Becoming an egg donor at a glance
- Egg donors are healthy women between the ages of 20 and 31, whose generosity makes pregnancy and family possible for many who would otherwise not have that experience.
- RSC’s pregnancy success rate using donor eggs is more than 80% in the past year, one of the highest success rates in the country.
- The five steps to becoming an egg donor are application, screening, matching with a recipient, retrieval cycle coordination and follow up.
- Egg donors at RSC are reimbursed $9,500 per retrieval cycle for their generous gift of time and effort.
- Below we’ve included FAQs, tips on ways to prepare, risks of donating eggs and stories from RSC egg donors.
Guide to being an egg donor
Why donate eggs at RSC?
Couples and individuals can have difficulty achieving pregnancy for a variety of reasons. When the main issue is a problem with the woman’s eggs, egg donation can help. Egg donation is also essential for many LGBTQ+ people to have a family. Many women and couples are able to become pregnant with donated eggs and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
We also have an in-house egg bank to store and later distribute selected donor eggs to recipients.
What are egg donor requirements?
Women can help others experience the joy of pregnancy and childbirth by donating their eggs. Egg donors are healthy women between the ages of 20 and 31. RSC accepts applications from Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California.
There is no cost to the egg donor for any of the procedures or medications. She is compensated for her time and effort; she is not selling her eggs. Most importantly, she feels the great satisfaction of helping others become parents or grow their families.
Potential egg donors can be:
- Anonymous donors. Many women opt to undergo the egg donation process as anonymous donors. These women donate eggs to an infertile woman or couple who also remains anonymous. All donations made to the RSC Egg Donor Program are anonymous.
- Known donors. Sisters, friends or other women close to and known by a recipient may donate eggs. If you are a known private donor, we can make arrangements to coordinate testing in other geographic areas.
Egg donor screening process
RSC’s in-house program has multi-ethnic donors including women of Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern ancestry. All the donors listed in our online registry are already fully screened, ready to participate, and are exclusive to our program. Only donors who meet stringent screening requirements are accepted as RSC donors.
- Age, BMI, location, health history, education
- Detailed application (12 pages)
- FDA risk assessment questionnaire
- Physical exam with nurse practitioner
- Cultures & ultrasound
- Blood tests for AMH
- Blood test for genetic screening, including cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and Fragile X
- Hepatitis, serology/immunology, HIV, CBC
- Hemoglobin panel
- Alcohol and drug
- STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea
- Genetic consultation
- Additional testing may be done depending on ancestry
Refer a friend
Our best egg donors come to us through word of mouth referrals from YOU, our current egg donors. Our patients who refer a friend will receive a $200 referral fee upon completion of the donation cycle. The referral must be a new donor to our program.
Five steps to becoming an egg donor
1. Donor program online application
The first step as a potential egg donor candidate at RSC is to complete an egg donor application online. Our Egg Donor Program liaison will contact you after you submit this application to let you know that your application has been accepted.
2. Medical screening, psychological evaluation & genetic consultation
Once your online application has been submitted and approved, we will schedule you for a blood test to assess your ovaries. If the results are normal, you will be scheduled to complete the screening appointments. This is generally completed in a few hours and includes:
- A 2-hour, in-office appointment that includes an informational session, medical history, physical examination, genetic screening and lab testing for general health assessment and infectious disease.
- A 1 ½ hour consultation with a psychotherapist that includes a psychological evaluation, psychosocial counseling and a personality assessment screening to assist the therapist in the psychological evaluation.
- A 30-minute phone consultation with a genetic counselor to review the genetic screening results from your office appointment.
All screening and testing must be completed and approved before you become an active donor and are available to be matched with egg donor recipients. Screening can take an average of 4-6 weeks from start to finish. Failure to be approved at any step in this process may result in a deferral from our program.
Once all of the above requirements are met, you are then an active member of the RSC Egg Donor Program, congratulations! Your anonymous profile will be made available to recipients to select and match with you. Our Egg Donor Program liaison will stay connected with you while you patiently wait to be matched with a recipient. We will contact you as soon as you have been chosen to participate in an egg retrieval cycle.
4. Cycle coordination
Once you have been matched, your case coordinator will assist you and your recipient(s) in coordinating your donation cycle. You and your recipient(s) will agree on a target month for the egg retrieval. Coordination of your treatment cycle to the recipient’s cycle will occur. This process may take several months based on your normal cycle, the recipient’s normal cycle and your personal schedules. It is important to note that it usually takes 4-6 weeks from the time you and your recipient are synchronized with birth control pills until the actual egg retrieval.
We use ultrasound (sound waves, not X-rays) and blood tests to monitor the development of eggs in your ovaries. To perform an ultrasound, a small probe is placed inside the vagina to look at your ovaries. The process takes a few minutes and is not painful. The blood tests measure your estrogen level, which is another way to determine the progress of your ovaries.
Donation cycle ovary stimulation
Baseline visit and hormone injections. You will start birth control pills with the onset of your period the month your treatment cycle is planned. The birth control pills will last a few weeks, typically, and then you will come to our office for an ultrasound and blood test. This “baseline” exam will determine if you are ready to start your injectable medications. After the examination, you will start taking hormone medications (Gonal-F, Follistim) to stimulate your ovaries to produce many eggs. These medications are injected with a tiny needle into the lower abdomen. Typical side effects include abdominal bloating and injection site bruising, but this is temporary and usually goes away shortly after your completed donation cycle.Dose adjustment. After four or five days of hormone injections, you return to the office for an ultrasound and blood test, which helps us evaluate the development of the eggs in your ovaries and allows for necessary dose adjustments. Continue the hormone injections as instructed by your doctor, who will schedule your next appointment for a couple of days later.
Over the course of the next week, you will continue to have blood tests and ultrasounds to evaluate your ovaries. The blood tests can be daily, or every two to three days depending on your progress. Continue the daily hormone injections until your doctor determines that your eggs are ready. We will advise you not to vigorously exercise or have intercourse during this time period.
When the ultrasound and blood testing suggest that you have mature eggs in your ovaries, you will administer one final injection called lupron/leuprolide acetate. The average donor will require a total of 10-12 nights of injections in order to mature their eggs.
Once you are ready for egg retrieval (egg recovery) as determined by an RSC physician, you will be instructed to take another medication exactly 36 hours prior to the removal of eggs from your ovaries. This medication will bring the eggs to final maturity. The retrieval involves the use of an ultrasound-guided needle to gently remove the eggs from the ovaries. It is a simple, painless procedure, with the use of sedation medication, and takes about 30 minutes. You will be completely relaxed and not remember anything. The aspirated eggs are then available for donation to an anonymous recipient.After the procedure, you will need a responsible adult to drive you home and remain with you overnight, and you should rest for the remainder of the day. You can expect to resume normal activities the following day. We encourage all egg donors to return to the office to make sure everything is going well. You should not exercise vigorously or have intercourse until you get your period, approximately one week later.
5. Reimbursement and follow up appointment
Your decision to become an egg donor is a generous contribution and you will be reimbursed for your time and commitment by the recipient. The total compensation for each completed cycle is $9,500.
The three months before an egg donation cycle can influence the success of the resulting pregnancy. We routinely advise that egg donors optimize their wellness and achieve a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Here are nine suggestions for preparing for an egg donation cycle.
1. Plan ahead! At least three months, if possible.
2. Eat a healthy diet. Increase whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, excess refined sugars and saturated fats. Drink plenty of fresh, filtered water. Limit caffeine to no more than two servings daily.
3. Take a multivitamin. This will provide additional antioxidants to your diet. If you are not already taking a vitamin, start when you begin the birth control pills.
4. Try to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
5. No tobacco usage.
6. In the month before your egg donation cycle starts, limit alcohol consumption to four or fewer servings weekly (servings: beer–12 oz; wine-5 oz; hard liquor-1.5 oz). Avoid binge drinking. Once you start the stimulation medications, alcohol is prohibited.
7. Avoid environmental factors such as chemicals especially plastics (BPA & phthalates), radiation, pesticides and pollution.
8. Once you begin your stimulation medications, avoid moderate to intense physical activity and sex.
9. Maintain a healthy sleep pattern. Practice stress management.
Egg donor FAQ
RSC’s Egg Donor Program is strictly anonymous, and both donors and recipients are counseled about this. What this means is that RSC does not facilitate the sharing of identifying information with or between either party. Recipients will be provided only non-identifying information about your profile such as your physical appearance, personal and family health history information, your education or occupation, and your personal essays. Recipients are granted access to view the photos you provide. However, RSC does not release copies of your photos to recipients.RSC does provide donor and recipient(s) information about the Donor Sibling Registry. If either party ever had the desire to learn more, they may choose to use this resource at their discretion. This is not a requirement to participate in our Egg Donor Program, nor is it guaranteed that either party will ever access this resource. However, we do provide this information so that donors, recipients and/or offspring have information about this resource to access as they choose.
Risks of egg donation
Egg donation carries the same risks as IVF through the egg retrieval stage. These medicines and procedures are unlikely to affect your future fertility, and it is rare that they would cause any major harm to your health. Very rarely a donor could develop an infection or have bleeding after the egg retrieval process.
Stories from egg donors at RSC
“It really is an individual journey for each person,” says Mahshid Albrecht. “At RSC, patients choose their own particular path to create their ideal family.”
Each pregnancy that occurs at RSC has a unique story behind it. Here are a few stories from people who participated in our program. Note: Names have been changed to protect patient privacy.
“It brings me so much happiness that others will have a chance at being able to have cute little babies of their own. It just makes you feel so complete.”
Molly explains what drives her to donate eggs and why she believes other women should consider the “gracious act of kindness.”
Kelly decided to donate because she believes in alternative families as well as the mission and results of RSC.
“Seeing how many couples are affected by infertility truly opened my eyes. I saw what they were going through, and my heart ached for them,” Sarah says.
Gloria chose to donate at RSC so she could give back to people around the Bay Area, where she grew up.
For Sarah, a young donor, the motivation behind helping to create life was a tragedy in her own family.
Tracy, a 42-year-old professional, was a single woman who yearned for motherhood and decided to do it on her own.