Here are some of the questions we hear most often:
Women between the ages of 21 and 31 are considered to have the optimal egg quality, which gives the intended parent the highest chance of conception. Our program requires donors to be at least 21 years old in order to protect their own reproductive health and to ensure that they are mature enough to make such an important decision.
Our donors come from all walks of life, all ethnicities and all levels of education, bringing with them many different and diverse talents.
No. While some of our egg donors already know the joys of parenthood and donate their eggs to help an intended parent experience that same happiness, it is not a requirement.
Intended parents may be struggling with infertility because they:
- were born without oocytes
- experienced menopause prematurely (before age 40)
- have chromosomal problems with their own eggs
- have undergone cancer treatments, which affected their eggs
- have diminished fertility due to age
- are a same sex couple who needs donated eggs in order to build a family
Studies have found that women who donate their eggs feel a long-lasting sense of pride and fulfillment. After going through the donor experience, many women report that giving the gift of life was the best part of it and they take pride in the knowledge that they have made such a profound impact on someone’s life.
In addition to the feeling of goodwill that comes from this act of human kindness, donors receive $10,000 as compensation in recognition of the time and effort required to prepare for and successfully complete an egg donation cycle. Many egg donors find this helpful in supporting their academic goals or in supplementing their regular income. Additionally, the elective egg freezing option for our proven egg donors is a great benefit for those who are not ready to build their own families yet.
Egg donation has been performed worldwide since the mid 1980s and there is no evidence that it decreases subsequent fertility in those who have donated.
At RMA Long Island IVF, we keep a donor's identity anonymous and confidential. Recipients choose donors based on characteristic information such as ethnic background, family health history, height, weight, and previous donation records. Identifying information about a donor is never disclosed to recipients.
No. The recipient identity is never known by the donor in an anonymous donation. Most egg donations are made to anonymous recipients and donors are never told the outcome for these donation cycles.
Although most egg donations are made to anonymous recipients, known donations can be made to friends or family.
Many of our egg donors have donated more than once, though the final approval is made on a case-by-case basis after reviewing the earlier donation cycle and after reassessing the donor’s health. In accordance with the guidelines set forth by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), RMA Long Island IVF policy allows egg donors to donate up to six (6) times during her lifetime. Proven egg donors who come back to donate again are also eligible for our elective egg freezing benefit.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has been around for decades and is commonly regarded as a generally safe medical procedure. However, there are some short-term risks associated with egg donation which can be reduced by both advance knowledge and recognizing the warning signs. Our exceptional clinical team provides education and counseling to our egg donors regarding how to avoid, recognize and address unwanted symptoms or outcomes related to medication side effects, temporary weight gain, increased fertility or the medical procedure. Additionally, egg donors are monitored very closely throughout the medication stimulation phase and come back to the facility for a post-operative appointment two weeks after their retrieval for a checkup.
Dependent on your schedule, the screening process may take several months. After you've been pre-screened and accepted as an egg donor, your anonymous profile is created allowing potential recipients to consider you as a possible donor. Once the actual egg donation process begins (after a recipient chooses you), the egg donation cycle may take approximately four to six weeks.
Yes, you have to stay in the area during the medication phase of the cycle and through the retrieval procedure. The medication phase of the cycle begins when you start the stimulation medication and continues until the egg retrieval procedure (approximately two weeks). During this time you will have to be available daily each morning if needed for monitoring. You will also have a follow-up exam within two weeks after the retrieval to confirm that you are doing well.
Stimulation medication is required daily. You can either inject yourself or have someone else do it for you. Our clinical staff instructs each donor on how to self-administer the medications with small needles which are injected into the abdomen. Alumna donors of our program tell us that the injections were easier than they anticipated in large part to the compassionate teaching skills and the support they received from our nursing team.
In general, most women tolerate the stimulation medications very well. However, since the medicines are injectable and they are hormones, some patients may find some discomfort at the injection sites and some report being a bit more emotional. You may also feel bloating as the egg retrieval procedure date nears but that feeling generally subsides soon after egg retrieval.
You should expect a menstrual period within 14 days after the egg retrieval. The first period is likely to be unusually heavy compared to your average period but this is normal and to be expected as a side effect of the stimulation medication. Following your next period, your body should be completely back to normal.
In accordance with current New York State law, an egg donor has no rights to or responsibility for children which may be created using their donated eggs. The intended parents assume all responsibilities. Egg donors may also chose to consult a reproductive law attorney for advice or further information.