The Challenges of Being an Egg Donor (and How to Manage Them)

Published on Thursday January 26th, 2023 by WCED

When you become an egg donor, you’re not only donating your eggs – you’re also giving the gifts of hope and life to someone who is unable to become a parent without your help. Whether because of infertility, being part of an LGBTQ+ partnership, or being a single intended parent, egg donation allows many different types of families to come to fruition. All thanks to the generosity of egg donors.

Becoming an egg donor is definitely a powerful experience. Not only are you directly contributing to helping someone achieve a massive life goal, but you’re also financially compensated for your time and effort. However, although this is a life-changing experience, it’s not without its cons. If you’re thinking about becoming an egg donor, it’s important to know about some of the more challenging aspects of the process. Many of these challenges are easy to manage if you’re aware of them and are able to plan ahead.

Egg Donor Requirements Are Strict

In order for a pregnancy to thrive, egg donors must be in good physical, mental, and emotional health. To be accepted as an egg donor, each person must at least meet the following requirements:

  • Have a BMI between 19 and 25 (being overweight or underweight can affect egg quality)
  • Be smoke-free for at least one year
  • Have regular monthly menstrual cycles
  • Be in good health
  • Be willing to undergo a medical and psychological evaluation
  • Have had no STDs or STIs in the past year
  • Have no history of drug use

Additionally, egg donors must also not be on certain types of birth control, specifically Depo-Provera, Norplant, Nexplanon, or any brand of a hormonal IUD. Other requirements include being willing to abstain from getting tattoos or body piercings for at least six months before an egg donation cycle and being readily available for all appointments. Some of these requirements can be a little disruptive, especially if your schedule is pretty tight. It’s best to know ahead of time what the egg donation journey looks like so that you can decide whether donating your eggs is a good fit for your life.

Medication Side Effects

Donating your eggs involves the use of self-injectable medications. Although these medications are generally safe, they can cause side effects. Most of the time, these side effects are relatively minor and go away soon after the procedure. However, one thing to look out for during treatments and procedures is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome {OHSS}. OHSS causes your ovaries to swell and leak fluid into other areas of your body, which can be dangerous. Your doctor should be checking for this throughout each phase of the egg donation process, as well as after egg retrieval. Please contact your doctor immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain and cramping in the abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid weight gain

In order to minimize discomfort and keep yourself healthy, it’s important to take care of yourself after egg retrieval. Don’t engage in any strenuous activity for a few days, and make sure you’re staying hydrated. Notify your doctor if you develop a fever or are experiencing any excessive pain or difficulty eating.

Although it may introduce unexpected challenges, this is not something you have to face alone, and you will likely leave this experience feeling a sense of accomplishment for helping a family in need. Egg donation is common, and many donors turn to friends and family when it feels too much. Finding a safe place or a friendly face to unload freely will do wonders for your journey. If you are interested in becoming an egg donor in California, connect with West Coast Egg Donation today.