eggs, because she gets

information on her own fertility and reproduction that she otherwise might not have.”

How Many Times Can You Donate Eggs?

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has set the industry limitation at six cycles per egg donor in her lifetime, not per clinic. Once she has completed six cycles, she is not eligible to donate at another facility or for another recipient. There are two main reasons for this limitation on egg donors. One is health risks to the donor and the other is inadvertent consanguinity.

egg donation
egg donation

A Donor’s Well-Being

The process of being an egg donor is fairly new, with the first baby conceived from an egg donation being born in 1984. A lot of studies have been done since then on egg donors,

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and although none of them show any long-term effect on egg donors, there are still risks to her. There is always a risk of infection, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS),

risks associated with anesthesia, etc. and a donor’s well-being is crucial.

Per the ASRM in a recently published article on repetitive oocyte donation, “Recently published data have not demonstrated an association between the use of ovulation-inducing

agents and ovarian cancer, although definitive conclusions await further follow-up.” In fact, all studies to this point have shown no long-term effects on a donor’s own fertility,

her future menses, or when she will undergo menopause. We do, however, still want to limit the number of donations she does in order to lessen the short-term risks on her body.

Inadvertent Consanguinity

Inadvertent consanguinity occurs when any resulting child of a successful egg donation cycle might be unaware of their genetic heritage and could potentially marry and procreate with someone who is their genetic half-sibling. There are limitations set forth by the ASRM that include an arbitrary limit of no more than 25 pregnancies per (sperm or egg) donor in a population of 800,000 in order to minimize the risks of consanguinity. Some couples may not disclose to their children that this was how they were conceived, and this must be accounted for while making these limitations.

There is a possibility that the number of times a woman is able to donate her eggs will change in the future, dependant on findings from future studies or advances in the fields of medicine and fertility. For now however, the magic number is six and we abide by it.

 

 

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