Egg donation story, how old do you have to be to donate eggs.#How #old #do
I’m happy to answer any questions or explain things more clearly if I’ve failed to do so here. Feel free to email me if so. But please check the FAQ list below in case I’ve already answered your question. These are all questions I’ve been asked since putting the original version of the webpage online in January 2004. Some of them are now more obviously answered in the main text of the webpage. In some cases I have edited the wording of several similar questions into one.
A. At the London Fertility Centre in London, UK. The Logan Centre, whose advert I responded to, is a daughter organistion of the LFC, specialising in the recruitment of egg donors.
A. The ovarian scans were uncomfortable but not painful, and didn’t last long. The blood samples required for checking the right level of hormone was being taken hurt a bit more, but if you’ve ever had a blood sample or donated blood you should have an idea of whether it is something you can stand or not. The first preparation injection and the daily injections during the cycle were with fine needles into the fatty area over my belly. I felt them but they didn’t really hurt. The final pre-collection injection was with a rather bigger needle and hurt briefly. If it had been carried out by a skilled nurse rather than me, it probably wouldn’t have hurt at all.
For details on all of these procedures see the Preparation and Donation cycle stages of the story.
No, I did not get paid for my eggs. I did get my expenses refunded and loss-of-earnings paid for the time I took off work for the preliminary examinations and counselling, and for the final egg collection. Everything else I was able to fit in around my work hours, so didn’t need to take time off.
It is illegal in the UK to be paid for your genetic material. Only refunds of expenses are allowed. I understand that things are different in the USA, where there are no such restrictions and women with the “right” qualities can make hundreds or even thousands of dollars selling their eggs. In my opinion this is distasteful and I am glad my country bans such payments. To me it seems impossible to set a price on a child, and to do so devalues the gift the donor is making.
That said, if you live in the USA, or are prepared to travel there, and don’t have the moral qualms I do, then I am sure clinics based there will tell you what the going rates are and the most sought-after characteristics. Try Googling.
A. I was assured by the doctors at the Logan Centre that it was unlikely anything in the process of donating eggs would affect my own fertility. I recently gave birth to my first child, and had no problems getting pregnant, so clearly my own fertility was not affected.
A. It was something I had to think quite hard about before deciding to go ahead. Of course, as the donation was unsuccessful it’s now only a theoretical issue, but the reasoning below is what led to me being happy to donate.
I’ve always wanted children, but also really enjoy my career. At the time I decided to donate, I had had a bad ending to a long-term relationship some months previously and was very wary of getting too involved with anyone else too quickly. I didn’t want to be a single mother but I was feeling very broody. I hoped that knowing there was a child of my genes in the world would help ease the broodiness – certainly considering the possibility did so. I would regret not knowing him or her, but I would be relieved to know they existed, and I’m pretty confident that my genes would give them the ability to cope with most things in life. Also they would be very much a wanted child and have a loving family around them, which I couldn’t provide.
I’ve always considered donating eggs a poor second-best to having my own children, for me, but never a bad thing for the resulting child. So I would have regret but not sadness, and I think it would reduce over time as I got involved with other things.
I was told that counselling for donors who want to donate to someone they know is rather more thorough. This is because it’s much easier to say goodbye to the potential child at the egg stage, than watch a child growing up knowing they’re yours and yet not yours. I know I would find that situation very difficult myself.
Some clinics operate a ‘halfway house’ of pool-donation. This is where you donate, but not directly to the recipient that you know. Instead you’re matched anonymously to another recipient on their list, and after you’ve made one donation cycle, your known recipient gets put on the priority list and matched to the first available suitable anonymous donor. This way you avoid some of the relationship stress of donating to a known person, but still help speed up their treatment (and indirectly help someone else too).
I think only you can decide how you’d feel seeing your friend/relative bring up a child that was partly yours. I know that these are very emotional issues, and I don’t want to put you off donating unnecessarily because there’s such an egg shortage generally. However, I think it’s very important to remember that your body and your emotions matter just as much as anyone else’s. Don’t let yourself be pressurised into donating; don’t do it unless you are comfortable accepting the physical and emotional risks: I was for me, but I am not you, and only you can decide this one. You should feel no shame in saying no if you don’t feel able to.
A. As I said in answer to the question above, donating eggs to someone you know has more complications than donating anonymously. Whatever clinic you go to should help you think through the consequences so that you are sure it’s what you want to do. Watching a child grow up, who has your genes but is not yours can be far more difficult than knowing that someone somewhere is raising your descendant. If you don’t think you can cope with it, then don’t do it – it is always your body and your decision and you should not let yourself be emotionally blackmailed.
I don’t know what clinics consider an upper limit for egg donation and I would really suggest talking to a fertility clinic about it. They should take your reservations seriously. During my own counselling pre-donation one of the questions they asked was “How will you feel if you donate eggs now and later find out for some reason you can’t have children?” which I hadn’t really considered and the counsellor insisted I think through carefully. So it must be a common question.
A. Certainly I was not scarred emotionally by the experience: I was disappointed that my recipient didn’t get pregnant but as I was matched anonymously I could hardly be very deeply hurt by her disappointment. I would not donate again, but that is because I now know I am in the very small minority of women who may develop Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome: I do not choose to put myself through a painful and risky experience again for a stranger.
A. No, I didn’t get particularly emotional that I noticed. However, I’ve rarely had PMS-type emotional reactions to hormones I did have more cramps than usual when bleeding. So I’d regard the effect of the hormones as making any normal reactions more intense.
A. I didn’t particularly hurt afterwards, but I was very sleepy for the rest of the day after the eggs had been collected. I went back to work the day afterward. However, I did have trouble with Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome (only a small percentage of women get this, I happen to be in the unlucky few) and I couldn’t do anything physical for about 5 days starting a couple of days after the egg collection. As my job is quite sedentary I didn’t need to take any of that time as leave. If I’d had a more physically demanding job I would have had to call in sick. Of course, if I’d been in the large majority of women who don’t get OHSS at all, I would have been just fine.
A. I didn’t pay for anything. I was refunded for all my travel expenses and loss of earnings for needing time off work. I believe the recipient of my eggs was charged for all my expenses and all the medical work on me as well as herself.
A. For obvious reasons you cannot be on the pill or other hormonal contraceptive control during the donation process. In addition, during the final cycle the injections that cause multiple eggs to ripen make you “super fertile” as my doctor put it. During this time (3-4 weeks) I abstained as I really didn’t want to risk a breaking condom.