When a woman wants to become an egg donor and provide eggs to couples or single people who may not otherwise be able to conceive children on their own, the first thing she must consider is her age. Most egg donation facilities only accept women who are between the ages of 21 and 35, although there may be a bit of variation, depending on the clinic or program. After 35, a woman may be less likely to respond well to fertility drugs and her eggs have more of a chance of having abnormalities that can increase birth defect risk. In some cases, donation programs require a woman to have given birth or donated eggs in the past. Such requirements sometimes exist because the program managers believe that past birth or donating experience translates into better chances of success with donating.
To become an egg donor, a woman must be in good physical health; before she can be accepted into an egg donation program, a woman will typically have to undergo both physical and gynecological exams. She will also have to provide an in-depth medical history as well as information on her family background. She will need to submit to blood and urine tests as well as a psychological assessment. These things are intended to weed out women who might pass on physical or mental conditions to the unborn child. Additionally, a woman can expect to have her rights and responsibilities explained before she is accepted into an egg donation program.
A woman may not be able to become an egg donor if she has STDs or certain abnormalities of the reproductive system. Many egg donation programs also prohibit smokers and those who are very overweight from becoming egg donors. If a woman abuses drugs or alcohol, has been prescribed medication that alters mental processes, has a good deal of stress in her personal life, is involved in an unstable relationship, or is incapable of understanding the process of donating, she may not be accepted as an egg donor. Likewise, if she has been physically or sexually abused and has not been treated and/or counseled for that abuse, she may be rejected as well. Additionally, a woman probably won't be able to become an egg donor if she has certain inheritable conditions or traits, such as sickle cell anemia.
It can take several months to get through the donation screening process and become an egg donor. As part of the process, a woman will be asked to sign papers indicating her consent. She will have to state that she understands the process of donating eggs as well as the risks involved. She will have to agree to whatever monetary compensation is provided, which tends to average between $3,000 to $5000 US Dollars (USD) per donation. She will also have to sign a contract agreeing to give up any legal rights she would have to any children born from her eggs.
Once the screening process is complete and a woman is approved to become an egg donor, the fertility clinic or facility will attempt to match her with a recipient. This process can take quite some time, depending on the waiting recipients and the particulars of what they are hoping for. When the matching is complete, the actual egg donation process begins.