In this day and age there’s a thousand ways to earn money fast, but I don’t think many raise as many questions as egg donation. With just a quick search you can find hundreds of listing for ‘Egg Donors Wanted’ boasting big payouts for helping families. But what really goes into being a professional chicken? Here’s my egg donation review!
In the first week of April I completed my first egg donation cycle, and was rewarded with a good chunk of money. Does that mean it’s really a ‘donation’?! Well that’s kind of grey area but that’s a topic for a different article. I read so many blog posts before I started this journey…and I would say a whopping 70% where negative. I had a great experience, and am actually preparing for my second retrieval with another company at the end of the summer. So don’t believe everything you see on the internet kids.
So here’s the low down on selling your eggs!
First things first is you find an agency to apply to. I’m actually a part of two. (Of the two I recommend Growing Generations! If you tell them Mariah Riney sent you, and you complete a donation cycle we both get a little kick back!) You’ll have to fill out an extremely long survey concerning your health, appearance, your family and your education. If you pass this survey you’ll be matched with a donor coordinator and end up going through a bunch of other steps. I ended up doing a genetic testing, hormone level testing, I submitted dozens of pictures, and wrote a few paragraphs about my education, and professional goals. Evidently my red hair and height was a big factor on being chosen. Some agencies (but not all) have height requirements. I’m 5’8 by the way!
Then you’ll be listed on your agencies online listing! Note this varies from agency to agency. I was matched multiple times with intended parents (IP) but for one reason or another it fell through. It actually took me about 2 years for a match to stick.
After the Match
After being matched I was set up with a travel coordinator. My IP were in the NE so I was actually being shipped out to Connecticut to do my initial testing, and then my actual procedure was there as well. The week of ‘monitoring’ appointments was done here in Scottsdale, AZ.
The trip to Connecticut for initial testing was super quick, clocking in at a grand total of 36 hours! Somehow they managed to squeeze a blood test (12 vials?!), a urine test, a verbal interview with the doctor, a psychical exam with my doctor, a online personality test, a very uncomfortable chat with a psychologist, and a second round of genetic counseling all into a 7 hour period. I felt like a mix of a wild animal being probed and questioned constantly, and a human under alien observation. This was the toughest day of the entire process.
Time For Shots!
Yes you have to give yourself shots. It only slightly sucks. My (at the time) boyfriend actually used to be an EMT so he gave me my first day of shots and then I did the rest. I just told myself that the gauge of the needles used for the shots was smaller than my nose piercing! It didn’t make it hurt less but ya know…whatever gets the job done.
Every other day during the shots period I headed to my Scottsdale monitoring for a blood test and ‘probing’ as I called it. In reality it’s a vaginal ultrasound and was more awkward than painful. Also, it’s really cold!
Then a few days later I shipped off to the NE. Luckily I work remotely so this didn’t really change anything. You definitely need a flexible workplace. I only knew my retrieval date about 11 days beforehand so it would be hard to put in for vacation I imagine.
I was minorly uncomfortable, but much less than I expected. Just some general bloating and tiredness. The doctors warned me of complications and said I probably wouldn’t want to wear skinny jeans for the week before retrieval. I felt more or less fine, besides being jet-lagged, but I kept my jaunts short so as to keep my chances for complications down.
However, my biggest complaint from the entire medication process was from the trigger shots. They made me feel horribly drunk for about 12 hours after, and then I had horrible motion sickness for about a week after doing them! I have to apologize to all my sisters for making fun of them for motion sickness in the past. UGH! Oh, and TMI, but you won’t have a bowel movement for 8-10 days after retrieval. My nurse didn’t tell me this and I was very concerned.
Why the shots?
Well I’m not a doctor, so ask them the real questions. Here’s my down and dirty version. Your body starts to cultivate multiple eggs before you actually ovulate normally. Then your body picks the best one (or two if you’re extra cool), and ships those out. The shots basically tell your body to not get rid of the ‘extra’ follicles/eggs, and actually make more! You also do shots to delay ovulation. The trigger shot(s) are actually just an amped up version of the hormone your body uses to induce ovulation. That’s why it is so specifically timed before your procedure.
While I was alone across the nation I ended up doing very short walks and took myself to an aquarium. Look at this handsome fella!
They ended up triggering me a day earlier, which meant my ex-boyfriend and I actually had a free day before we shipped back to my beloved desert! My agency handled everything, from the travel, to an Uber I could use every day and my hotel! They gave a food stipend for me and a guest and paid for his travel as well. So after some rapid emailing, they got him on a plane a day early and on his way to me. You have to have someone there to take care of you, so I would find someone with a flexible schedule to be your nurse.
The actual retrieval was easy-peasy. I was very nervous, but more because I don’t really like anesthesia. I dressed in a gown and waited for a half hour before they took me into the procedure room. They strapped me into some pretty severe looking stirrups and pointed a light where I prefer lights not shine…but ya know I signed up for this so here I am!
I closed my eyes and awoke to my awesome ex-boyfriend looking at me in the recovery room. The entire thing took under 2 hours!
The next day we actually Ubered to NYC and did some touristy things. We took a bus tour of the city and walked around the Natural History Museum. I was definitely winded and got motion sickness from the littlest things, but I felt good enough to enjoy the day. We even walked around Central Park!
The Why Behind It
Overall if you’re thinking about donating eggs, know that it’s really not as scary as every one says! There are a lot of variables depending on you and your IPs. I actually didn’t know my IP’s were two males until about two weeks before. Coming from a LGBTQA family it made it that much more special.
I knew I was meant to do this.
I won’t ever meet my IP’s or my egg-babies, but I’m glad I got to help them create a family!
You’ll go through talks with lawyers, doctors, nurses, coordinators and so many other people. It’s a whirlwind, but it’s one what is very rewarding. I’ve been wearing that necklace every day since I got home, and it honestly means just as much as the big check I got in the end.