How soon can I expect to be matched with a set of intended parents?
Once your donor profile has been published in AAG’s online database it can take any amount of time to be matched. For some donors matching can happen very quickly, but for some donors it can take a lot longer. It is important to note that not all egg donors are chosen for Egg Donation cycles. Since the Intended parents make the egg donor selection An Angel’s Gift cannot guarantee to match you. However, you can increase your chances of being chosen by having clear, attractive photos in your profile, having open availability to travel, and cooperating with An Angel’s Gift in regards to keeping your profile current and remitting additional requested information in a timely manner.
Can An Angel’s Gift guarantee that I will match with a set of intended parents?
No. The Intended Parents make the egg donor selection. Our clients take many factors into consideration when choosing an egg donor including physical attributes, personality, and education. An Angel’s Gift cannot anticipate the needs of our Intended Parents nor can we guarantee that you will match the required traits that our intended parents are searching for.
Do I have to live in Colorado to work with your program?
No. We work with donors from anywhere in the United States.
Do I have to travel out of my state to be an egg donor?
No. Donors are not required to travel out of state in order to participate in our Egg Donor program. However, not being willing to travel will most likely significantly decrease your opportunities to donate as our intended parents can reside anywhere within the United States.
What can I expect if I am asked to travel out of state?
If asked to travel out of state we do our best to give you as much advanced notice as possible (in most cases 2-3 months). When asked to travel you will be advised of the city and state of your prospective destination and at that time you can agree or disagree to travel. If you elect to travel, all expenses for yourself and one companion will be paid through the agency. These expenses include, but are not limited to: airfare, hotel, ground transportation, and per diem allowance to cover meals. If you end up having to pay any expenses out of pocket simply provide receipts to An Angel’s Gift. If it is a covered cycle related expense AAG will reimburse you.
You are also eligible to receive childcare reimbursement and missed wages in excess of paid vacation time provided by your employer. The agency will book your airfare and hotel and you will not be responsible for planning your own out of state arrangements.
How long will I be out of state if I agree to travel?
This can vary from clinic to clinic and from donor to donor. However, on average you and your companion can expect to stay in the state of retrieval for approximately five to seven days.
How much money will I have to spend?
An Egg Donor should never out of pocket any expenses. If you elect to travel, all expenses for yourself and one companion will be paid through the agency (see “What can I expect if asked to travel out of state?”).
In addition to these remunerations, if you are not traveling out of your state you are also eligible to be reimbursed for mileage to and from the clinic at the current IRS business rate, over the counter medications prescribed to you by the cycling IVF physician, and any other approved cycle related expenses.
What are some of the risks and side effects of egg donation?
Egg Donation is still a relatively new procedure and the risks associated with egg donation are still being studied. However, of the side effects reported most were minimal and were not serious enough to dissuade a donor from considering a future donation. Please visit our Risks page to find out more information pertaining to possible risksand side effects that could be associated with egg donation. An Angel’s Gift, Inc. is not staffed with medical professionals and any information provided by An Angel’s Gift, Inc. should never substitute an in depth discussion with a licensed physician specializing in the field of reproductive medicine.
Will this affect my own fertility?
No. Most donors who choose to have children after donating their eggs are able to successfully achieve pregnancy without any difficulty. Additionally, egg donation will not ‘use up’ all of your eggs. A healthy female is born with millions of eggs which do not mature until puberty. Many of these eggs die off prior to puberty resulting in approximately 400,000 eggs during a woman’s fertile years. During the course of these years even thousands more will fall off and die with only one or two maturing each month. The average number of eggs collected during a donor cycle can range anywhere from 10-15, although a small percentage of high responders can produce as many as 50 or more oocytes.
Do I have to give myself injections?
Yes. The IVF medications prescribed to mature your follicles are subcutaneous injections which are done in the privacy of your own home. Subcutaneous means that these injections are administered into the fatty tissue of your belly. Since there are hardly any nerve endings in the fatty tissue of your belly these injections are relatively painless.
You will give yourself daily injections for a period of approximately 10 - 20 days. The final trigger shot which is administered prior to the egg retrieval is a one-time injection normally administered intramuscular, or into the buttocks.
The staff at the IVF clinic will show you how to administer these injections. Additionally, there are online instructional videos and resources on our website. Although intimidating, most donors get the hang of it after their first injection and are often surprised at how painless they really are.
I’ve heard the retrieval procedure is painful. Is that true?
Donors are placed under IV sedation and are comfortably sleeping during the procedure. Most procedures last, on average, about 20 - 30 minutes and the majority of donors are released from the clinic within an hour or so. You can expect some cramping and bloating after you wake up and are advised to rest and drink lots of liquids. Most donors questioned did not consider the procedure uncomfortable or painful enough to dissuade them from doing a future donation.
How are the eggs retrieved?
While you are under IV sedation the IVF Physician will use an ultrasound guided needle to aspirate the eggs from each follicle in both of your ovaries. To do this he or she will carefully place the ultrasound probe into the vagina and will access the ovaries through the vaginal wall. The needle will then puncture each follicle within the ovaries and suction out all the fluid. Each follicle will contain one egg. The procedure is complete once all of the follicles have been emptied. The procedure can last, on average, about 20 - 30 minutes.
Will I have to give anything up during my cycle?
Yes. Since pregnancy and/or contracting an STD is a real possibility during your IVF treatment you will be asked to abstain from sexual intercourse during the follicle stimulation phase of your injection protocol and continually after the retrieval procedure until you have had your period.
You will also be asked to abstain from alcohol during the injection phase of your cycle.
Additionally, certain over the counter medications will be off limits during your cycle. One such medication is ibuprofen or similar anti-inflammatory medications. Never begin or discontinue any medication, over the counter or prescribed, without expressed consent from your IVF physician.
Can I still donate if I have had my tubes tied?
Yes. The procedure bypasses your fallopian tubes and accesses the ovaries directly.
Can I donate while I am breast feeding?
No. However, once you discontinue breast feeding you may be eligible to donate after having three healthy menstrual cycles.
Can I donate if I have a Mirena IUD?
Few clinics may be willing to work with a donor who has the Mirena IUD, however, we cannot guarantee that the clinic your intended parents are working with will accept such donors into their program and so a donor can reasonably expect to remove her hormonal IUD at her own expense after she is chosen by a couple. Removing it before being selected is not required however, having a hormonal IUD can add wait time to cycle commencement which may be undesirable to intended parents. The reason for this is because an egg donor would have to schedule removal of the IUD with her OBGYN and then subsequently wait for her period to start again before she could begin medical testing.
Thus, keeping your hormonal IUD in carries a slight risk of decreasing your chances of being selected but this is not certain.
If you have an IUD that does not release hormones such as Paragard you may donate eggs without having it removed.
Can't I just remove my Mirena IUD?
As stated above, removing your Mirena IUD prior to being selected by a couple is not required but keeping it in can add additional wait time to the egg donation cycle.
The choice to remove your Mirena IUD before being selected by a couple is a very personal decision that must be made at your own discretion and risk. If you are considering having your Mirena IUD removed there are three factors to take into serious consideration.
First, you could have your Mirena IUD removed and not be chosen for an egg donation cycle.
Secondly, while some insurance plans cover the removal of your Mirena IUD, some do not. The cost to remove your Mirena IUD is at your own expense (however, all other egg donation related expenses are covered by the Intended Parents).
Thirdly, you could have your Mirena IUD removed, be chosen for an egg donation cycle, and not pass your cycle day three screening due to a myriad of possibilities which could not have been previously anticipated without medical testing. Such possibilities may include unfavorable hormone levels, discovery of an STD, low antral follicle count, indication of substance abuse, presence of an FDA Risk Factor, etc...
If after taking these possibilities into consideration you are still desirous to have your Mirena IUD removed before being selected we suggest you first speak to a representative at An Angel’s Gift to ensure you even meet the preliminary eligibility requirements. And as always, discussion with your OBGYN or health care professional is highly advised.
How long does an entire egg donation cycle take from start to finish?
Once matched, this can vary from donor to donor. On average you can expect to devote about two to three months of your time to an egg donation cycle. The first portion of this time frame consists of one initial visit with the IVF clinic to ensure you are eligible to donate, a psychological evaluation, signing legal contracts, and commencement of birth control pills. The latter part of this time frame (approximately 10 - 20 days) will consist of daily injectable medications and several monitoring visits to the IVF clinic leading up to retrieval.
How much information will the intended parents know about me?
The intended parents will be able to view your photographs and general information contained in your profile such as personality, likes and dislikes, physical attributes, and basic medical history. Your personal information such as address, social security number, last name, phone number, driver’s license number, and email address will be redacted prior to your profile being published. Your privacy and anonymity is very important to us and any identifying information you provide is for agency use only.
Will I meet the Intended Parents?
Donations arranged through An Angel's Gift are anonymous. This means you will not meet your intended parents in person. Your contract with your Intended Parents will stress the importance of anonymity and your clinic will work under this understanding as well. Although we ask in your in depth donor application if you would be willing to meet yourprospective couple this is solely for the Intended Parents information. We will never disclose your identity to your Intended Parents without your express written permission. You may however utilize the agency as a third party communicator to pass messages along to your recipient couple which is always warmly received by the couple who will be receiving your eggs. Likewise, the Intended Parents may also send messages (and upon occasion, even gifts) through the agency to you as well.
What happens to the embryos created using my eggs?
Your Intended Parents may implant the embryos into the uterus of the Intended Mother or a Gestational Carrier to be gestated to term. Subsequently Intended Parents will raise any children born from embryos created using your eggs and will in fact be recognized as the legal parents. However, sometimes there are left over embryos even after Intended Parents feel their family planning is complete. The Intended Parents are then faced with a very difficult decision of what to do with their left over embryos. In such cases An Angel's Gift encourages Intended Parents not to destroy them or donate them to scientific research.
In IVF embryo destruction is rare. Most times intended parents desire to use all of their embryos for sibling projects and AAG fully supports this.
It is important for to understand that neither the Agency nor the Donor can tell the Intended Parents what to do with their excess embryos. Contractually, the embryos are referred to as the property of the Intended Parents. In addition to this, the embryos are protected by HIPAA law. Thereby, any decision the Intended Parents make regarding unused embryos is between them and their doctor. AAG will not get involved in any personal decisions intended parents make regarding their family planning. Our AIM is simply to provide information regarding positive alternatives to embryo destruction.
You can request in your contract with your intended parents that your written consent be obtained prior to any excess ova or embryos being donated for reproductive purposes. An Angels Gift cannot advise either party on such matters.
Why do women choose donate their eggs?
We understand that a woman's motivation to donate is partially financial. However, this should not be a donor's sole motivation to donate her eggs. Intended parents often times pour a mixture of emotions and finances into an egg donation cycle. There are real people on the other end of this equation and we ask donors to put themselves in their shoes. AAG will only work with women who also exude compassion and work within the premise of empathy for the couple they are helping. Our experience has taught us that kindheartedness is truly the key ingredient to success.
What are some of the benefits of becoming an egg donor?
Earning extra income while still going to school or work
All-expense paid trips for yourself and a companion if asked (and willing) to travel out of state
Knowing you’ve helped a fellow human being achieve their dreams of having a baby