From our companion site, Ask Kate:
Q: I’ve been looking into egg donation and researching it for about three years now, and I’m at a place in my life where I think it would be beneficial all the way around. So now I just need to know how to get started, like – where to go?
A: Well, first start thinking about logistics. Translated: who will you tell, how much genetic information do you know, can you fulfill your obligation and also work or go to school, how do you feel about sticking a needle in your stomach… ? These sorts of questions.
First of all, you’ll need help. You’ll need at least one friend who knows what’s up so that you have a support system, as small as it may be, and help when it comes time for your retrieval – you will need a chaperone to drive you home after (and it’s best your friend know what she/he is getting into, because they’ll pull up to a place that says “fertility clinic” – tell them ahead of time).
Secondly, you’ll need to know a lot of info about your family’s genetic history. Any and all “ish” in your lineage needs to be disclosed, so you’ll either need to know it, or find out about it.
Next, it’s not just a personal decision you’re making, it will take a decent amount of time and a massive amount of commitment. It will, most definitely, interrupt your daily life. Not in a bad way, but in a real way. If you have a Monday-through-Friday job that’s 9-5, your job will be affected. You will have twice-weekly doctor’s appointments, sometimes more often and possibly even daily as you approach your retrieval date. Once you have the retrieval, you’ll need a solid 4-5 days to recuperate. Depending on your body, you may need to be on your couch, not sitting at your desk. And the calendar you follow will be exact. The dosage is exact, the time of injection is exact – your life will revolve around your schedule of medication. But the timeframe is NOT exact, so you’re beheld to a timeline that might change.
And lastly, you have to consider the fact that you’ll be injecting a needle into your abdomen (or thigh, but abdomen is easier, oddly) once, sometimes twice a day. If you’re squeamish and/or hate needles and/or doctors and/or are afraid of anesthesia, this is not for you.
It’s a to-do for a few weeks. You don’t have to commit to two years of egg donation like I did, but it’s also not a decision that should be entered into lightly. Read up on my blog and see what you think, and if you’re into the ride, take it. It’s the most amazing experience I’ve gone through.
- Kate, 6-time BHED donor
Also, as a staff side note: We always recommend registering with an agency if you decide to pursue egg donation. This process involves a lot of coordination, especially if you’re asked to travel, and a good agency will guide you through the process from start to finish, help make all of your arrangements, and refer you to a great attorney when it comes time to review your donor contract. When you find an agency you feel good about, you can generally start the process by applying on their website. BHED will also schedule a time for you to come in for an in-person interview (or send you a webcam if you live out of the immediate area) so we can meet you face-to-face and you can discuss any questions you have with a member of our donor team. Best of luck!