I just thought I’d put my New life Donor experience into writing. As it may resourceful to any other potential Donor’s.
I first became aware of fertility egg donation programmes via a friend who had been a donor. Initially I had no interest in being a donor myself, overtime I became quite curious as to what an egg donation programme entails. I then approached a local South African clinic, they sent me an application to be on their database. I was contacted 2 months later to be a donor for a foreign couple. Blood tests, a therapy session and scans were done thereafter I was given fertility medication to inject myself with, within this process you have approximately 3-4 scans to examine how your eggs are growing also to establish harvest day. On harvest day you go into clinic, your put under anaesthesia for the procedure to be done this takes about 20-30 minutes, once your awake and fully functioning you may leave. At no time may you speak/ask questions about your ‘parents’ that your donating for because you will not get a reply.
Egg donation in South Africa is completely anonymous by law an egg donor will know who has received her eggs and recipients have no information on the egg donor, other than what is on her profile. This can leave you feeling very detached although you go for a therapy session and are made aware as to how far your involvement goes, you still can’t help feeling that way. In my opinion It’s made me feel like an egg factory the way procedure ‘has’ to be resorts you to feeling that you kind of just did it for the money. When you know that you have plucked up the courage as well as all the thought that goes into such a good deed.
My experience with New life was totally the opposite. New life is an international egg donation company, a close friend of mine has had the privilege of becoming South Africa’s coordinator. So when she contacted me to be on her database I said yes, the same basic procedures follow as local clinics but with New life you as the donor is treated like a queen, you are filled in with all personal details and all information from the recipients to what the doctor has to say is disclosed with you. The biggest highlight is that your procedure is done abroad whether it be Thailand, Georgia, Cyprus or India. Your flight tickets, Visa, accommodation and food are all sorted for you as well as your coordinator escorting you on your journey, most times you get to meet you recipients over lunch or dinner which is so fulfilling their gratitude expressed as well as the intimate experience is glorifying. I have had the experience to travel to Cyprus as well as Thailand the overall experience was wonderful from beginning to end, you are taken care of to the fullest with the finest medical attention.
A common question you may have as a first time donor might be: Is it harmful to my reproductive system?
Women are born with millions of eggs in their ovaries and most egg retrieval processes result in 10-20 eggs. Women are just as fertile after donating their eggs as they were before the donation. A safe number of times to donate in your life is 6 times Overall egg donation is a commitment not just a quick pay day. Each donor is carefully screened and Intensive tests are done, such as hormone levels and a number of other tests. It is not legal or medically appropriate to allow a female to donate if she is not capable on a medical level. Stimulation part and what to expect? Stimulation- while injecting yourself you may feel sensitive as well as emotional however do not freak out as your body is just being prepared to be at its most fertile stage. When procedure is done it is normal to feel abdominal sensitivity so be gentle and it would be most advisable to rest thereafter, stay hydrated and eat egg white as it’s known for protein to help heal quicker. Remember that you are very fertile for a few weeks thereafter so sexual activities should be kept under wraps. Also allow yourself to heal properly. In no time you’ll be back to normal.
My experience as a donor has been invaluable, being able to give a couple the gift of life is one of the most fulfilling moments in my life. Many people have their own views such as being donor means that the child is yours- on a chromosome and genetic level of course this is true, and the child is very much a part of you, however knowing your motives and reasons for being part of a procedure like this should clarify certain things to you. You need to fully understand and do research before going through with such an experience because there is no cancelling once you have filled out forms and started with your medication. Personally I prefer to keep my profile as a donor private to prevent conflicting views or anything else that may come along.