Egg donation makes it possible for women who want to become mothers, but are incapable of producing enough healthy eggs, to receive donated eggs from healthy female donors. Many women make donating eggs a lucrative business, something that raises ethical concerns. Others, however, would just want to help a female friend or a female relative to get pregnant; therefore, would not mind donating their eggs even without any compensation involved. No matter what their motivations, they should weigh the pros and cons before they make a commitment to becoming egg donors.
Egg donation involves a long process, starting with going through series of tests to find out if you qualify. After qualifying, the next process would be stopping your normal menstrual cycle, followed by the administering of fertility drugs daily through injection. The goal is to overstimulate the ovaries for multiple egg production. This process is a bit painful and tedious. There are risks involved, such as hot flashes, mood swings, redness in the injection site, mild fluid retention and tender breasts. There is also a risk of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS), which causes fluid retention, the swelling of the ovaries and some abdominal pains. The good thing though, OHSS should go away after your next menstrual cycle, which means it is something that is not permanent. One other risk to consider is that you would be prone to becoming pregnant after having unprotected sexual intercourse. It is actually advisable to abstain from sex during this period. You may also be more at risk for having multiple births if you get pregnant while using fertility drugs.
The medical procedure involved in egg donation is quite invasive, which is the main disadvantage of this procedure. Known as egg retrieval or transvaginal ovarian aspiration, this minor surgical procedure involves injecting a needle into the ovary to remove the eggs through aspirations. The way it works is that first, an ultrasound probe with an attached thin needle enters the vagina, and then inserting the needle to each follicle follows. Then, the next step involves using a suction to remove the egg and fluid from the follicle. They will administer painkillers, anesthesia and sedatives during the procedure to minimize the pain. They may also prescribe additional painkillers even after the procedure until you completely recover. It is advisable to rest a full day after the procedure and perform only light activities several days after.
The amount of compensation is probably the only thing that can clearly be considered an advantage to being an egg donor. Becoming an egg donor can be lucrative for some women, with fees going up as high as in the six figures. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), a reasonable compensation for a donor’s time and effort is $3,000 to $4,000 as of 2002.