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How to Sell Your Eggs: the Business of Human Egg Donation

Last time, we talked about selling hair, donating breast milk, and donating plasma for money, today I’m going to share how to sell your eggs and what to expect in the process.

Is it worth the trouble selling your eggs?

Can anybody just sell their eggs? What are the requirements? Who are eligible?

Egg donation is designed to help families who are unable to conceive the natural way, so they ask the help of fertility doctors, donors willing to share their eggs, or sometimes a surrogate.

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This isn’t new.

In the US, the first recorded donated eggs resulted in a successful transfer and in 1984, the child was born without health problems. Since then, the egg donation, IVF (in vitro fertilization) and surrogacy have become a thriving industry that helps women and families from all walks of life.

Today, while still considered taboo in some cultures, there are many places where you can sell your eggs for a chunk of money and help a couple become a family in the process.

Requirements to Donate Eggs

Being female isn’t the only requirement to sell your eggs. The requirements for egg donor is actually quite a long list. In general, you should be:

  • Between the ages of 21 and 31
  • Have both of your ovaries
  • Physically healthy with no family history of inheritable genetic disorders. This means your BMI must be between 19 and 29, plus have no existing serious illness.
  • Psychologically healthy – You should have no history of mental disorder or psychological issues; plus you shouldn’t be taking psychoactive drugs.
  • a non-smoker and no history of substance abuse
  • having regular and monthly menstrual periods, but be willing to take injections
  • free from contraceptive implants or injections as birth control

Sometimes, your travel history would also be checked to see if you kept away from countries affected by certain diseases, such as Zika. Another medical history likely to be considered is sexually-transmitted infections like gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis, chlamydia and so on.

Many clinics do not list down education as requirement, but reports have shown that fertility clinics do prefer candidates with a college degree.

The screening process, which involves physical exams, interviews, background checks, and psychological tests, takes about 6 to 8 weeks depending on the clinic.

If you tick all the boxes, you can submit an application to become an egg donor. But where do you go?

Where Can I Donate My Eggs?

You can sell your eggs in three ways:

  • Go to an agency – Similar to headhunters, egg donation agencies handle the screening of donors, then match successfully chosen donors with recipients or clinics.
  • Go to a fertility clinic with a donor service – These clinics also handle egg donor screening, but also performs all other steps of the donation.
  • Donate eggs directly to the recipient – In some cases, you can write up an agreement with the recipient and then visit a clinic.

If you’ve found a clinic and wanted to know more about it, make sure to check with the Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report published by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).

Pros and Cons of Selling Your Eggs

Selling your eggs is not as easy as donating sperm.

There are serious life-changing risks involved in becoming an egg donor, but the benefits reflect his completely.

PROS

  • Payment is high. If you go through an agency, they might take a cut of your earnings as a headhunter fee. However, if you go to a fertility clinic on your own and have yourself tested, your chances of getting paid better is high. Direct egg donors that answered ads of a recipient may earn the highest since families usually pay higher than agencies.
  • You change lives. Donating eggs isn’t just fulfilling your monetary needs, but you can actually help other people. Like organ donors, you give couples a chance at a future they’ve envisioned.

CONS

  • Only about 10% of egg donor applicants pass the initial screening. In some clinics, only about 3 to 4 percent of applicants make it.
  • The actual egg donation takes two weeks. Aside from the screening time of around 6 weeks, the actual donation process takes an extra two weeks. As such, you’d need to be fully committed for this donation to consume your free time for several weeks.
  • You can only donate eggs six times your whole life. This is the recommended number of times to sell your eggs, but it is largely undocumented. As such, some donors sell eggs in one hospital, then go to the next.
  • Donating eggs can be fatal. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome occurs when patients who have been injected with too many hormones during the egg retrieval process and then suffer from vomiting, nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain. In some cases, OHSS could even lead to death, as told by the documentary Eggsploitation and the new short Maggie’s Story. Many doctors believe that the cause of OHSS isn’t due to the procedure being dangerous, but because of clinics being reckless with the donors’ health.

What is the Egg Donation Process like?

Clinics have different processes, but in general, they follow similar steps like this:

  1. Send an egg donor application – Most forms will ask about personal stuff (beyond your demographic info), followed by your medical history. Wait for an invitation.
  2. Clinic invites you for some tests and interviews – In the clinic, potential donors would have to undergo physical tests, ovarian function tests, psychological tests, drug test, and other types of medical and psychological exams. This could take several hours, or even multiple days to complete. During this time, a medical practitioner would need to explain how the donation works.
  3. A nurse or doctor teaches the donor how to do injections at home. These injections is made up of hormones that encourage ovarian stimulation and ovulation.
  4. Egg is retrieved from the donor. This step only takes 20 minutes, but uses IV sedation.
  5. Go back to the clinic. You’ll be having post checkups at the clinic, including ultrasound and your overall mental state.

If everything works out, there’s a big chance you might be invited back to another cycle (donate more eggs) in the future.

Egg Donor Pay: How Much Do You Get for Donating Eggs?

Many donors are enticed by the offers to sell eggs on the side. And why wouldn’t you?

Egg donors are usually compensated with money raging from $5,000 to $8,000. Additional expenses, such as parking and lost wages, are also paid on top of the agreed-upon amount.

The Bottom Line

If you came here with your mind made up and ready to sell your eggs for cash, it’s good that you’re trying to do more research.

While donating eggs to help other people does sound good, doing it under clinics that won’t look out for your well-being throughout the process could lead to serious issues, such as removal of ovaries, or even death.

If you’re interested in making money on the side, but have decided not to turn your hair, blood or eggs into cash, you could always sell other things (here’s 20 ideas of things to sell that could get you started).

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