How Much Do Egg Donors Get Paid In South Africa – A growing number of women sell their eggs for as much as $20,000 to cover basic expenses.
My eyes open. Around me are four nurses who turn me upside down. They rock me back and forth, bringing the blood back to my head. When I think back, I ask: is it worth it? That “it” is the $10,000 question.
How Much Do Egg Donors Get Paid In South Africa
Seven months ago, I received my acceptance to the Columbia University School of Journalism. I was absolutely shocked by the acceptance, but even more shocked by the price of $116,000, for tuition and living expenses. The school, whose education is generally considered the gold standard in journalism, will provide me with incredible access, in an industry where I currently feel out of place.
Failed Ivf With Donor Eggs
Fortunately, most of the costs will be covered by scholarships. For the remaining rent and living expenses, I looked for something else to fill my gap. I stumbled upon a booming industry that offers struggling people huge amounts of money, relatively quickly: egg donation.
It’s 90-something degrees on a June morning in New York City. My crumpled, green satin robes fall to my feet as I walk into the main office of the egg donation clinic for another examination, a urine test.
For the last four months I’ve lied to my somewhat conservative family about where I’m running these early mornings: secretly showing up for checkups and psychological evaluations to lay my eggs.
Outside of my family, I would often say “selling my eggs”. Donation is a term intended to indicate that it is a woman’s period, not the value of her eggs, that is being given. But here was an industry that offered me more per hour than I had ever earned in a regular job. It feels more right to say I’m selling.
Donor Treatments: Eggs & Sperm Donor Bank
In the clinic’s main office, Amy Winehouse’s deep voice plays softly over a nearby speaker. Looking around the waiting room, with its lavender and gray accents painting the walls, I quickly realize that I am the only woman sitting alone. I share quick glances with smiling couples and wonder if any of them size me up as a possible donor.
Shortly after my arrival, a nurse calls my name. Amy Winehouse’s harmonies are disappearing. He leads me to a chair in a hallway: a dozen or so cartridges are clattering around on an attached tray. The place feels cold and sterile. Silence is oppressive. I’m trying to remember if I ate breakfast – I didn’t.
After she fills eight vials with my blood, I roll over and pass out. When I woke up, the nurses were shaking me in the air. Half-conscious, and embarrassed, I stumbled into an apology.
I’m pulled into a gynecology chair in a nearby exam room and handed a pineapple-flavored tube. I lean my head back on the cold chair. Another nurse walks in, showing more shots in her hand. I lift my arm and extend my other arm. Time for round two.
Egg Donor Faqs
I called the egg donation clinic for the first time in March 2021 — minutes before I was scheduled to attend Columbia Journalism School’s induction day. The first time I heard about it was during my undergraduate studies with a friend. I knew I couldn’t risk the excitement and stress of a job while studying full-time at Columbia. Moreover, the school administration clearly reminded us that we are away from work during our studies.
The Google search that led me to my new career choice was simple: “egg donation agencies in New York City.” I’m not the only one to write it. Every year, donors are paid thousands to donate eggs to future parents. The CDC found that in less than a decade, IVF cycles using donor eggs have tripled, from 5,000 in 2007 to more than 13,000 in 2016.
The woman on the phone was polite but quiet as she explained the process. In contrast, my first visit to the clinic’s SoHo office was informal. During the ultrasound, when I was looking at the contents of the ovaries and uterus, it was amazing, my doctor talked about me to the nurse, but not to me.
Scans of my ovaries show growth of antral follicles, doubling and tripling in size, after about two weeks of hormone therapy. Photo: Ellie Houghtaling
Top 7 Faqs About Egg Donations
In a traditional doctor-patient relationship, the doctor’s bedside manner is fundamental. In the United States—where health care is decentralized and people treat doctors as if their health were a business transaction—doctor’s offices treat you well because they want you to come back. My first day in SoHo I realized that this time, I wasn’t sick. I was productive.
The blood work from that first appointment was sent to a genetic testing facility, Sema4, which tested my 283 genes against hundreds of diseases. They range from cystic fibrosis and Fragile X syndrome – which is linked to autism – to maple syrup urine disease, a disease in which the body cannot process certain amino acids.
I tested positive as a carrier of three genetic conditions: dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa – a condition that makes the skin so thin that it cracks and breaks easily, leaving severe scars; metachromatic leukodystrophy – a rare genetic disease; and non-syndromic hearing loss. I felt a mixture of shock and patient curiosity upon hearing the results, even though the clinic assured me that the positive test was normal for a small handful of genetic disorders.
Epidermolysis bullosa has no cure, and people born with the condition are at increased risk of developing a more aggressive form of skin cancer. The Sema4 representative jokingly told me not to fall in love with Finnish people, who most likely have the same skin condition.
Cost Of Life
The call opened a window to a different world: where everyone is a carrier of the disease, including me. I have had to face the reality that I may be passing complex illnesses to my children that I never thought I had.
The clinic not only evaluated my predisposition to genetic diseases, but also weighed other characteristics: my blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin. On screening calls, team members compliment and approve of my detailed description of my body, personality, and ivy league education. All in all, I had concerns that this was pure eugenics. But in what language did I expect them to communicate with me? They pay me 10,000 dollars for my eggs. The nature of our business revolves around my body.
In May, at the beginning of the process, the clinic arranged for me to speak with their psychologist. Sitting in the hammock on my balcony, I encountered the philosophy of the clinic. My eggs were not “mine” and “my eggs” were certainly not the same as “my child”. Rather, they saw my eggs as part of a larger genocide, one that spanned generations and geographical locations.
I was worried that the psychologist was assessing my mental health, trying to distract me from the process, but as our conversation progressed I realized that she was really trying to figure out if I was smart enough to make the decision to donate my eggs. . She gave me an IQ test. It was a New York state regulation.
Finding An Egg Donor: Know Your Options
The idea that my eggs were not “mine” but therefore some genetic link to the past was strange and uncomfortable to me at first, but over time I grew to prefer that frame to my own. I didn’t give up on “my child” – I gave up on another time. This will help parents who are struggling to conceive their own children. There was something healthy about this.
The idea that a little kid who looked like me would be roaming the world when I hit my twenties never bothered me. The thought really warmed my heart.
I realized that I wanted children of my own one day, and part of me wanted the experience I was offering to someone else. I imagined the mother who would take my eggs.
Was that a joke? What kind of school lunch will she pack? Was he kind and patient? Does she often hold the child’s hand? Do her moral values reflect mine? I will never know. My donation was anonymous until the end.
Egg Donation Faqs [infographic]
During the summer, the clinic took me off birth control and put me on my own. One morning when I went to their office to collect an envelope of beige pills, the nurse who handed it to me apologized, saying she didn’t understand why it took me so long to match a family.
We stopped for a while and looked at each other. My hair fell in front of my eyes. I pushed the dirty blonde strands behind my ear before letting out an uncomfortable laugh. We both knew what she meant.
A few days away from the egg storage date I was sitting on my bed and was really desperate. It was getting late, and in the silence I felt my peace slip away as I placed one of the last packets of medicine, a
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