Lucrative to donate eggs, but beware

Forget waiting for my net check, there is a new way college-aged women can cash in, and we won’t have to pay any money back either.

It’s a business that’s rapidly growing in the United States. It’s egg donating, and I don’t mean for baking.

A San Diego broker posted an ad called “A Perfect Match.” The ad asked for women who are “attractive, under the age of 29” and have SAT scores above 1,300. If women meet these requirements and other criteria, they could receive $5,000-10,000 for each egg they donate, plus the costs of air travel, hotel stay and other expenses. Compare this to the $40 on average given to men for each donation of sperm.

So what is a girl to do?

According to an article in USAToday, donors typically are ages 18 to early-30s, when women are most fertile and eggs are healthiest. They must pass medical and psychological tests before brokers and clinics shop their information among prospective parents.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine – a leading trade group composed largely of fertility doctors – and other fertility organizations say donating is safe when women are properly screened and treated. They say donors offer a vital service to women who can’t produce enough eggs on their own.

But ASRM acknowledges potential risks, including nausea and diarrhea, from a condition known as “ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.” The most serious complication, the group says, is a “remote” risk of death. Donating eggs may also create future fertility trouble for donors. And there is the possibility of emotional problems after donors relinquish parental rights to children conceived with their eggs.

With an estimation of about $38 million annually spent on egg donors, and 10,000 babies born each year through egg donor procedures, egg donating is starting to create a stir in the medical world.

Critics are trying to ban the sale of eggs because they say it unfairly targets women with “money troubles.”

Although it is an extremely invasive procedure as opposed to sperm donation, what is the difference? Both procedures grant infertile couples and individuals a chance at having children.

If college-aged, “money-troubled” men can make up 90 percent of sperm donors and it is considered OK, why are critics so willing to ban egg donors?

It is up to the individual to make the life-long decision of becoming a donor. Whether a person wants to sell his or her DNA is up to that person.

It is imperative that women who are interested in egg donation do in-depth research.

If nothing else, be well-informed so you can make the best decision for you.

Katrelle Simmons is a junior English education student from Orlando. She can be reached at