Are you considering egg donation but have questions? Each month our egg donor specialist and two-time egg donor, Joanna, hosts a live informational webinar to explain the basics of egg donation, share from her experience, and answer questions. In the most recent webinar, there were many questions that pertained to all women who are first learning about egg donation, so we thought we would share:

What are the best kind of photos to submit to become an egg donor?

With two sets of photos that we require from our donors, there are two different sets of criteria to consider. With regards to your childhood photos, we would like five photos from age 4 to 12. This age range typically describes preschool to middle school, so therefore a great option would be to use your yearbook photos, which you could then scan or take a picture of. When taking a picture of a printed out picture, it is important to avoid a glare.

While it may be tempting to use an adorable “Throwback Thursday” shot that you have posted to Instagram, we ask that you refrain from using pictures that have been posted to social media. This rule applies to your adult photos as well—we ask for simple, clear pictures that clearly display your developed features (hair color, eye color, complexion, etc.). Appropriate pictures can simply be a photo of just you taken on a smartphone with a solid background.

Does being on birth control affect the egg donation process?

Yes, birth control can affect the egg donation process depending on the type. Most birth controls are generally accepted during the process, however, birth control methods like Implanon or Nexplanon (implant in upper arm) or the Depo-Provera shot cannot be used during the process as they can skew hormonal testing results.

While it is not suggested to abandon your birth control method immediately (as there are many factors that contribute to donor selection), if you do choose to have your implant removed, you will be able to be considered for donation after you have had three regular periods post-removal. If you choose to stop your Depo-Provera shots, we are able to consider you for donation 10 to 12 months after your last shot and after three regular periods.

Are you taking all of my eggs – can I still have a baby later on?

There is a common myth that egg donation can result in the inability to have your own children because you are losing all of your eggs—this is false! When eggs are donated, we simply take the eggs that would have naturally been discarded by your body that month.

Are the medications painful?

The medications are administered through a very small needle that is injected into the fatty tissue of your midsection. It is relatively quick, easy, and manageable.

Can you still have sex during the egg donation process?

The short answer is no, you cannot have sex during the process of egg donation. This is because you will not be on birth control, and your eggs will be stimulated, primed, and ready for pregnancy. Even with protection such as male or female condoms, the risks are too high.

Can you still exercise during the process?

You can exercise regularly for the majority of the egg donation process, however, during the 2 weeks of your egg donation cycle, for your own safety, we ask that you refrain from any heavy exercise (essentially anything more than walking) to avoid negative side effects that may come from the increase in ovary size due to stimulation. The general rule is to withhold from exercise for the 2 weeks during the egg donation cycle and for 2 weeks after donation.

How long will it take to know if you’ve been accepted? 

After submitting your initial application, it will take about 15 to 20 minutes to receive a response. However, if we have any follow up questions, it make take up to 12 business hours.

Your egg donor profile will be reviewed in 24 to 48 business hours. After your baseline appointment, donor day, and social work appointment, you will be informed if you have been accepted into the program or not. The entire screening and evaluation process takes about 1 to 2 months.

What happens after you become an active egg donor?

As we are a fresh cycle database, you are only stimulated once an egg donor recipient selects you. It is a very exciting experience to know you have been selected—this way you know that your eggs are going to be used to help a family (or families) have a child.

What should you include in your egg donor application essays and personal statement?

Much like a college application, these essays require some humble bragging. Play up your skills and traits that can allow you to connect to another person, such as your favorite TV shows or that you’ve played the piano since your childhood. Ask yourself, how am I unique? The essays allow the recipients to see you as a real person, so let them get to know you.

How often can you donate your eggs?

It takes about 6 to 8 weeks for a physician to review your donation (whether it was safe, the quality and quantity of your eggs, etc.) before you may donate again. You may donate your eggs three times in a year, but according to the governing body of infertility, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) standards, there is a maximum of six donations in your lifetime. For tax purposes, we recommend donors cautiously choose how frequently they donate in 1 year.

About 66 percent of donors will repeat the donation process, so talk to your physician when they call you for a follow up for more information about the next steps to take if you would like to donate again.

Have more egg donor questions?

Please email [email protected].

If you are interested in learning more about egg donation or to have some of your egg donor questions answered and want to speak with a former egg donor, call 1-888-312-4499. If you would like to get started, apply today!