7 truths (and myths) about egg donation

  1. Myth: Egg donation affects the future fertility of donors.

Truth: The average woman is born with 2 million eggs. By puberty, that pool consists of about 400,000 follicles (eggs). Form those, only 400 will reach maturity and will be ovulated. This leaves approximately 399,600 unused. In a typical cycle, a woman produces 15-20 eggs. Usually, only one is released for ovulation and the body discards the rest. With egg donation, we stimulate the ovaries to develop the extra eggs that would otherwise be destroyed. This explains why the normal pool of eggs is not depleted by egg donation.

  1. Myth: The egg donation process is painful and involves an invasive surgical procedure.

Truth: The stimulation process involves 10-12 days of injections with a small needle into your belly fat like a TB test. Then, the retrieval is accessed vaginally through the cervix (similar to when you have a pap smear), meaning there are no surgical cuts. The egg retrieval procedure is minimally invasive but performed under IV sedation for the donor’s comfort and only takes 15-20 minutes.

  1. Myth: There are heavy side effects associated with the medication that hinder daily activity.

Truth: There are some side effects that come with the medication, which may include bloating, weight gain, mild pelvic discomfort/ cramping, moodiness, and tiredness. However, many of these symptoms are similar to the symptoms a woman experiences with her normal menstrual cycle. Most women have no issues and are able to continue their daily activities while taking medication.

  1. Myth: The egg donation process is very time consuming and requires donors to take extensive time off school/work.

Truth: The stimulation process only involves 10-12 days of injections and monitoring which is arranged near the donors home for convenience. At Physician’s Surrogacy we only require the donor to come to San Diego for two visits; the medical screening and the retrieval procedure.

  1. Myth: Egg donation is unsafe.

Truth: Have you ever heard of IVF being unsafe? Egg donation is not a mysterious process; it’s the same process a woman undergoes when doing IVF. Over 20,000 cycles are being performed in the United States alone annually. As Richard J. Paulson, president of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine puts it, “there are no long-term adverse risks of IVF or egg donation.”

  1. Myth: Donors could be responsible for the offspring.

Truth: The intended parents invest heavily in your genetic gift. They have full custody of the offspring and there are legal contracts that ensure protection for all parties. A donor can also choose to become an anonymous donor, which means that the identity of the donor is unknown to the intended parents and offspring.

  1. Myth: The child is a carbon copy of you.

Truth: The child will only have part of your genetic make-up. The donor’s egg is combined with either a donor sperm or the intended father’s sperm. There is a common fear that a “mini-me” is running around somewhere, but this is not accurate.

As you can see there are many concerns about egg donation that are simply untrue. At Physician’s Surrogacy we aim to educate our donor’s and empower them to make informed decisions.

To see if you qualify to become one of our donors, click this link to fill out an application.

You’ll find out within 72 hours if you meet the preliminary qualifications and will have an opportunity to discuss any other questions you may have with one of our coordinators.