Egg Donor FAQ
1Is egg donation legal?
2Do I get paid to be a donor?
You do not get paid for your eggs, you will receive a donation for your efforts and commitment relating to the process. The donation has been approved by the Health Department so a legal and approved amount. It is however viewed an altruistic process, especially in comparison to other countries where donors stipulate a payment.
3Why do recipients consider egg donation?
There is either an absent ovarian reserve, poor quality eggs or predisposition to continuing a faulty gene. Procreating with younger healthy genes gives hope to have a child. Specific conditions include early onset of menopause (can happen even in teen years for no reason), periods stop and the body acts as menopausal. The woman therefore has no hormones and no eggs. Early menopause – not necessarily as severe as menopause, but egg quality is poor or starts to decline. Premature ovarian failure - POS - this is a failure of the ovaries to function effectively. Ladies are not ovulating. Exposure to auto immune diseases may kill eggs. Cancer treatments may harm remaining eggs. Hormone treatments may adversely affect cancer treatments. Genetic diseases that carry over in eggs. Carriers of fragile X syndrome - potential to increase sudden death syndrome, positive X. Single men wanting to have children and gay males.
4Do ladies donate again after and again?
Yes, donors find the process very rewarding and so wish to help out again. They have found the discomfort minimal and the joy of giving overwhelming. This is however a personal choice, so some people donate the maximum number of times, whilst others elect only once off or more.
5How often can ladies donate their eggs?
This is governed ito the Human Tissue Act. A maximum of six children can be conceived through one persons's donor eggs. This is also governed by the National Health Act
6How often after I have donated can I donate again?
After the donation, you will have a period, then you need to have a normal period and can donate again in the next cycle, but a maximum of around four donations per year. Woman can also elect to have longer breaks should they so wish.
7Is it okay if I donate eggs to get the egg donation money?
Egg donors are angels, so the recipient gladly offers the R5,000 or R7,000 for the inconvenience of the process.
8How do I know that my eggs are not used for testing and/ or given to couples who will offer inadequate care for the child?
baby2mom works with reputable fertility clinics, whose interests with recipients are to help achieve a pregnancy. People consider the help of third parties to aid their conception after struggling or finding out that there are no other means to have a baby
9What happens to the eggs that are not used?
After the eggs have been retrieved, they are fertilised with the recipient's partner's sperm. They are grown in a special medium for 5 days, at which stage usually the best two are implanted into the recipient's uterus. If there are remaining embryos they continue to grow in the special medium for another day or two, and are then frozen – if viable.
10Does the recipient know the donor?
Egg donation is anonymous and confidential in South Africa. Egg donors are treated with absolute respect and their details kept entirely confidential. Upon signing up, you may be asked for a picture of yourself. This is just to match you up to a recipient. Recipients only see public information, such as family health, physical traits, personality, etc. Neither identifying information nor adults pictures are disclosed to recipients.
11Will I have regular menstrual cycles during the donation process?
Yes, the menstrual cycles will also be managed/ synchronised to align with the recipient.
12Can I be an egg donor if I am a virgin?
Yes, the donor must be prepared to have an internal examination. Some South African fertility clinics are however not comfortable to do treatment on virgins as the ladies may not engage fully and feel comfortable. It may be that the hymen needs to be broken for an internal scan to take place.
13How much information about me is disclosed?
All donors complete an online application form and recipients view non-identifying information.
14Can I proceed if I am breastfeeding?
First stop breastfeeding and resume your normal menstrual cycles. Ladies can donate a month after having stopped breastfeeding if they have normal cycles.
15Can I help out if I have tattoos?
Yes, provided the tattoo was not obtained in the last three months of donating.
16Can I contribute if I take recreational drugs?
Ladies need to be free of any drug use for at least one year prior to contributing their genes. Ad hoc use of cannabas is not encouraged if you are participating on an egg donor program. These may adversely impact on the quality of the eggs.
17Can I donate if I have diabetes?
Persons with type 1 diabetes may not proceed as an egg donor.
18Can I participate if I am depressed?
Woman who have genetic depression and/ or bi polar may unfortunately not proceed. Similarly woman who carry genetic abnormalities may not be accepted on the programme.
19Can I proceed if I have a serious medical illness or disease?
No, each case will be confirmed on its own merits. E.g. persons who have pulmonary stenosis may not proceed as egg donors regardless of whether this is genetic.
20Can I proceed whilst on medication?
The exact medication will influence this decision and the approval of the fertility specialist will be required. e.g. ruacutane - only after four months; Wellbutron - yes (not for recipients); Accutane - only after three months no as this is teratogenic (may cause faetal abnormalities)
21Can I proceed if I have HPV?
22Can I be on an oral contraceptive?
Yes, if fact, this is very helpful to synchronise menstrual cycles. The ideal contraceptive is the contraceptive pill.
23Can I use the contraceptive patch?
Yes, the fertility sisters will provide appropriate guidance around this.
24Can I use a loop?
Yes, recent updates also confirm the suitability of the mirena to proceed. Medfem however require the mirena loop to be removed to donate eggs. The nuvaring can also be used to donate your eggs.
25Can I use the contraceptive injection?
First stop the injection and wait for your period to resume - only then can we do blood tests. The three month injection can sometimes take 9 - 12 months before it is completely out of the system. It is recommended that a woman have two normal menstrual cycles after the injection's effective date. This is applicable for Petogen/ Depo Provera injection. Normally a progesterone blood test will be done on day 21 of the second normal menstrual period to ensure that normal ovulating has resumed, confirming the return of her natural fertility.
26I have the contraceptive implant - implanon or nexplanon, is this okay?
27What if I have polysistic ovaries or polysistic ovarian syndrome?
This is fine, please sign up.
28Are blood tests required on any specific day?
These are usually undertaken on the first appointment.
29Can I use elxtroxin?
A person taking eltroxin is attempting to regulate thyroid function. This is imperative for good egg development. It is therefore not ideal for egg donors to have a less than perfect thyroid function. The exact dose of eltroxin will need to ascertained to confirm. e.g. a dose of 0.1mg is fine, provided other results confirm suitability.
30Can I proceed whilst I am pregnant?
Your profile can only be made available once you have given birth, finished breastfeeding and resumed regular cycles.
31Can I proceed if I have been sterilised or had my tubes tied?
Yes, this is perfect.
32What other contraception can I use if I stop using my ordinary contraceptive?
Condoms or the pill are considered the best contraceptive method.
33Why is there a cut off age of 34?
Egg quality is deemed to deteriorate with age. baby2mom has signed the consent form confirming that we are compliant with guidelines. These stipulate 34 as the maximum age.
34Why do some fertility clinics require the egg donor to be aged 21?
Egg donation is a very mature and responsible giving deed. It is an elective process and woman are encouraged to enter the process with full understanding of the dedication and commitment.
35Will the child or children conceived through this process contact me at a later stage?
Sharing of personal information does not happen, even if parties consent or ask for this. South Africa supports complete anonymity, so parties cannot look one another up. Identifying details are only known to the fertility clinic and psychologist.
36Will the medication to stimulate my eggs affect my sex drive?
37Will I put on weight?
38Are the injections or retrieval of eggs sore or painful?
Worst side effect is slight bloating, however everyone responds differently and people may have different reactions.
39Will it impact on my fertility?
Not at all. The medication given during the process is to encourage the ripening of some of the eggs. It is akin to putting a basket under an apple tree, and recovering the fruit that would have fallen to the ground any way.
40How often can I donate?
Not more than 6 living children may be conceived through your generous gift.
41How long will it take to donate after I complete my profile?
As every person is unique, it is about recipients finding the perfect person for them. This decision may be influenced by physical traits, religion, musical traits or simply the message you provide to your recipient. It is very helpful to provide childhood pictures as this really puts a soul into the description of who you are.
42Can I proceed if I have no thyroid?
No, thyroid is critical to good egg development.
43Will it cost me anything?
No costs are incurred, in fact you will get a donation.
44If I have a genetic deformity, can I proceed?
Persons with known genetic disorders - such as a cleft lip, overbite, epilepsy, club foot, attention deficit disorder (ADD), haemophilia, cystic fibrosis, etc. - will unfortunately not be accepted.
45How does weight influence my application?
Woman are required to have a healthy BMI (good body weight in proportion to height). Persons over or underweight can unfortunately not proceed.
46What medication is taken to stimulate egg development and will I be given instructions in this regard?
Egg donors will need to inject themselves over a two week period. Specific instructions in this regard will be provided.
47How are the donor eggs retrieved?
Eggs are retrieved vaginally directly from the ovaries under sedation. This does not cause long term harm. Depending on the fertility clinic, a full anaesthetic or sedation will be administered.
48Can I travel for this process?
You may indicate on your application form that you are available in different regions. In this case, usually two trips are required - one for the screening and the second for the actual programme and process. All costs will be covered and depending on the clinic and timing, the exact process will be discussed and agreed to upfront. baby2mom does not work with clinics outside of the country, all egg donations will happen within South Africa.