FAQS About Becoming An Egg Donor
Q: Who is a good Egg Donor candidate?
A: Egg donors are usually women between the ages of 21 and 31 and are in good health, both mentally and physically. Family health history will be considered during both the screening and matching process.
Q: I am outside the 21-31 year old age range that IRMS Egg Donor program is targeting. Why am I ineligible?
A: The optimum fertility age is between 18 and 31 years old. We start the age range for egg donation at 21 since we believe that at this age, the individual is mature enough to make responsible decisions such as choosing to donate eggs. In order to maximize the chances for the recipient to conceive, we do not accept egg donors older than 31.
Q: I’m interested in donating but would not be available to do so for a few months. Would this be okay?
A: We are always able to work with you to schedule a donation cycle that fits your time constraints.
Q: Will my identity be revealed to the recipients?
A: While the egg donor’s physical profile and medical history is given to the recipient, no information that would reveal your identity is disclosed.
Q: Will my picture be shown to the recipient
A: IRMS does show recipients a donor’s photo’s where the donor is comfortable signing a consent to do so. Your photo will only be shown if you sign the release form authorizing it.
Q: Will I meet the recipient?
A: Although some centers urge and allow egg donors to meet the recipient couple, IRMS does not encourage or require such a meeting. In fact, all the information you provide to us, aside from matching attributes, will be kept confidential.
Q: Will it hurt?
A: You may experience some mild lower abdominal discomfort while on the medications. During the retrieval, you will be completely asleep for about 15 minutes. After the retrieval, you may have mild to moderate pelvic discomfort or bloating for 24-72 hours. During this time, you may take over-the-counter pain medications. If these are not effective, you should contact an IRMS nurse.
Q: Are there any egg donation risks or side effects to donating eggs?
A: Some egg donors may experience mild side effects during their cycle, such as mood swings, breast tenderness, or fluid retention. There are rare risks associated with the egg retrieval procedure, which your ovum donation team will discuss with you during your consultation.
Q: Will this affect my ability to have children of my own?
A: Since the process of egg donation in humans has been in existence for more than 30 years many research studies have been commissioned to determine if there is any potential negative impact on a donor’s future fertility. No research has ever proven this to be the case. To the best of our knowledge, an uncomplicated donor cycle should not affect your future ability to have children.
Q: How long of a commitment does donating my eggs entail?
A: The commitment to 1 egg donation cycle may take several months to complete. Remember, an egg donor must be psychologically, genetically, and physically screened in the first phase. This screening may be completed over the course of the first month. After the screening process is complete, the egg donor’s cycle is synchronized to the recipient’s menstrual cycle, and the eggs are retrieved the following month.
Q: What does the medical exam entail?
A: This is a routine physical exam of the heart, lungs, abdomen, and pelvis. Tests performed at the time of the exam include a Pap smear and cervical cultures. A transvaginal ultrasound is done to view your uterus and ovaries and help the physician determine the proper dose of fertility medications to give to you during the cycle. A probe is placed in the vagina to give the optimal view of the pelvis. The ultrasound study is brief and causes less discomfort than a standard speculum exam.
Q: What will the psychologist ask me?
A: Questions that will be asked by our psychologist relate to your reasons for wanting to be a donor and how you feel about sharing your genetics with another individual (offspring of the recipient) that you may never know. In addition, the psychological interview is designed to help you determine if egg donation is right for you.
Q: I want to donate but don’t want friends or family to know. Will this information remain confidential?
A: The information that you provide to us when you become an egg donor is strictly anonymous and confidential. We will never disclose any identifying information about you to any of the potential matches. You are solely identified as the match for a particular couple based on your physical attributes, such as nationality, eye color, hair color, height, and weight. As an egg donor, you also will not be given any information about the recipient couple and whether the cycle resulted in a pregnancy.
Q: How many times can I donate eggs?
A: The amount of times that one can donate eggs may vary. Some egg donors are willing to consider more than one cycle, while others donate only once. ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) maintains that an egg donor can donate up until 5-6 times during her lifetime and, as the governing body for reproductive medical practices, IRMS supports that policy.
Q: I do not reside in New Jersey. Can I still donate?
A: Yes, you may still donate eggs as long as you are able to make it to one of our locations for monitoring appointments and screening visits. IRMS will consider out-of-state donor candidates on a case-by-case basis.
Q: What is the compensation for donating eggs at IRMS?
A: The compensation for completion of an egg donation cycle here is $9,500 for the completion of a cycle and up to $10,000 for subsequent cycles.