There are thousands of women at any given time that cannot become pregnant using their own eggs. Whether the reason is previous disease, chromosomal abnormalities, early menopause, premature ovarian failure, or simply poor egg quality, hopeful parents are often able to successfully become pregnant by using donated eggs from younger, more fertile women in the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). At Beverly Hills Egg Donation (BHED), we connect outstanding young women who are willing and able to give this life-changing gift to recipients looking to build a family.
Our program includes comprehensive screening, education, and cycle management -- all provided with the highest levels of professionalism, confidentiality, empathy, and support.
Why Should I Donate My Eggs?
Becoming an egg donor is a unique opportunity to assist others in fulfilling their dream of becoming parents. Many individuals and couples cannot become pregnant without the assistance of an egg donor. You may know someone who has struggled with infertility and felt hopeless. There are thousands of couples desperately searching for an egg donor like you who will give them that hope. Your generous donation of eggs will give someone who is experiencing infertility the opportunity to create a child of their own and experience the joy of parenthood. Giving the gift of life takes only a small amount of your time, but will provide the recipients a lifetime of happiness.
In addition to the personal satisfaction you will have knowing you have helped create a family, you will receive compensation for your inconvenience and time, and all of your expenses are paid by the recipients, including travel expenses if required. There is absolutely no cost to you.
The BHED Egg Donor Application Process
The ideal BHED Egg Donor is a woman between the ages of 21 and 29 who lives a healthy life, has a clean medical history, has completed some advanced studies, and is genuinely committed to the donation process.
The application process begins with our prescreening questionnaire that you, the prospective egg donor, complete online, to help us determine if you are a potential candidate. If you meet our initial selection criteria, you will be notified on-screen and/or by email that you can then proceed to our long-form application, where you will complete your personal profile. The personal profile is one of the most important tools in assessing your suitability as an Egg Donor.
Your profile will include information about you, your family, and your medical history, as well as a personal "photo gallery". Once completed, your application will be reviewed. Should you meet all our egg donor program requirements you will be invited to an in- person interview. The interview is your opportunity to ask any questions about egg donation and our opportunity to ask additional questions that will help us make our final determination. When you have completed the entire application process you will be notified if you have been accepted into our egg donor program.
If you are accepted into the egg donation program, your profile will become accessible to our registered recipients (also known as "Intended Parents"). However, the profile that the recipients see will exclude your personal contact information, including your last name, address, etc.
There are some clinical reasons why a donor's eggs will not be deemed acceptable for Egg Donation. Listed below are some of the behaviors/conditions that automatically disqualify women from our Egg Donor program.
These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- If you have injected drugs or engaged in prostitution within the last five years
- If you have been diagnosed with syphilis, Chlamydia or certain other infectious diseases within the last year (if treated, you must be deemed disease-free for at least 12 months)
- If you have a BMI (body mass index) which is beyond the currently accepted "healthy" levels
- If you have traveled to the UK or Europe during FDA-designated "mad cow risk" time periods
- If you have a medical and/or family history of birth defects that required surgery (such as cleft lip, Spina Bifida, or a heart defect), Huntington's Disease, Hemophilia, Tay-Sachs Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, major medical problems, mental handicaps and/or psychiatric problems.
- If you are a carrier of the gene or genetic mutation for certain diseases or syndromes (i.e. Tay-Sachs, Sickle Cell Anemia).
BHED reserves the right to decline any applicant at our discretion. All information in your application is kept secure on our password protected website.
The Matching Process
The match begins when you are notified that the match is confirmed and when you verbally accept. A written contract between you and the Recipients will then be drafted. For legal reasons, we require that you speak with an attorney in order to ensure that you are aware of all aspects of the egg donor process, including your responsibilities (as well as those of the Recipients). We are happy to assist you in choosing an attorney with whom you are comfortable. Your attorney's fees will be paid by the Recipients.
At the beginning of the process, it will be necessary for you to undergo a thorough medical examination, including a pelvic exam, blood draw to check hormone levels and to test for infectious diseases, and an ultrasound to examine your ovaries, uterus and other pelvic organs. In addition, you will be referred to a psychologist who will speak with you to determine if you are mentally prepared to undertake and complete the donation process. These evaluations are necessary to ensure you are fully prepared and capable of completing the egg donation cycle safely and successfully. These evaluations will be done at no cost to you.
The Egg Donation Process
Once the screening is complete and the contract signed, you will begin the donation cycle, which typically takes between 3-6 weeks. There are two parts to a successful egg retrieval procedure: the Egg Donor’s Cycle and the Recipients’ Cycle. The Egg Donation Cycle will begin with a few weeks of birth control pills (to synchronize your cycle with the Recipient’s), followed by injections that will temporarily halt your ovaries’ normal functioning. An initial injection will be given to you at the doctor’s office where you will also be given instructions on how to properly administer the injections yourself. These injections must be administered on a daily basis for one or more weeks (typically not more than 3 weeks.)
The next step is to stimulate egg production. You will be given follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) to increase the number of mature eggs your body will produce. FSH injections are similar to the natural hormones your body produces. The FSH is typically injected just under the skin for a period of ten days. If you are unable to administer the injections yourself, you will have to arrange for someone to administer them for you. Throughout the cycle your doctor will continually monitor you. They will run blood tests and perform ultrasound exams to determine your reaction to the hormones and the progress of follicle growth.
Once the doctor decides the follicles are mature, she will establish the date and time for your egg retrieval. Approximately 36 hours before retrieval, you will be given one more injection (of the hormone HCG) to ensure that your eggs are ready to be harvested. The Egg Retrieval is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that requires a light general anesthetic and lasts about 20-30 minutes. The doctor will use a small ultrasound-guided needle inserted through the vagina to aspirate the follicles in both ovaries. Immediately following the surgery you will rest in the recovery room for an hour or two. Due to the administration of general anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home. It can take one full day up to a week to fully recover, but generally Donors return to normal activities the next day.
Things to Consider
As with any medical procedure, there are possible side effects and risks. Some women feel no or slight discomfort during their egg donation cycle. Others have varying symptoms which typically disappear following the retrieval procedure. In some cases you might feel bloating, abdominal pain, pressure and swelling, all of which will go away by your next period. Severe side effects are rare, and the doctor will explain the various risks that, although unlikely, can become part of this procedure. Egg Donation has been done since 1984, with over 10,000 retrievals annually in the U.S. alone. Overall, there are no proven long-term effects of Egg Donation on a woman's health or fertility.
Pregnancy is another very real side effect and risk of Egg Donation, so you will be required to abstain from sex during the process. You will also be asked to refrain from drinking alcohol and taking certain medications. Your doctor will explain this to you in detail.
The average Egg Donation cycle lasts for between 3-6 weeks, not including the evaluation appointments. The time, attention to detail, and patience required of an Egg Donor is substantial. For your time, energy and commitment, you are compensated twice; once with a financial payment and once with the sense of fulfillment you receive from helping to complete a family! BHED Donors receive a fee of $7,000 (higher for repeat egg donors and/or donors with certain attributes). Egg Donors are limited to 6 donation cycles.
What are an Egg Donor's Responsibilities?
Completing the enrollment process in a timely manner, with accurate and verifiable facts.
- Attending the scheduled interview.
- If applicable, making sure all medical records are received by the Doctor's office on time.
- Scheduling and attending medical and psychological screening appointments.
- Being on time for all monitoring appointments.
- Taking the medication as instructed.
- Arranging transportation to and from the retrieval.
- Communicating any problems during the cycle to BHED and the Doctors.
- Communicating any schedule changes to BHED.
Donor Frequently Asked Questions
Who Can Be An Egg Donor?
BHED egg donors are healthy women, ages 21-29, with no major genetic/hereditary illnesses, who are committed to giving the gift of hope to a family that is struggling with infertility.
Once I Become an Egg Donor, How Long Will It Take For Me To Get Matched?
Because choosing an egg donor is an extremely personal decision, the time period for a donor to be matched with the right family varies. It can happen as quickly as the same day. It may take a month or more. This is a very emotional process for the recipients and they are always looking at donor profiles for their perfect donor.
Will The Recipients Know Who I Am?
Most donations are anonymous. However some recipients and donors find an “open egg donation” very fulfilling as well. The decision to make a donation open requires both the donor and recipient's wholehearted agreement.
Once Matched, How Long Will The Cycle Take?
The calendar for egg donation cycles depends on your availability and the timing of your menstrual cycle, as well as the recipient's availability and menstrual cycle. For these reasons, a cycle may range from a few weeks to two months or more.
What is the procedure for retrieving the eggs? Is the Egg Retrieval painful?
At the very end of the donation cycle, the egg donor will have daily monitoring. When the follicles have reached the desired maturity, the doctor will schedule the retrieval procedure. This is a half hour procedure that requires a light anesthetic to be sure the donor doesn't move. The doctor uses an ultrasound-guided needle, inserted through the vagina, to collect the eggs from both ovaries.
After the procedure, the donor will be unable to drive for up to 24 hours, due to the anesthesia. Most donors rest for 24 hours after the retrieval, and most go back to their normal schedule the following day. Other donors experience more painful menstrual-like symptoms (cramps/bloating/headaches) that can last up to a week. In very rare cases donors may have a severe reaction to fertility drugs that will require additional medical treatment or hospitalization.
Will My Insurance Be Billed For Any Of The Medical Appointments or Medications?
All medical expenses related to the donation cycle are paid by the recipient.
Will I Be Compensated?
Egg Donors are compensated emotionally and financially for the gift of hope they give to families struggling with infertility. The sense of peace a family receives from the donation is shared with their donor. At Beverly Hills Egg Donation, donors receive $7,000 for their first donation. That fee is paid for the time and inconvenience of the donation. For donors who have donated more than one time, the fee will increase by a standard amount. Special fees may be offered to donors who meet extraordinary standards.
How Many Times Can I Donate My Eggs?
BHED follows American Society of Reproductive Medicine's (ASRM) guideline of a maximum of 6 donations per individual donor. This is to limit the number of genetically related children that may meet as adults, and to protect the health of the donor as well.
Are There Risks To My Fertility From Egg Donation?
The physicians we work with tell us that there are no proven long term risks from Egg Donation per se; however, you should discuss any concerns you have with your physician and/or nurse.
Will I Have To Travel For My Donation?
It's up to you. Should you decide to accept a match with a recipient whose doctor is out of your local area, you will be required to travel. Your monitoring will be done at a doctor's office near you. You will need to be in the city of the retrieval for several days prior to the donation and for a short time following the retrieval. Each match, and each doctor, has their own requirements, and you will be informed of the time frame applicable to your match once you meet the doctor.
Who Will Arrange The Travel Plans?
When you travel for your donation, Beverly Hills Egg Donation will make your travel arrangements. You will be allowed to bring one travel companion with you to help you relax after the retrieval. If you would like to bring your other family members or friends with you, it will be at your own expense.
Am I Responsible For My Expenses Relating To the Donation Cycle?
It depends on the expenses. Travel-related expenses (beyond 25 miles) will be reimbursed, and your Cycle Coordinator will explain those details to you. Please follow her instructions carefully, keeping receipts, etc.