At Nurture, we have worked with thousands of different women over the years – of all races and from all backgrounds. Women with blonde hair. Short women. Women with freckles. Women who like trail running and Netflix. And while every woman at Nurture is unique, they all have a few things in common.
There’s no other way to say it – our donors are giving people one of the ultimate gifts: A chance to have a baby.
Our donors are responsible – they have to be! There’s no room to flake on appointments, forget to take medication on time, or take two weeks to answer an email.
Our women are kind and compassionate. They’re investing their time and energy into something that they believe in, and their hearts truly go out to the recipients.
These women are giving a lot of themselves – physically, and of their time. They’re going through a major process – injecting themselves, heading to appointments, undergoing a medical procedure – all to help someone they’ve never met.
Once they’re in, they’re in – and they can roll with the punches. Sometimes the doctors will change a donor’s drugs, push back a retrieval, or even move it up. No matter what, our donors are committed to the outcome.
Think you have what it takes to become a Nurture donor? Apply here.
August is Women’s Month in South Africa, which commemorates the 20 000 women
who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest the extension of Pass Laws to women.
Over the years, Women’s Month has grown to celebrate strong women from all walks of life – and we just so happen to think that our donors are some of the most amazing women of all!
If you’re still on the fence about donating, here are four reasons to consider donating.
You can (literally) make someone’s dream come true
For many of Nurture’s recipients, the decision to use donor eggs is another step in an often incredibly difficult journey to become a parent. By donating your healthy, beautiful eggs to a person who needs them, you could help them to achieve their dream of becoming a parent.
You will have the best ice-breakers
Trust us, we’ve used the “I’m an egg donor” fun fact more often than we can count! Apart from the fact that it’s a great conversation starter, it is also a way to start getting other people to think about issues around infertility and LGBTQ+ parenting (particularly if you have donated to a gay couple or a single gay parent), as well as conversations about reproductive health.
You learn AMAZING things about your own body
As you go through the egg donation process, you will get to learn some pretty mind-blowing stuff about your own body, your own fertility and your menstrual cycle. You will have access to some of the best doctors and nurses in the fertility industry, so ask EVERY question you can think of.
After doing a donor cycle, you’ll almost certainly never look at your body the same way.
You will feel like a superwoman
You have truly given one of the most generous gifts that a woman can give – and this is something for you to look back on with pride later in your life.
Without a doubt, you are someone’s superwoman.
So, what are you waiting for? Click here to get started!
As a potential Nurture donor, we know that you can’t wait to help fulfil someone’s dream of becoming a parent.
You’ve finished your (very lengthy) application and your profile has been added to the database for the recipients to choose from. But, you wonder as you click ‘submit’, HOW do people choose an egg donor? And how can you make sure that they choose YOU?
For many recipients, egg donation is a step in what is often a long, difficult journey to parenthood. Many of Nurture’s recipients have endured years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, and the decision to use an egg donor is not always an easy one.
But what does a recipient look for in their donor? Honestly, it’s different for every single one.
In South Africa, unless an egg donation has been arranged with someone you know personally (for example, a sister or a friend), the entire process remains strictly anonymous. That means that the recipient will never know your name or identity and will never see a picture of you as an adult (so you can cancel your photo shoot!).
Their decisions are based entirely on your answers to the questions in your profile questionnaire, and on the oh-so-adorable baby pics you share with Nurture.
Recipients might look for a donor who could look like them. Things like eye colour, hair colour and height might be important – if the recipient is a short, blonde woman with green eyes, she might look for someone who could resemble her.
For other recipients, physical characteristics aren’t really a consideration at all. They look for women who share similar interests and hold similar values – basically, someone they could see themselves being friends with.
Do you like running? Play guitar? Does curling up with a good book sound like the best Friday night you could imagine? Do you love cooking? Often, it’s how your personality shines through in your profile that helps a recipient to decide on you – so let your flag fly!
And for some people, all they want to know is that their donor is healthy and (probably) not a serial killer.
Sound like a lot? While we’re taking care of our donors, we’re also helping to work some matchmaking magic behind the scenes to make sure our recipients find the perfect match for them!
So how do you make sure that someone chooses you?
Simply put: This is absolutely not the time to be shy or modest. Be honest, be open, be thorough… Be unapologetically YOU!
And, pick ADORABLE baby pictures.
One of the biggest misconceptions about egg donors is that they are only in it to make some quick cash –
but after 10 years in the business and over 2400 donor cycles, we can comfortably say that it’s simply not true!
Most of Nurture’s donors sign up to donate not because of the money, but because they want to do something incredible for another person – and that’s what makes them superwomen.
But yes, let’s talk about the money.
South African egg donors are compensated after their donation – an amount that is, by law, limited to R7 000. No more, no less.
If that number is making your head spin and you’ve already counted how many pairs of shoes you could buy with that, sit back and take a few deep breaths. Becoming an egg donor takes time, effort, and commitment. It is by no means a ‘quick buck’.
You will need to travel to and from appointments with your doctors, inject yourselves with fertility medications, and take a day off work for the egg retrieval.
(Side note: You will need to make sure that you have enough money available to get yourself to and from the clinic for your appointments and retrieval. You won’t receive any money upfront, so no Uber Black for you!)
Remember: You’re not selling your eggs, and no matter how many happy, healthy eggs are retrieved on the day of your donation, you will receive the same amount from the clinic that handles your donation. You are being rewarded for your time, effort and dedication – not your eggs!
Much like trying to find the perfect date for your matric dance,
choosing the right egg donation agency for you is a critical step in your journey.
If it’s not the right fit, the experience is going to be long, drawn-out and painful. But, if you’ve made the right choice and found the perfect partner, it’ll be a dream – and possibly even life-changing!
So here are some things to look for in choosing the right egg donation agency for you.
What’s their track record?
Let’s face it, as soon as you meet someone new, you head straight on to your phone to find their Instagram profile and learn as much as Google will allow you to. If the cutie at the bar looks dodgy online, you’ll be deleting that number, right?
It should be the same for choosing an egg donation agency. Try to find out as much as you can about the agency – from how long they’ve been in operation, to who their employees are. Has the agency ever been in the news? Do they have real references from real donors? Do they mention some of the fertility clinics that they’ve worked with?
Of course, if you can’t find any information on the agency you’re interested in, that should be a major red flag!
Do they play by the rules?
Egg donation agencies should follow the guidelines set by SASREG (which stands for The Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy, in case you were interested), and they must obey all laws set out in the National Health Act regarding egg donation. Consider this essential reading: https://sasreg.co.za/downloads/Guidelines-for-Egg-Donation-Agencies.pdf
Nurture adheres to all SASREG guidelines (and then some!), and we will always put the health and wellness of our donors first.
Can you get in touch easily?
You should never have to work hard to find the right people to contact, and the people that you do get in touch with should be compassionate, professional, and easy to talk to! As with dating, chemistry is always important. If you don’t ‘click’ with your agency, it’s time to move on.
And because no one likes staring at their phone waiting for a reply… It’s important to us that our donors feel supported and loved from the start. We’ve been known to answer emails at 2am and reply to WhatsApp messages at all hours!
Do you get all the information you need, upfront?
One of the SASREG guidelines states that egg donors must be fully informed about the process, including the potential risks and side effects. If you ever feel like the agency is dodging questions or not answering them properly, take that as a red flag. You shouldn’t have to drag answers out of them – you have a right to be fully informed at all stages. And remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question!
Luckily for you, here at Nurture we’re chronic over-sharers. Seriously, if you’re interested, you can see which of our team members are dog-mad (Melany!) and what our drink of choice is (wine, please. Chardonnay if it’s going.)
Trust your gut
At the end of the day, YOU are the one that needs to make the decision on which agency to donate with. So, the biggest piece of advice that we have for you is to trust your gut.
If at any stage of your research for an egg donation agency you get a funny feeling about the agency or the people you will be working with, rather let them know that you have chosen not to go with their agency.
- Pick Nurture. We’ve been in the business for ten years and counting, and are positively fabulous.
So, you’re getting ready for your first-ever egg donation – exciting times!
By now you’ll have met with one of our fab Nurture women, been matched and are getting ready to go. Here are a few extra tips from a former donor for making your first donation a stellar experience.
Never be afraid to ask questions during the donation process. If something interests you, ask. If something worries you, definitely ask! If you’re not sure, or are sure and just want to make extra sure, then ask! There’s no such thing as a stupid question. This is an awesome opportunity to learn about some
rad science, and your own health and fertility – so take it!
There are some quick (and cheap and easy) fixes to make sure you stay healthy when you’re getting ready to donate – and help make beautiful eggs for your recipient! Pop to the chemist to find some folic acid (which will boost your egg quality AND make your hair and skin look awesome, total no-brainer) and some good old-fashioned multivitamins. Choose more fresh fruit and veg and fewer processed foods. And (deep breath) – cut back on the alcohol and cigarettes. But especially the cigarettes – smoking has a major impact on your egg quality.
Staying hydrated is important to promote circulation throughout the egg donation process. Drink as much water as you can, choose fluids with electrolytes, and cut down on anything that can dehydrate you.
Let yourself take time off to rest and relax both before your donation, and after! Try to make sure that you’re not scheduling your egg retrievals for times that you know will be stressful for you, and that you take the opportunities to meditate, nap, or bond with your couch and your new favourite series!
Journal and take photos
This is an amazing experience that you’re on – and it has the potential to be life-changing for you. Write in your journal, make notes on your phone and take a million photos. That way, when you’re old and grey and looking back at your life, you can remember all the small details.