How Many Times Can You Donate Your Eggs? (And Other Common Egg Donation Questions)

I’ve witnessed loved ones’ infertility first-hand and want to help couples achieve their dreams.

I need to fund my round-the-world trip.

I feel like I need to do something to help others.

Whatever your reason for considering egg donation, there’s no right or wrong answer.

However, it’s not a decision that’s as easy to make as donating blood. Deciding to donate your eggs takes some thought and understanding of what’s involved and what you can expect.

From how many times can you donate eggs to what happens during the retrieval process, let’s explore some of the burning questions you may have about egg donation.

Who Can Donate Their Eggs?

Each clinic will have their own discerning criteria for egg donors. These must be met when you undergo the various drug tests, medical history examinations, and psychological evaluations required.

It sounds rigorous, doesn’t it?

There’s a reason for it!

These clinics are responsible for finding healthy candidates for single women and couples who are desperate to have their own child. There’s a lot at stake.

Plus, they need to ensure you’re in optimum health for your own safety, too.

If you meet the industry standards for egg donors below, your chances of succeeding as a candidate are far higher:

  • 21 to 33 years old
  • Not using drugs or smoking
  • In good emotional and physical health
  • Don’t carry a sexually transmitted disease
  • Able to self-administer injections
  • Available for at least three months

How Are Your Eggs Retrieved?

After you receive the approval from your clinic, you’ll need to take various medications prescribed by your doctor. These help stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs ready for retrieval.

Once matured, you’ll administer a shot which triggers the release of these newly matured eggs.

On the day of the retrieval, you’ll be placed under light anesthesia and your eggs will be extracted from each follicle using a thin needle.

Your eggs are then transferred to the recipient (if providing fresh donor eggs) or frozen until they’re needed.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Egg Donation?

This differs for each individual. The majority of women are able to return to their usual day-to-day activities the very next day. You may experience cramping, abdominal pain, light bleeding, and constipation during this time. These are the most common side effects and should ease quite quickly.

What Are the Risks of Donating Eggs?

Alongside the aforementioned side effects, there is also an uncommon risk involved you’ll need to be aware of – Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).

The hormone medications injected during the stimulation phase may cause OHSS in a very small number of donors. Your doctor will vigilantly monitor you for this, but you’ll need to watch out for key signs afterward, too. These include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Severe abdominal cramping and pain
  • Sudden weight gain

OHSS is successfully managed in the majority of cases, and early diagnosis helps speed and ease the recovery process. It’s important to keep in mind that the trigger medication currently used has decreased the risk of OHSS when compared to triggers used in the past.  

How Many Times Can You Donate Eggs?

After you’ve experienced this process and found how rewarding and straightforward it is, you may want to donate again.

But how many times can you be an egg donor?

Again, this often depends on the clinic and you as an individual, but the maximum number is often six cycles.

Why?

Despite there being no evidence of long-term risks associated with donating eggs, having limits in place helps protect donors from unnecessary risks.

Plus, per donation cycle you may have one recipient family. This family may have 1 to 3 children using your eggs. Limiting how many donations you can make reduces the risk of these children from different egg-donation families unknowingly meeting each other.

Your Altruistic Journey

Hopefully, the above offers answers to some of the key questions you may have on your journey to becoming an egg donor. After all, understanding the requirements and potential side effects is essential to making this important decision.

If you still feel you need a little extra help coming to your decision – perhaps this will help: 1 in 8 couples currently face infertility. When donor eggs become the option they’ve been looking for, you could provide them with the final piece in their puzzle, helping them complete their perfect family.

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