While at first glance you might meet the basic requirements(18 to 33 and a healthy BMI) and you’re ready to jump in feet first, there are a few other important factors to consider.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start this amazing journey. So, grab a cuppa (or a glass!) and find a quiet place to think over the below.
Am I healthy?
We all know that a healthy BMI (body-mass index) is not always a clear indicator of healthy you are. You must be free of any serious medical conditions (including HIV), and mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia before you are allowed to donate. You may also be disqualified from donating if you have a history of major depression that requires you to be on two or more psychiatric drugs.
Speaking of drugs – any donors who have a history of drug and alcohol abuse will not be allowed to donate. A few glasses of wine here and there is fine – just be prepared to cut back a little while you’re donating.
And, of course, you must have regular, healthy periods!
Do I have a healthy family history?
During your screening process, you fill out a questionnaire longer than most nightmare exam papers.
In it, you will be asked some detailed questions about your family’s medical history for the doctors to see if there are any possible genetic red flags to consider. These are important! If you can’t answer questions about your family’s medical history honestly and comprehensively, perhaps now is not the time for you to donate.
There’s a list here of the medical conditions that might disqualify you if you or your immediate family suffer from any of them – so please read through before starting the application: https://www.nurturedonors.co.za/medical-conditions/
Do I have the time?
Egg donation is a time-consuming process. Apart from the daily injections that you need to give yourself (or have someone give you if you’re really scared of needles!), you must be prepared to come in for between six and eight appointments – including initial psychological screenings and health checks, and repeated scans to check out how your ovaries are responding to the medication. Additionally, you must be prepared to take at least one day off from work or varsity for the donation and recovery itself.
If you’ve got a stressful time coming up at work or varsity and know that you won’t be able to make the time for any potential donations, perhaps put it off until your schedule clears and you can focus on making beautiful eggs!
(Side note: If you don’t want to disclose to your employer or place of education that you’re donating your eggs, one of the doctors can provide you with a medical certificate to book you off.)
Can I get to all my appointments?
Do you have your own vehicle to drive yourself to all your appointments, or can you catch a lift, take a taxi, Uber or use other public transport? And can you afford to pay out of your own pocket for these trips? While donors are compensated financially for their time and effort, this only takes place after the retrieval has been completed. If money is tight, make sure to budget for up to ten trips to and from the clinic you’ll be working with.
Will someone be able to pick you up after your retrieval?
Another important consideration is the day of the retrieval itself. During the egg retrieval, you’ll be placed under a very light anaesthetic to knock you out while the doctors do their thing. And while you might feel fine, legally you are not allowed to drive yourself home after having undergone anaesthetic. Someone must be there to pick you up after and to take you home.
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then we can’t wait to welcome you aboard! Head to www.nurture.co.za to take the next steps on your egg donation journey.