Chick That Laid the Golden Egg

Controversial Fat Checks for Student Egg Donors

Egg donation agencies and private couples are offering some serious cash money to potential egg donors, way more than what the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is cool with. The ASRM guidelines recommend that $5000 or more in compensation requires justification, and considers anything greater than $10,000 to be inappropriate.

According to sample advertisements taken from over 300 college newspapers, almost one quarter offered compensation exceeding $10,000. Of the ads studied, several offered $35,000 and one promised $50,000. Compensation strongly correlated with the university's average SAT score; for each 100 point increase in a university's average score, compensation rose by $2,350 (holding all else equal). Other factors that hiked up compensation included appearance and ethnicity, which is a big no-no, as the ASRM prohibits compensation being linked to personal characteristics such as these.

The ASRM is getting their ovaries in a bunch over the inappropriate compensation amounts because their imposed monetary threshold is meant to protect potential donors from feeling undue pressure to sell their eggs.

We get why some yuppie couple would want to fork over an extra chunk of change for a high IQ and photogenic-faced donor, but ladies, don't be tempted by a fat check. The physical and emotional toll that egg donation could take on your body and life demands the utmost thoughtful consideration.

According to our expert, Denver Ob/Gyn Dr. Mandi Beman, to donate eggs, "you must undergo an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment cycle where your ovaries are stimulated with hormones (typically in the form of an injection) so that they produce multiple eggs. Once the eggs are ready, they are removed under ultrasound-guidance with a small needle that is placed through the vagina." While Dr. Beman says IVF "is basically a safe procedure and the risk of complications is small," she does warn that the complications can be serious: "There are risks such as bleeding, infection and ovarian hyperstimulation (where an excess of estrogen can lead to enlarged ovaries with accompanying pain and risk of twisting of the ovary, excessive fluid retention in the abdomen or lungs and blood clotting). While very rare, the most severe form of ovarian hyperstimulation can be life-threatening."

So think it through if you're ever tempted to sell your eggs. That kinda money doesn't come easy, even for a smart chick.

The Hastings Center. Fertility industry offers big money to recruit ‘desirable' egg donors at top universities (2010, March 24). EurekAlert! Retrieved from


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