As long as I’ve been attending CSUN, there have always been notices in the classifieds of the Sundial for egg donors. The compensation is ample, usually around $8,000. For a poor college student, $8,000 all at once sounds great. It’s a lot better than compensation from sperm donation, which at its best is only a few hundred dollars.
The hefty compensation is high for a reason. To donate eggs, women must submit a complete medical exam, as well as disclose all genetic and hereditary illness they might carry. In addition, they must undergo a complete psychological evaluation to screen for any potential mental illness. This is just the screening process.
A woman selected to donate is given injections to speed up the maturation of the woman’s eggs. Women may experience soreness, bruising, mood swings, or fluid retention. The most severe side effects can cause blood clots, kidney failure, or even shock.
Then we get to the surgery itself. A needle is used to extract the eggs. If a surgery goes awry, the needle can puncture nearby blood vessels or the bladder, potentially causing the need for abdominal surgery. Even without these possible complications, women still have to take a few days to recover from their surgery.
And of course, there’s always the psychological problem of knowing that there’s a little bit of your DNA running about in the world that you’ll never know. That’s pretty unsettling for some people.
This doesn’t exactly paint the rosiest picture to encourage women to donate eggs. But there’s a reason the compensation is so high. It’s a multiple week process of taking medication, injections and invasive surgery. Men’s sperm compensation tops off at a couple hundred bucks because all they need is a room alone and a hand.
In addition, a donor will have to arrange their schedule around the donation appointments. Most students are too busy as it is, balancing school and work.
Did I mention that during the donation period a donor must abstain from drinking, smoking and sex?
With all the time, potential complications and restrictions involved, a student who decides to donate only for the cash reward will end up treating the experience like a job. Donation isn’t a job. It’s supposed to be a gift. It’s not money to be given away. It’s a monetary reimbursement for the time and energy spent to help another woman create a family.
Donation can be a wonderful thing, giving an infertile woman a chance to give birth and have a child. Anyone who wants to give a gift of life should do so, but it shouldn’t be driven by money.