Recently, U.S. News & World Report interviewed SGF employee and two-time egg donor, Julia Martin, and SGF Donor Egg Program Director, Michele Purcell, MHA, RN, for the article Should You Donate Your Eggs? to discuss the intrinsic benefits of donating, what the process is like, and what to look for in an egg donation center.
“I would never donate my eggs.”
She was working at a university when Julia Martin first heard an ad about egg donation. She turned to her cube-mate and said “I don’t know why people would donate eggs,” and her friend said, “I did that!” Two egg donation cycles later, Julia is in a much different place and says that donating her eggs was among the best decisions she’s made.
As stated in the original article, “’[Donating my eggs was] the most special I’ve ever felt … in adulthood,’ says Martin, 24, whose name has been changed in this story since she donated her eggs through Shady Grove Fertility’s anonymous program before joining its staff. ’It makes an impact on who you are as a person. It fundamentally shaped me.’”
5 Things to Know about Donating Your Eggs
The article shares five tips about getting started with egg donation.
- The first step is to find out if you’re eligible. The process starts with a simple online application. Basic eligibility requirements help applicants quickly identify if egg donation is a plausible option. At SGF, these requirements are based on age, education, general health, distance from one of our 19 full-service office locations, etc.
- The next step is learning what you should expect if you are going to donate. This is very important for all applicants to research and take into consideration. Egg donors are compensated because a commitment of their time and efforts during the egg donation process is required. Once selected to donate, egg donors will go through IVF (in vitro fertilization). We understand this is not light task, so to ensure egg donors have an appropriate understanding and expectation of what it means to donate, the SGF egg donation process includes a 4 to 6 hour Donor Day with a nurse as potential donors learn everything about egg donation. Each egg donor candidate also meets with a mental health provider to ensure they fully comprehend what it means to donate eggs.
- The next step involves learning what risks may be associated with egg donation. Egg donors do go through IVF and, as with any medical procedure, there are risks. Some egg donors, like Julie, choose to discuss their decision with their OB/GYN.
- Time to research, as not all fertility centers or egg donation centers are equal. Has the egg donation center worked with a lot of egg donors? How quickly are egg donors selected once they are approved to donate? According to Michele Purcell, about 15,000 women apply to donate each year at SGF. At SGF, egg donors are in high demand—often being selected to donate within the day for repeat donors and within 1 month for first-time egg donors. Be sure you are investing your time and energy in a donation center where you will be selected.
- And lastly, why you are donating? While all egg donors are compensated for their time and efforts at SGF, we have found that the majority of women who make it to egg donation are doing it because they want to help another family. According to Julia, “[By donating your eggs], you’re giving away something that’s very precious to these recipients, to them, this is the end of a very long road.”
To speak with an egg donor specialist, please email Askadonor@integramed.com or call 1-877-DONATE-EGGS to learn more about donating eggs.