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Is Egg Donation Worth The Money?

An increasing number of women are trying to sell their eggs to earn cash during the financial crisis. An attractive, well-educated, healthy, twentysomething woman can get as much as $10,000 for donating her eggs, but is the money worth the headache and time it takes to be accepted as a donor? Once an applicant is selected by an egg donation program as a likely to be chosen donor, the screening process continues with:

1. A physical examination, including a pelvic exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound to examine the uterus, ovaries, and other pelvic organs.
2. A detailed medical and psychological history questionnaire regarding the applicant and close blood relatives. Thisl include questions about cigarette, alcohol, and both prescription and illegal drug use, and some programs conduct unannounced drug tests during the screening process.
3. An infectious disease screening.
4. A test for STIs. The pelvic exam the donor’s cervix is scraped to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and a blood test determines whether the donor is carrying syphilis, hepatitis B or C, and HTLV-1, a rare virus that is linked to some cancers.
5. A blood test to determine HIV exposure.
6. Screening for inherited diseases.
7. A psychological evaluation to help the donor evaluate her desire to donate and work through ethical, emotional, and social issues.

Once an applicant is chosen to be a donor, the egg donation process begins:

1. The donor is given a medication to halt the normal functioning of the ovaries.
2. Then she must take medication to stimulate her ovaries to produce several more mature eggs than normal. The medication is injected for about ten days.
3. When the time is right, the donor is injected with another drug to prepare the eggs for retrieval.
4. The eggs are removed through a minor surgical procedure, in which a thin needle attached to an ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina and suctions out the egg and liquid in each ovarian follicle.

The requirements for sperm donation are similar to egg donation, but much less invasive. That’s probably why men receive only about $35 to $60 for each specimen.

1. Sperm donors must be between the ages of 18 and 44.
2. Must not have been adopted.
3. Must be healthy.
4. Must not have a family history of genetic diseases.
5. Must have a willingness and ability to produce a specimen four to eight times per month in a lab.
6. Must make a six-month commitment.

After all this, do you think the benefits of egg donation, financial compensation and helping someone conceive, are worth the work? Tell us in the comments.

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