Not everyone can qualify to be an egg donor, but if you meet the requirements, you can earn thousands of dollars for your donation. The average egg donor receives between $4,000 and $12,000 per donation cycle. However, in special cases, donors can earn as much as $50,000 for a donation.
While many people are eager to become parents, not everyone is naturally able to conceive. Infertile women who want to become mothers may need to seek out other options for having children, including receiving eggs donated by a fertile woman.
If you personally know a woman who struggles with her own fertility, or if you’re interested in making some extra money by helping aspiring parents, you may have considered becoming an egg donor yourself. So how much are egg donors compensated? The good news for women is that because egg donation is a much more complex and involved process than sperm donation, egg donor compensation is far higher: while sperm donors can usually earn up to $100 per donation, you could earn thousands of dollars for your work as an egg donor.
Let’s take a closer look at how egg donation works and how much you can earn by donating your eggs to help you decide if this is a worthwhile income stream for you.
How does egg donation work?
Egg donation is a fairly intrusive procedure, so you’ll want to carefully consider the entire process before you decide to become an egg donor. The following are the main steps involved in the egg donation process:
- Potential egg donors are given a medical screening, which is paid for by the donation center or egg recipients. This is to make sure you have a good set of eggs that are free of STIs and hereditary disorders like cystic fibrosis. Genetic testing will be conducted, and you will also need to answer questions about your family history.
- If you are found to be a good egg donor candidate, you will then need to take injectable medications to release multiple eggs in a single ovulation cycle. Be aware that you will likely feel side effects from these medications, as they interfere with your hormones.
- Once the medications take effect, a doctor will remove your eggs. The main reason the egg retrieval procedure is considered invasive is that a needle is required to remove your eggs. However, you will be sedated during this step, so you will not feel any pain.
- After your eggs are removed, an embryologist will evaluate them to determine the best samples for fertilization. At this point, your job is done! You may need to take a few days to recover from the egg retrieval procedure. The donation center may also ask you to donate more eggs in the future.
Who can be an egg donor?
You can qualify to be an egg donor if you do not have an STD, you do not have a genetic predisposition to certain diseases, you have a BMI under 28, and you are in fairly good health. Most egg donors are between 21 and 34 years of age, though some agencies will accept egg donors who are younger than 21.
Egg donors can either be anonymous or known to the intended parents of the resulting child. If you have a friend or family member who has been dealing with fertility problems, you can offer to donate your eggs directly to them.
Do families usually know who their egg donors are?
Whether or not the identity of an egg donor is known typically depends on how the eggs will be donated and the choices of the donor and the intended parents.
Many aspiring parents search for egg donors on their own with the intention of finding a candidate they know and trust. If you know a couple seeking out your specific traits, you can contact the intended parents directly to offer them your eggs.
If you’re donating your eggs through a clinic, however, the process is usually entirely anonymous. This means the intended parents will not know your identity, nor will you know which family receives your eggs.
How much do egg donors make?
Egg donors typically make between $4,000 and $12,000 per egg donation cycle. In some rare cases, you can earn up to $50,000 for an egg donation. If you are volunteering to give your eggs to a friend or family member, you may not get paid for this service.
Egg donation compensation depends on several factors. The following are some of the most common factors that can influence how much you’ll make as an egg donor:
- Location. Regions with a high cost of living tend to have more earning potential, as do any areas where there is a high demand for eggs and IVF treatments.
- Physical traits. Certain traits can fetch a higher price than others, depending on the clinic. For example, some families will pay a premium for eggs from a tall woman or from a woman with blue eyes.
- Genealogy. Some couples may pay more for eggs from a woman with the same ancestry as the receiving family, so the resulting child will have the same heritage or physical traits as their parents.
- Clinic. Compensation can vary significantly depending on the agency or clinic you choose. As you would expect, fertility clinics that target high-net-worth individuals or that are located in high-income areas typically offer the highest compensation.
- Donation bonuses. Some clinics offer bonuses to first-time egg donors or to returning donors. You may also receive a bonus for referring another egg donor to your clinic.
Egg donation clinics are fairly open about the compensation they offer to egg donors. You can ask multiple clinics in your area how much they would pay you for your eggs to get a better idea of how much you can earn as an egg donor.
Do egg donors need to pay for genetic counseling and medical screening?
In most cases, medical expenses related to egg donation will be entirely covered by the clinic or the receiving family. These expenses include the screening process, fertility medications, and genetic screening.
If the intended parents have personally chosen you to be their egg donor, they may also cover your hotel accommodations and ground transportation to and from the clinic.
How are egg donors paid?
While it varies from clinic to clinic, most egg donors receive payment via check after their eggs have been retrieved. If you are concerned about the payout dates or any other potential issues, you should talk to the clinician before you begin the egg donation procedure.
Is egg donation painful?
Egg donation is not typically painful, but it can be uncomfortable. You will be anesthetized during the egg retrieval procedure, so you won’t feel pain when your eggs are removed, but your doctor may still recommend you take painkillers prior to the surgery. Many women also experience side effects from fertility medications.
How many eggs can a woman donate?
Egg donations are not based on a set number of eggs donated at a time but on a number of egg donation cycles. For your safety as an egg donor, you are not allowed to donate eggs more than six times in your life.
What disqualifies you from donating eggs?
One reason why egg donors are paid so well is that it can be difficult to find candidates who meet all the health requirements for egg donation. Every egg donation agency has its own standards, but the following are some universal disqualifiers:
- You cannot smoke or use drugs.
- You cannot have severe physical or mental illnesses.
- You cannot have a genetic predisposition to dangerous illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis.
- You cannot currently be taking certain forms of long-term hormonal birth control.
- You cannot have irregular periods.
- You cannot be obese.
Is donating eggs worth the money?
If you meet the requirements to be an egg donor, it can absolutely be worth undergoing the egg donation process. For many women, egg donor compensation isn’t only about earning extra money; it’s also about helping aspiring parents achieve their dream of raising a family.
Can you still get pregnant after donating eggs?
Yes! The good news is that pregnancy and fertility are not impacted by egg donation. Women are born with millions of eggs, and the eggs retrieved during an egg donation cycle only make up a small percentage of those, which means you’ll still have enough after donating to conceive children of your own if you wish.
- Egg donors typically receive between $4,000 and $12,000 in a single egg donation cycle, though some exceptional donors can earn as much as $50,000.
- How much you can earn as an egg donor will depend on various factors, such as the location of the clinic, the physical traits sought out by the intended parents, and any donation bonuses you may qualify for.
- You will undergo a medical screening and genetic counseling to determine if you’re a good candidate for egg donation. If you qualify, you will then need to take fertility medications before having your eggs retrieved.
- The egg retrieval itself won’t be painful, as you’ll be sedated during the procedure. However, you may experience some discomfort during your fertility treatment and after the surgery, so you may be prescribed painkillers and need to rest for a few days.
- Donating your own eggs can’t be made into a full-time income. Unlike sperm donors, egg donors are limited to a set number of donation cycles in their lifetime.
Egg donation, while fulfilling and lucrative, isn’t an option for everyone. If you need to earn some emergency cash but you can’t become an egg donor, don’t worry; there are plenty of other options available to you. Not sure where to start looking? SuperMoney can help!
Start by reading our guides on how to make money fast as a woman, side jobs you can easily do from home, and the top side jobs to make some extra money. Once you’ve earned some extra income, read up on how to build an emergency fund, then use our comparison tool to find the best savings accounts in which to keep your hard-earned cash!
View Article Sources
- Egg Donation – ReproductiveFacts.org
- FAQ: Common Questions for Egg Donors – UCSF Health
- Egg Donor Compensation – MyEggBank
- Does egg donation hurt? – Altrui
- The Six Most Common Egg Donor Disqualifiers – Family Tree Surrogacy Center, LLC
- How Much Do Sperm Donors Make? 2022 Update – SuperMoney
- How Much Does a Doctor Make By Specialty? – SuperMoney
- How to Get Cash Fast in an Emergency – SuperMoney
- How To Make Money Fast as a Woman in 2022 – SuperMoney
- 15 Side Jobs You Can Easily Do From Home – SuperMoney
- Top 11 Side Jobs to Make Some Extra Money – SuperMoney
- How Much Should I Have in Emergency Savings? – SuperMoney