During these difficult financial times, more and more women are turning to egg donation as a way to make some extra cash. But is it right to donate your eggs just for money?
Good Morning America reported on the sudden rise of women looking to be egg donors. (Click here to watch the clip on egg donors.) According to the report, there has been a 30 to 40% increase in the number of women looking to be egg donors over the past month. Egg donors get paid anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 for a cycle, and that's a lot of cash, certainly an incentive when money is tight.
Technically, women are not paid for the eggs they produce. If one woman produces 10 eggs, and another produces 20, they are both paid the same amount. The money an egg donor receives is for the time and inconvenience of the experience.
Egg donors go through much of the same treatments that women going through IVF treatment experience, not including the embryo transfer, of course. Egg donors need to take fertility drugs, give themselves injections, and go through egg retrieval. There is no doubt in my mind that these women should receive compensation for what they go through.
But it's one thing when a woman donates her eggs because she knows someone with infertility or wants to help those who can't have kids by themselves. What about women who might be doing this only for the money? What if their heart isn't really into it? I'd think that the emotional impact of egg donation is different when done for altruistic reasons, as opposed to strapped-for-cash reasons.
Of course, all potential egg donors are screened, and you'd hope that they wouldn't take an egg donor who is only doing it because of a desperate need for money. Still, it's a concern, given the sudden increase. It's hard to believe that the economic crisis just happens to coincide with more people feeling the urge to help infertile couples.
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