How much are you paid?
This is almost always the number question. As you may know, it’s a reimbursement for your out of pocket expenses but not an outright payment or compensation for your time and efforts. I use to be pretty offended by this question because it insinuated that I was driven purely by cash, but now I’ve come to understand that it’s a common question because people are very influenced by America where third party donation is a paid procedure.
Does it hurt?
I can only discuss my own experiences here because pain in so subjective. I haven’t been in any pain during any of my cycles, although have a very high pain threshold and am lucky to not experience major side effects most of the time. After my first donation I was in pain because I was hyperstimulated. It’s a risk of donation and patients are monitored to avoid this. I haven’t been hyperstimulated for any subsequent cycles. My procedures have been done under twilight sedation so that I can’t feel any of the EPU itself.
How many injections do you take?
I average about 25 over about a 16-18 day period. That means in under three weeks, I can put myself through mild discomfort for the opportunity for someone to have a baby. It’s hardly an inconvenience when I look at it from this perspective. The recipients are having far more injections and other treatments for many months so that their body is ready to host an embryo. My injections are small fry in the bigger scheme of things.
Do you get to find out about the results of your donation?
I’m entitled to know all sorts of things about my donations, but usually I choose not to. I gave my body 100% of my effort to grow eggs and that’s the only figure that really means much to me. However, if I so choose, I can find out:
- how many eggs I donated,
- how many are fertilised,
- how many last until embryo stage,
- how many are transferred fresh,
- how many are frozen,
- when frozen transfers occur,
- if a baby is born to term,
- the gender of the baby.
If I did known donations where I got to know the recipient before the egg collection, I could contact them directly for more information about the results. There are no legal contracts with known donations so you have to figure out what level of communication works best for all parties.
Have any of your children contacted you?
Firstly, they’re not my children and I am very clear with this.
I am their donor, and they are donor conceived from my eggs. Their parents are the people who love them and bring them up, not me.
To answer the intention of the question; I am available via two registries set up by Births, Deaths and Marriages in Victoria which is my state. My clinic and VARTA www.varta.org.au also have my details. So far no one requested contact which I am comfortable with. All initial contact is through a third party so it’s not like kids unknown to me would be knocking on my door or cyber-stalking me. I like these safety nets in place in Victoria.
- Because it’s such little sacrifice on my behalf for such big rewards for someone else.
- Because I don’t need my eggs for myself.
- Because otherwise they’d go to waste.
- Because I don’t have a strong sense of attachment to the eggs so it’s easier to give them away.
- Because there’s a big need in our community for egg donors and I can help fill that gap.
- Because it feels good to do something truly altruistic.