Egg Donor FAQs

Questions about Becoming an Egg Donor

Eligibility: Who Can Become an Egg Donor

How are donors screened and selected?

If you meet the FDA’s criteria to donate eggs, you’ll move on to the screening process which includes a physical examination; a pelvic ultrasound; blood testing for infectious diseases, and a urine drug screen. After passing the screening tests, you become an eligible donor and are added to the queue for matching. Matching you to a recipient will involve consideration of your height, weight, hair color, eye color, skin complexion, ethnicity and lifestyle. Recipients may also have other specific attributes they are seeking. Once you are matched with a recipient, the process takes 6-8 weeks.

Do I have to be a certain weight or size?

Yes. You must have a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 – 29.9.

BMI, or body mass index, is a measure of body fat based on the height and weight of an individual. A BMI over 29.9 may affect egg quality. We must provide our donors and recipients with the best opportunities for success.

How old do I have to be to donate my eggs?

We accept egg donors between the ages of 21 – 31.

I’m a smoker. Can I still be a donor?

No. Smoking affects fertility and egg quality. Once you’ve abstained from using any nicotine product for a period of 90 days, you’ll be eligible for consideration.

Do you consider vaping the same as smoking?

Yes, because vaping also involves nicotine, we consider it to be the same as smoking. Once you’ve abstained from using any nicotine products for a period of 90 days, you’ll be eligible for consideration.

I know you have to be nicotine-free for at least three months, but how long is it for marijuana use?

We do administer a drug test and if it comes back positive for any screened substances, a potential donor would be considered ineligible.

I’ve had my tubes tied or a partial hysterectomy. Can I still donate?

Eggs are retrieved directly from the ovaries.  The absence of fallopian tubes, the uterus or cervix or having had a tubal ligation will not impair your ability to donate.

I am a cancer survivor, or I have a family history of cancer and/or other illnesses. Can I still donate?

Depending on the type(s) of cancer in your family history you may or may not be a good candidate for egg donation. Certain medical conditions make the egg donation process ill advised for potential donors. During the application process, you will undergo medical, psychological, genetic, and infectious disease screening to determine if you qualify.

Do you have to have given birth before you can donate?

No. Having a child is not a requirement for donating your eggs. In fact, you may still be a virgin and donate your eggs.

When getting tested to see if I qualify as an egg donor, do I have to go to your Raleigh office, or can I go to a doctor closer to home and have the results sent to you?

The initial workup and physical are done in our office in Raleigh. Once you are matched with a recipient, the monitoring can be done elsewhere. The egg retrieval is also done in our office in Raleigh.

I currently have an IUD (PARAGARD), will this disqualify me?

Having a PARAGARD IUD will not disqualify you and most likely will not require removal.

The Process: What Happens When I am Accepted as an Egg Donor?

Your pre-screen email requests photographs of me from ages 1-10. Do you need one from every year?

It is ideal if you send photographs of yourself for each year between 1 and 10, but if you don’t, send us photos for those years you do have.

What’s the process?

Application – Click here to apply to become an egg donor.

Screening – Screening is free and includes a consultation with one of our endocrinologists, as well as a physical exam, infectious disease screening, genetic testing, and a psychological evaluation.

Matching – If you’re designated as an eligible egg donor, you’ll be matched with a waiting recipient. Next, we’ll synchronize your cycle with your recipient’s cycle using birth control pills.

Preparation – Once your cycle is synchronized with your recipient’s, you’ll transition from birth control pills to injected fertility medications. You’ll then be monitored with ultrasounds and blood work approximately four times over the following week or two, and your medications will be adjusted accordingly if necessary. When your eggs are finally ready for retrieval, you’ll self-administer one final injection that will determine the arrival time for your procedure.

Retrieval – The actual donation procedure takes less than twenty minutes. You’ll be sedated and monitored in our Raleigh fertility center. Altogether, this visit will take approximately two hours and you’ll need someone else to drive you home.

Once we are matched with a recipient, what are the next steps?

Once you are matched with a recipient, the process takes 6-8 weeks.

First, you’ll have an appointment with a nurse to review the monitoring procedures and medications involved.

After taking birth control pills for a short time, you’ll be given medication to stimulate your ovaries.

Ovary stimulation happens with natural hormones given by daily injection. As a result, you will have multiple eggs available at the same time. The process of stimulating the ovaries and harvesting eggs takes about 11-16 days.

A second medication is started when the follicles reach 13-14 mm, to prevent the premature release of the eggs. Progress is monitored by ultrasound and blood estrogen levels.

When the lead follicles reach 15-20 mm in size, you’ll receive one last shot of a medication called Lupron (GnRH agonist) 36 hours before your scheduled egg retrieval. The Lupron prepares the eggs for fertilization and loosens their attachments to the follicle.

The morning after taking Lupron, you’ll come to the clinic and have your blood drawn to see whether the trigger shot worked.

The night before your egg retrieval procedure, you will be asked to stop all food or drink after midnight.

How long does the process normally take?

Once matched with a recipient, the process takes 6-8 weeks.

How safe is the procedure?

The procedure is quite safe. We’ll explain it in detail during your phone consultation once you’ve filled out the application.

Are there side effects or damage from the birth control and fertility injections? Is it mandatory to use the birth control?

It‘s extremely rare for any issues to arise, and you’ll be very closely monitored. The birth control pill is taken for a short period of time in order to synchronize your cycle with the recipient’s cycle. Once synchronized, you’ll no longer take them. Instead, you’ll use daily injections of a hormone called gonadotropin to stimulate your ovaries. In a natural cycle, only one egg matures; gonadotropin injections encourage more than one egg to mature for retrieval. Only the eggs that have matured for a particular cycle are harvested and have no impact on future eggs.

Does it hurt to have my eggs retrieved?

Because you will be sedated during the procedure, you should not feel anything. However, you may experience mild discomfort and/or cramping after the procedure.

Are there any possible health complications regarding the retrieval stage that I should be aware of?

Though very rare, infection, bleeding, injury to internal structures, blood clots, ovarian hyperstimulation, and complications from anesthesia are possible.

How many eggs are donated in one cycle?

On average, between 6-14 eggs in a single cycle are retrieved.

Can I still have intercourse during a donation cycle?

You’ll have to be very careful not to conceive during the month that you donate eggs, because we may not retrieve every egg and you could get pregnant. If you conceive during a donation cycle, you’ll be at a high risk for conceiving more than one baby. Abstinence around the time of retrieval is the safest approach.

Financial: About Donor Compensation

How much is donor compensation?

Donors who complete an egg retrieval cycle are paid $4,500.

What is a completed egg retrieval?

Egg retrieval is the final stage as an egg donor. It is the day when the doctors do a short procedure and extract the eggs that are ready.

After your egg retrieval, before you head home, you will receive your check.

How will I be paid?

Payment is made by check made payable to you, and handed to you after your procedure before you head home.

What is required of me to receive the compensation?

The $4,500 payment is for all the steps to prepare yourself to donate a tiny portion of your eggs. The process includes:

Taking good care of yourself
Giving blood samples
Giving yourself subcutaneous injections
Coming in for multiple pelvic ultrasounds
Coming in for a final egg harvesting procedure.

Do I have to spend any money to get ready to donate my eggs?

You do not have to pay for any of your testing, hormone injections, or egg retrieval procedures.

Is there any chance that I won't receive my full compensation?

 If the clinic cancels your cycle for any reason, you’ll be paid a prorated amount for your time and effort.

Is donor compensation taxable?

Yes, your compensation is taxable. You will receive a 1099 form at the beginning of the new year which you will use in filling out your taxes.

Will I need to fill out a W-9 or a W-2? Is the compensation taxable?

Compensation for egg donors is taxable. At the beginning of the following year, donors will receive a 1099 to use in filing their taxes.

What if I have to take time off from work to meet my obligations as an egg donor? Am I reimbursed for lost wages?

The $4,500 check is the total compensation you receive. Atlantic Shared Beginnings does not offer reimbursement for any lost wages. Usually not a lot of time is required.

Is Becoming an Egg Donor Right for Me?

Do you like to bring helping others?

Would you like to bring hope to people striving to build a family?When you donate eggs, you’re providing amazing hope to a woman or couple hoping to become parents. Accepting eggs from a donor is often a patient’s last chance to conceive and experience the joy of becoming a parent, as they’ve most likely exhausted all other options. When a recipient chooses donor eggs, it’s a choice that can dramatically increase the patient’s chances of success for pregnancy. This is truly a gift of life.

Why would someone need my eggs?

Some women are faced with the inability to get pregnant using their own eggs, while others wish to prevent transmission of a genetic condition.

Why are donor eggs needed?

Eggs donated by young, fertile women are needed to overcome a range of fertility issues. Eggs are the rate-limiting step in reproduction, and any situation that reduces either egg numbers or quality, limits the ability to enhance a woman’s fertility.

The most common issues are natural aging; premature ovarian failure; chemotherapy, or surgical removal of an ovary.

Less commonly, a woman may choose not to use her own oocytes to prevent passing a genetic disorder on to her child.

Occasionally, same-sex male partners achieve parenthood through the combined use of egg donation and a gestational carrier.

What are the requirements to become an egg donor?

The right age – To be an egg donor you must be between the ages of 21 and 29.

Excellent ovarian reserve – We’ll test your ovarian reserve during the screening process to determine if you have a good supply of eggs available for harvesting each month. Removing extra eggs will not cause you to reach menopause sooner, as all the eggs available each month either ovulate or die naturally. In essence, the fertility center is rescuing eggs that would otherwise die.

A flexible schedule – Donors must be able to come to the clinic for frequent blood draws and ultrasounds at critical times for testing and monitoring.

Willingness to receive subcutaneous injections – Medications used in oocyte donation are often administered by injection using a very small needle just under the skin.

Will I miss school or work for this process?

While we do not anticipate you missing school or work as an egg donor, you need to keep in mind the timing of injections is critical to a successful donation. You will need to plan accordingly to ensure you do not miss an injection window.

How do I apply to become an egg donor?

If you are interested in becoming a donor, click here for our Donor Application. The application includes questions regarding your medical history, menstrual cycle, lifestyle and any family history of genetic disorders.

What Happens After I've Donated?

How long will it take to recover from the egg retrieval procedure?

Recovery time varies by individual. We’ll explain it in detail during your phone consultation once you’ve filled out the application.

When can I expect to get my period again after egg donation?

Your next menstrual period should commence approximately two weeks after retrieval.

If I become an egg donor, will I have enough eggs left to get pregnant in the future should I choose to?

Females receive all of their eggs while still in utero. Of the one million eggs that a woman has at birth, approximately four hundred will ever mature and be released into the fallopian tubes (ovulation) from puberty to menopause. The rest of the eggs (-99.96%) “die” within the ovaries without being released. As an egg donor, you’ll only be donating eggs that would have either died naturally or matured in your ovaries that month. Your supply of eggs for future months will still be there when you want to use them.

What happens if you don’t use all the eggs I donated? Do they go to one recipient or many?

You are matched with one recipient and all mature eggs are used.

How many times can an egg donor donate?

The number of times you may donate will also be discussed with you during your phone consult. Many of our donors do so multiple times, up to a maximum of five times, as they find it gratifying and relatively easy.

Will donating affect future pregnancies?

No, studies show that egg donation does not affect future pregnancies.

Donor Anonymity

Will my donation be anonymous?

Yes, your anonymity is assured. Atlantic Shared Beginnings utilizes undisclosed donors, meaning that they do not disclose any identifying information about the donors.

What are my legal rights to the eggs I donate?

As an approved egg donor, you give up all rights and responsibilities to the eggs you donate or any child born from your donated eggs.

Do I get to meet the woman or couple who could possibly get my eggs?

The entire process is completely anonymous. However, if you move forward with donation there is an optional donor registry. While not mandatory, the donor registry is there so that a child (after age 18) conceived with a donor egg can find their donor.

What is an open ID donor?

An open ID donor is open to some form of contact at some time in the future.

What is a closed or anonymous donor?

Closed or anonymous donation means that the donor wants zero contact in the future, none at all, not even for medical emergencies.

What are undisclosed donors?

Atlantic Shared Beginnings utilizes undisclosed donors. The clinic does not facilitate any contact, nor do they disclose any identifying information about the donors or the recipients, neither between donors, nor between recipients who may have chosen the same donors.

Did we answer all your questions about anonymity? If not...

Please click here for our contact us page and fill out the short form. We will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your question(s).

Our Promise

We promise this to our recipients and donors:

Your health, well-being and safety are, and always will be, at the heart of everything we do.

You matter.


Recipient Quick Links

Become a Recipient
Pathways to Parenthood
Recipient FAQs
Request Consultation
Pathways Pricing
Recipient Checklist
Patient Portal
Recipient Resources
Donor Databases Login

Proud to Support Diversity & Inclusion



Donor Quick Links

Become a Donor
Donor Testimonials
Donor FAQs
Apply as a Donor
Donor Compensation
Donor Satisfaction Survey
Patient Portal
Donor Resources
Returning Donor Login