BECOME AN EGG DONOR AT SHADY GROVE FERTILITY
Egg donors make parenthood possible for many individuals who are unable to use their own eggs or their partner’s eggs to conceive. Thanks to the generosity of our egg donors, more than 8,000 Shady Grove Fertility patients have become parents. On average, our egg donors donate at least twice receiving $14,500 or more for their time and effort.
BASIC QUALIFICATION CRITERIA
The easy and online initial application measures some of the basic qualification criteria:
- Women between the ages of 21 to 32 with good overall health
- Body mass index (BMI) between 18 to 29.9 (Calculate your BMI)
- Live or work within 1 hour of one of our full service locations
- Travel restrictions based on FDA regulations, which includes limitations related to the ZIKA virus
- Graduated from high school
The decision to become an egg donor with Shady Grove Fertility is not one to be taken lightly. Guidelines are strict in order to ensure the safety of our donors and our prospective egg donor patients. Although the process may require time and dedication, the reward for helping a family is immeasurable.
UNIDENTIFIED EGG DONATION
The Shady Grove Fertility Egg Donor Program provides two unique features that differentiate us from many fertility or donation centers: unidentified and pre-screened egg donors. Even though egg donor candidates are required to submit photos during the application process, sharing adult photos with prospective recipients is not required. Egg donors will never meet the recipient or know the outcome of their donated eggs.
PRE-SCREENED EGG DONORS
Additionally, we screen our egg donors prior to accepting them into our donor program or uploading them as a potential donor on our registry. With this approach, egg donor candidates are compensated throughout the egg donation screening process based on the amount of time and effort they have committed. Pre-screening also reduces the issue of “false hope” that can occur if a recipient selects a donor who is not qualified or available. Ultimately, when the time comes for donation, both the donor and recipient know what to expect.
APPLY TO DONATE
STEP 1: INITIAL APPLICATION
In order for Shady Grove Fertility to consider you for egg donation, you must complete the initial application. Within 24 business hours of applying, we will notify you whether you have been accepted to take the next steps. If your initial application is approved, you will receive an email with a link and password to begin filling out the formal application known as your Egg Donor Profile.
STEP 2: EGG DONOR PROFILE
The Egg Donor Profile is one of the most important aspects of the application process. Why? If selected by an egg donor recipient, is the only information they have about you, their egg donor. It also serves as a way for egg donor recipients to learn about you are during the selection process.
The Egg Donor Profile includes personal and family medical history, essays, photos and an opportunity for you to share why you have decided to become an egg donor. It takes some applicants 1 day to complete and up to 1 month for others. It all depends on how quickly you are able to complete it.
Learn more about completing the Egg Donor Profile.
STEP 3: TESTING AND DONOR DAY
Donor screening is an imperative step in the donation process. It begins with baseline hormone testing and a transvaginal ultrasound to evaluate your hormone levels and potential egg count. These screening results determine your eligibility to continue with the donation process. For women who are not currently on any form of hormonal contraception, screening is typically conducted on days 2, 3, or 4 of your menstrual cycle. For those women who are on birth control pills, the patch, or NuvaRing, the screening is done on the 6th or 7th day of your inactive week (placebo). Following your appointment, you will receive a call from a nurse to discuss the results from your screening. The nurse will inform you if you are eligible to proceed to the next step, which is Donor Day.
Donor Day is a full-day appointment in which you will meet with one of the Shady Grove Fertility nurse practitioners to review your baseline testing results, complete additional testing, review both your personal and family medical history, and learn about the donation process. In addition to this review of your information, you will receive injection training. Once the results are available, you will be contacted by a nurse with instructions regarding next steps.
You will complete the written portion of your psychological evaluation on Donor Day. If the evaluation comes back approved, after medical clearance (all results from donor day return normal), you will be asked to schedule an in-person appointment with a mental health professional. If you are in a relationship, your partner or spouse will need to attend the psychological evaluation with you.
STEP 4: READY FOR SELECTION
Once you receive both medical and psychological clearance as outlined above, we will upload your Donor Profile onto our active donor database for selection! Once selected, you will begin the donation process.
The time frame for a recipient to select you can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. Hint: egg donors who complete comprehensive Donor Profiles and provide high-quality pictures, detailed family medical histories, and thoughtful personal statements have a better chance of being matched quickly with a recipient.
THE DONATION PROCESS
If you are ready to begin the egg donation process, congratulations! Only about 3% of all applicants make it this far for various reasons. At this point, you have already applied to become an egg donor, completed your egg donor profile, attended Donor Day, completed your psychological evaluation, your egg donor profile has been uploaded to the database, and you have been selected by a recipient or recipients. Here is how the egg donation process works:
Upon being matched with recipients, your nurse will contact you to schedule your stimulation cycle. Your nurse will first synchronize your cycle with the recipient’s cycle using birth control pills. Synchronization takes 3 to 4 weeks.
You will give yourself daily injections of hormones, administered in your abdomen, for an average of 10-12 days. These medications will stimulate your ovaries to produce and grow a larger quantity of eggs than what your body naturally produces each month. The injections are easy to administer and have side effects similar to what you experience during your period. During the stimulation cycle, you will come to one of our full-service offices for monitoring appointments to confirm that the medications are working well and the dosing is accurate. This allows our physicians to ensure your safety as an egg donor.
A physician will perform your egg retrieval procedure at one of Shady Grove Fertility’s IVF centers in Rockville, MD; Towson, MD; Chesterbrook, PA; Atlanta, GA; or Tampa, FL. On the day of your egg retrieval, a physician will meet with you to review any questions you might have. You will also meet with an anesthetist who will review your medical history and administer the intravenous sedation you will receive prior to the start of the procedure.
The egg retrieval takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Using a transvaginal ultrasound probe, the physician will guide a needle into each ovary to remove the egg in each follicle. Because you are under anesthesia for the retrieval, the entire visit typically takes up to 3 hours. After the retrieval, you are required to take the rest of the day off but can begin light activity or even return to work the following day. It is required that someone who is 18 years or older is with you for the duration of the appointment and able to drive you home after the retrieval.
How long does the egg donation process take?
While it is difficult to give an exact time frame, from the start of the application process through the egg retrieval/donation, the average cycle is 3 months. This includes the screening and evaluation to become an egg donor, followed by the actual egg donation treatment cycle.
How are donors selected to begin the testing phase?
You must first be initially accepted and then you will be asked to complete and submit the official application (your donor profile) to become an egg donor. It is important you make every possible attempt to answer all questions thoroughly and try to get accurate family medical histories. The donor liaisons not only assess the profile for completeness, including review of your medical history, but also to help determine if the donor applicant meets our recipients’ needs.
If your donor profile clears this portion of the recruitment process, the next step will be for one of our certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNPs) to review your profile and give the initial medical approval to continue with screening. The CRNP may ask for additional information or clarification or decide that the donor should not continue with screening.
How often will I need to miss work or class?
Not often. Donor Day and the day of the egg retrieval are the only appointments where you will absolutely need to request a day off from work or plan to miss classes. You may also need to take time away from work or class to consult with one of our licensed mental health professionals; however, they work very closely with you and your schedule. We conduct the remaining appointments for lab work and ultrasounds early each morning from about 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., allowing you to schedule your appointment before normal working hours.
What effects will the medication have on my body?
The hormone injections that you take are very similar to the hormones that your body produces naturally. Most women do not describe any noted effects directly from the medications. During Donor Day, you will receive a detailed explanation of potential risks and side effects.
How are medications administered?
One of our nurses will teach you how to administer your medications by using a very small needle to inject the medication into a small section of your abdomen.
If I donate now, will I be able to have children in the future?
There is no research supporting any adverse effect on your current or future fertility. About half of our donors are mothers already, and many eventually have children of their own following donation.
Must I have had a child previously to be considered for egg donation?
No. Whether you have had no children or you have had multiple children, you are welcome to pursue this endeavor.
Can I donate more than once?
If one of our physicians approves you to donate again, you may donate up to six times in your lifetime. Approximately 60 percent of cycling donors in any given month are repeat donors. About 2 months following your egg retrieval, a donor team physician will review your donation cycle and the recipient outcomes to determine your future eligibility. This review process can take up to 8 weeks. A Donor Liaison will contact you, update any consent forms, and upload your profile back into the donor registry. As long as all labs are up to date according to our protocol, you can go back on the registry immediately.
What if I have already donated my eggs with another practice?
We are excited to work with you, but do require you obtain copies of your records from your prior donations. Once we review your records, if you’re accepted into our program, we will compensate you based the number of your previous donations.
Where are your offices located?
Shady Grove Fertility has a variety of locations throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, and Washington D.C.
Can I still donate if I do not live in these areas?
We recruit donors who live within a 1 hour drive of one of our 19 full-service offices. If you are unsure if you live within range, please contact one of our Donor Liaisons to discuss your situation.
I live in Atlanta, am I eligible to apply as an egg donor with SGF?
Yes, SGF now has offices in and around Atlanta, GA. This means women living within 1 hour drive time of Atlanta can apply and undergo screening and donation at our Atlanta location.
What will the recipient know about me?
Recipients will only receive non-identifying information conveyed by you in your donor profile. We do not disclose any identifying information to the recipients. To protect your anonymity, please omit children’s names, names of colleges, workplace, location of volunteer work, etc., from your donor profile. We also recommend reviewing your profile again before you submit to check for spelling/grammar errors or issues with consistency of information.
Will I be able to meet or talk to the recipient(s)? Can I know if they got pregnant?
No. We are an unidentified program, therefore we do not allow communication between our donors and recipients. Once you have donated your eggs, you no longer have rights to them or to any information regarding their disposition. Following the egg retrieval, the eggs belong to the recipient(s). It would be a violation of their privacy if we shared information with you.
Must I show my adult photograph?
No. While we do allow donors the option of showing their current photograph in their profile, it is not a requirement. Many of our donors continue to display only their childhood photographs. It is at your complete discretion. Please make sure the photos you submit are not on any social media website, for the sake of anonymity.
Can I tell others about my decision to donate?
We encourage you to discuss your decision to donate with your family and friends.
I recommended a friend for donation. Do you offer a referral bonus?
Yes. For any friend/family member you refer who is accepted as an egg donor, you will receive $100. Referrals are always welcome. Please be sure to advise your friend/relative applying to list you as their referral source. Learn more about the referral rewards program.
We recognize that your decision to become an egg donor is a tremendous gift, but we agree with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) that participants cannot be “paid” for their oocytes/eggs. However, it is clearly recognized that your time, effort, and commitment should be compensated. The total compensation for a completed cycle is traditionally $7,000 for first-time donors. This amount is paid out in phases as you progress through each portion of the screening and donation process:
- After the completion of the donor profile and initial screening (a blood test and ultrasound), potential donors will receive an initial stipend of $75 if they are accepted.
- Upon the completion of attending Donor Day and meeting with a counselor, Shady Grove Fertility will provide a stipend of $425* to women who are accepted into the program and $175 for women who are not accepted.
- At the completion of the donation cycle, donors will receive the final stipend of $6,500.
- Donors completing a second donation will receive $7,500 upon completion of the donation cycle and $8,000 for each additional cycle (we allow up to a total of six donations).
- Donors will receive a 1099 form for tax reporting purposes. Consult your tax advisor for more information.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING AN EGG DONOR
Make a positive impact on someone’s life, be a part of modern medicine, accomplish a new goal, and so much more.
Sophia, a 25 year old nanny, became interested in egg donation. Read why she decided to become an egg donor.
For any friend or family member you refer who is accepted as an egg donor at Shady Grove Fertility, you will receive $100.
Qualifying women, ages 21-32, can earn up to $7,000 for their first donation cycle. Apply today.