Egg donation is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) where a fertile woman volunteers to donate their egg or oocyte to another individual woman or couple who for various reasons are unable to conceive.
The process of egg donation usually requires a doctor or fertility specialist to remove the egg(s) from the donor, artificially fertilize them in a laboratory setting, and then transferring the fertilized egg into the recipient’s uterus via another assisted reproductive technology known as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Depending on the country, state, district or province, there are generally three ways for a woman to donate their eggs, the first of which is through an agency. Agencies that specialize in egg donation operate like headhunters and can usually afford higher compensation rates to the donor, especially if the receipient has requested there to be specific requirements or criteria from the egg donor.
A second way in which a woman can donate her eggs is through a fertility clinic that runs a donor service. The process of recruiting and compensating an egg donor is similar to that of an egg donation agency.
Lastly, a woman may donate her eggs through directed egg donation – this means agreeing to donate their eggs to family or friends without going through an agency or clinic. Depending on the agreement between the egg donor and recipient, the egg donor may or may not be compensated.
It is important to note that unlike sperm donation, which is quick and self-explanatory, egg donation required serious commitment and medical assistance. Firstly, an egg door is required to undergo between six to eight weeks of regular hormone medication, which is administrated via a series of injections, usually done by the egg donor herself. This is required in order to sync the donor’s monthly menstrual cycle to that of the recipient as well as to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs for fertilization. On top of the hormone injections, the egg donor is also required to attend appointments at the fertility clinic – a typical egg donation process usually involves somewhere between six and seven appointments.
When the eggs are ready to be harvested, the egg donor must subject herself to a minimally invasive medical procedure where she is put under “twilight anesthesia” – this means that while the patient is sedated, she remains conscious throughout the procedure. A full day’s rest is required post procedure and the egg donor must be cleared by the doctor before resuming normal level activities in her daily life.
In conclusion, egg donation is a rigorous process that should not be taken lightly as it requires the egg donor to commit a good chunk of their time to prepare their body for the production and extraction of eggs. However, depending on the rules and regulations of the geographical location of the egg donor, they, in general, have access to three methods in which they can donate their eggs – through an egg donation agency, a fertility clinic that operates a donor service, or direct egg donation agreement between family and friends.