Women can earn big money for eggs

By Joie Guner

College students seeking to pay their bills may be tempted by egg donor agency advertisements with five-figure compensation values.

Egg donor agencies and donor banks seeking young women commonly place daily advertisements in college newspapers, such as the Daily Bruin.

“We like the donors to be young because we get the best response with younger donors,” said William Freije, professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

After people choose a donor from an agency, the agency explains the process of donation and the risks involved in donating the eggs, said Mary Lathus, who donated eggs 12 years ago and is director of Conceptual Options, an egg donation and surrogacy center .

The donor is then given a thorough physical exam and genetic family history analysis as well as a psychological evaluation.

When it is clear that the woman understands that she is donating her eggs and will not want to seek out the child, and when satisfactory results have been obtained from the genetic history, the process of egg retrieval begins.

A variety of hormones are given to the donor to stimulate egg growth. Once the ovarian follicles are mature, ovulation is triggered and the eggs are collected with a needle under general anesthesia.

“The ovaries get stimulated and as far as we can tell there is no long-term problem in doing that, but the donors are given these medicines which are very powerful,” Freije said.

But there are some risks involved when the eggs are retrieved.

“Any time you put a needle in a structure you risk infection and bleeding. If someone were to bleed a lot, a transfusion of blood would be necessary,” Freije said. “There is also the risk associated with the general anesthesia.”

Fewer than one in 1,000 women will need major surgery due to complications during the egg retrieval process, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Web site.

Generally the donor agencies and recipients seek two types of women for this process.

“The first group they are looking for are younger college-age women who maybe need a little help with their tuition … and the second group is young mothers,” said Rene Almeling, a graduate sociology student who has been researching the topic for four years. more

Author Profile

Jennifer Lahl, CBC Founder
Jennifer Lahl, CBC Founder
Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.