Reasons for donating? Can I consider myself (or any egg donors) to be empowered?

  1. avatar
    Meghna Mukherjee

    Hi all, I am currently a first-year sociology PhD student at UC Berkeley. I have always been very interested in fertility medicine, and in the past year I have started thinking about donating my eggs. Although I know much of the science behind this process, what makes me hesitant to jump ahead is really being scared (perhaps irrationally?), not only for my immediate health and the idea of ‘having a biological child,’ but worrying about any future fertility risks (since I have no children of my own yet). I hoping to learn more about the emotionality of the process and seek insight/support from donors who have gone through the process.

    In addition, I am also working on my MA thesis at Berkeley, which is very personally meaningful project, as I potentially will begin the process of donating eggs myself. I want this paper to give voice to egg donors. Through this paper I want to explore donors’ narratives, their perspectives of their contributions not only to families but broader culture, as well as how they see themselves as distinct from perhaps how clinics may frame egg donation. More than anything, I am interested in centering my thesis on the empowerment of egg donors as reproductive agents – as this is how I want to see myself if/when I donate in the coming months. As I continue pursuing my personal desire to donate, I am all the more passionate about learning how I can contribute to a positive, donor-centered narrative.

    Are there any donors who would be willing to speak to me about the above topics?

    11/15/2017 at 9:21 am
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  2. avatar
    Sandra F.
    Fertility Counselor

    Dear Meghna,

    Thanks for posting in our forum! Your project really seems very interesting.

    First of all, I have to say that there exists a long-held erroneous idea or misconception that women who decide to donate eggs is because they want to make money out of it. But actually, being financially compensated is not the unique reason why women decide to become egg donors. Keep in mind that it is not just about one trip to a fertility clinic, but a process that requires time, energy and being mentally prepared for it.

    So, from our point of view, for a woman to become an egg donor, empathy and compassion are not only required, but common aptitudes between donors. Egg donors have strong feelings of empathy for intended parents because they are able to think about the great effort they had to make prior to deciding to use her eggs: They are saying “no” to half their genetic material. That’s a big decision to make, and a woman who donates eggs is aware of that.

    And the same applies when the prospective parents are a gay male couple. Donors who really empathize with LGBT families know that using donor eggs is their only option to have a child.

    Also, you have talked about empowerment. Indeed, egg donation empowers these women because it provides them with education about their bodies and health. In short, it allows women to learn more about sexuality and reproduction. From a long-term perspective, this has a very positive impact on our society in general, not only in prospective parents and the donors themselves.

    Finally, by donating eggs you make couples happy because you change their lives for the better: You’re letting them fulfill their dream of having a family. In some way, you’ve become one piece of a puzzle that represents happiness. This accomplishment will make you feel just proud of yourself. In fact, many egg donors become advocates after realizing of how gratifying can this experience be.

    Of course, I am sure that there are many other aspects that women who have donated their eggs can add to this list.

    I hope this helps,

    Best wishes!

    11/22/2017 at 1:37 pm
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  3. avatar
    jane ty

    Hello, and we, on the contrary, need donor eggs. In addition, we will join the program of surrogacy in the near future. So, I learned a lot of information about how we should choose an egg donor. It turned out that we could not see the picture of the donor. Usually it happens that it is the doctor who chooses the donor for us. We are interested in seeing that the external signs of the donor coincide with ours. We will describe our preferences to the doctor, and he will be looking at us and pictures of donors will be able to select the most similar donor for us. But we still have to go through all these procedures in the future. And I want to tell you that donating your own eggs is a very important step. If you really decided to donate eggs to those people who need it, then you are a brave and kind person. But, as far as I know, you can not often sacrifice your eggs, so that it does not harm your reproductive function. However, not every woman who wishes can become a donor of oocytes, because for this there are certain requirements.

    The donor must have at least one completely healthy child.
    It should be invested in the age range – from 20 to 35 years
    there should be no chronic diseases or pathologies at the gene level.
    It is necessary to have an average physique, since excess or lack of weight can be the cause of various diseases
    so that there are no diseases followed by surgical intervention on the ovaries or mammary glands.
    HIV tests, hepatitis, various venereal diseases should be negative.

    Also I would like to share an interesting fact.

    What is interesting is that the freezing procedure makes the eggs more qualitative, i.e. after thawing they are more viable by approximately 30%.

    01/15/2018 at 11:40 am
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