Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long has this procedure been in use?
2. Will this affect a donor's future ability to have children?
3. Are there any other long term health effects?
4. What are the possible side effects of the medications?
5. How long does it take to be matched with a couple?
6. Are there "leftover" eggs?
7. Does the donor need to restrict her activities during the cycle?
8. Is the egg retrieval painful?
9. Where are the fertility practices located?
10. Can donors and recipient couples meet?
[MORE] Questions Answered by Donors
The procedure for egg donation has been in use for over 30 years. In that time the procedure has steadily improved. There are now hundreds of cycles performed all over the United States every month.
No, this will not affect the donor's ability to have children. All women are born with approximately 250,000 eggs. She is not "using up" her eggs.
There are no long term health effects that are known at this time. This procedure has been in use for over 30 years.
Most donors do not experience side effects. The possible side effects are similar to PMS (premenstrual syndrome). All of the potential side effects will be reviewed in detail when you meet with us, provided to you in writing, and reviewed again at the fertility clinic.
Matching can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years. It usually takes about 6 to 9 months. The fact that it sometimes takes a long time to be matched is not a reflection on her desirability as a donor. It is a reflection on the fact that couples are usually looking for specific characteristics such as hair color, eye color, height, facial features and sometimes personality that are similar to that of the intended mother.
No. All of the eggs are fertilized immediately with the father's sperm and become embryos. Leftover embryos are frozen for possible future use by the couple.
For two and a half weeks during the cycle the donor needs to refrain from sexual relations, alcohol consumption, and vigorous exercise.
No. The donor is given intravenous sedation so that she sleeps through the procedure.
SFDN works with fertility clinics in San Francisco, the East Bay, and the South Bay.
Donors and couples are given the option of meeting or not, according to their mutual preferences. These options will be explained in more detail in a meeting with SFDN. No information will ever be disclosed about couples or donors without their explicit permission.
Below is a description of the process from a woman who donated four times.
1. What was it like to be a donor?
"I got to meet 3 of the 4 couples for whom I was a donor, and each time was fascinating and special. After my first cycle, when I found out the mother was pregnant, it was a profound experience for me."
2. Was it hard to give yourself injections?
"During the cycle, I found it was easy to give myself injections and that they were no more painful than getting pinched. It does take responsibility to take the injections at the same time each day, and sometimes I had to rearrange my schedule, but it wasn't really such a bother."
3. Was the clinic staff supportive?
"The staff at the fertility clinic was amazing! They always took time to answer my questions and explain to me everything during my visits. The donor has to make 5 to 8 visits to the clinic, most of them short. They were usually able to schedule me early in the morning, to have the least interruption to my day."
4. Why did you decide to do it again?
"After the first cycle was over, I was very happy for the recipient couple and was glad that I could help a family in this way. I have learned that the pain of infertility is very real, but young, healthy women can help families to be complete with a child they will love and value very much. Regarding the compensation, I felt that the amount of money I received for my donation fee was well worth the time commitment and effort that was required."