• So fertility medicine does exactly what?

    It helps your body to rescue many of the immature eggs (usually around ten) that would otherwise have been lost, so medical professionals can retrieve them for use in an egg donation programme like ababySA. It doesn’t affect any of your eggs that your body will use for future cycles. The fertility medication has no proven long-term bad effects.

  • My Kids Will Be Out There. Won’t That Be Strange For Me?

    Unfertilised eggs are discarded by your body with your normal menstrual cycle. And to make a child, you also need an entire swagbag of goodies: sperm; a healthy womb, a mother. There aren’t going to be any of your children running around any where, but there may be children that carry some of your genetic material, loved by parents who have moved mountains to welcome them into their lives!

    An egg donor, surrogate or birth mother is special person who helped to create that child, but they are not that child’s mother.

  • Will I get paid?

    The South African Medical Ethics committee have recommended R7,000 to the Egg Donor per donation cycle (depending on which Clinic runs the program) as an inconvenience allowance for the time and energy you expend in gifting your eggs, to help parents with their dream of having children. The compensation is paid in cash, by the clinic, on the day of the egg retrieval, after the procedure.

    Eggs are not sold, they are gifted and no price can be put on that gift.

    Your recipient parents will never forget you.

  • I’m Thinking Of Becoming An Egg Donor. Do I Qualify?

    If you’re female (please check!) aged 20 to 34, healthy and from a healthy family, you could be a very special person: you could donate a few of your eggs to people (Recipients) who need them to start their own family.

    We welcome Egg Donors of any ethnic background. The usual disclaimers apply: addicts or heavy smokers are a no-no.

  • I’m Worried This May Not Be Legal. Is Egg Donation Legal In South Africa?

    Yes, the National Health Act of 2003 (regulations about artificial fertilisation and related matters) confirms it’s all completely above board. It is true that there are some places in the world where you may not donate eggs; that’s why  a large number of international Recipients who visit South Africa to use our service.

  • Who pays my medical bills?

    Your Recipients pay all medical costs. This is a very big deal for them, emotionally AND financially, and they want you to have the best possible treatment and care.

  • Who Sees My Information? I Don’t Want The World Knowing My Business

    Our secure database is password-protected. You will join our list of Egg Donors, where registered ababySA Recipients (those looking for eggs to start a family) can view your profile. They will not know who you are, but will see a bit about you, physically, as well as relevant details of your medical and family history.

  • Don’t I need ALL my eggs so I can fall pregnant?

    You’re born with about two million eggs. By puberty, only 300,000 immature eggs are left: every month, a group of eggs grow and develop so your body ovulates once each cycle. One egg! The remaining eggs from this group don’t develop fully and are flushed in the menstrual cycle.

    As we age, so the efficiency of ovulation and quality of your egg may reduce; that’s one of the reasons why we have an age limit for Egg Donors.

  • Are we talking surgery here?

    No, no cutting at all. You will be under procedural (conscious) sedation, a medical term for very light anaesthestics or sedatives to minimise pain and discomfort. You’re usually able to speak and respond to the doctors and nurses while they retrieve your eggs vaginally, using a suction needle.

    You will, however, be in specialist medical hands, treated by doctors who specialise in fertility medicine.

  • So what risks are there?

    There are two things you should be aware of: the main risk is a condition called Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which happens in 1% of In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) cases. And secondly, on retrieval, there is a tiny chance of infection, or reaction to the anaesthetic, as with any medical procedure. 

    We work with professional Fertility Clinics, where you will have the best possible specialised medical treatment. You are in good hands.

  • And long-term? Any chance of me damaging my ability to have children?

    Egg donation doesn’t cause infertility. Fertility medication has no proven long-term effects at all.

    You may choose to donate several times and then go on to have children of your own. Or you may have kids first and then donate your eggs.

  • Does it take a lot of time to donate?

    Not too bad, but it does take some commitment from you.

    After you’re chosen, there will be an appointment with the doctors at your clinic (about an  hour). Also, an hour, once-off, with a psychologist. And during the actual procedure, you’ll have to visit the clinic three to four times (over a two-week period) for ultrasounds, checkups and to coordinate your cycle with the recipient mother.

    You’ll also have to take a day off for egg retrieval, which happens during the normal work week. We can arrange a sick note, if you need it.

Become A Donor

Our Egg Donor Programme

We’re delighted that you want to be part of the fantastic, rewarding ababySA experience. It takes a special generosity to do this; you’re a very special woman, helping infertile couples to realise their dreams of parenthood, through your partnering them in IVF with Egg Donation.

You will be committed to work with us and the future parents for anywhere from six weeks to four months.

ababySA is not a medical facility, but a service to South Africa’s best Fertility Clinics and their Recipients, infertile and same-sex couples. We work with the best Specialists in Reproductive Medicine to keep you safe while donating and to make you comfortable with the crucial role you play in this fabulous environment.

We know you’ll enjoy the experience. It’s very special and it may just be the greatest thing you do in your lifetime. Respect.

 

1. REGISTER AS AN EGG DONOR

 

You’re female, aged 20 to 33, of any race, healthy and from a healthy family, with a regular Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 29 and a regular menstrual cycle. Then, it all starts here, where we perform a short initial check to make sure that you are likely to be suited to this very special role.

An online, secure form will magically appear and you can tell us some basic information about yourself. Our cyber-imps have a look and – as long as you fit the basic requirements – we’ll then ask you to commit by filling out a detailed application that gives enough information for prospective parents to decide your eggs and genetics fit their profile!

We will look at your family’s health history, your personality type, your interests, education, employment and fertility. All these things are critical to give future parents a sense of the unique you. We’ll also ask you to upload a few pictures of yourself as a baby or toddler.

You will have a pseudonym or name by which you will be known on ababySA, to keep your identity private.

REVIEW AND SCREENING

When your complete application is approved, we’ll contact you and confirm you’re good to go. We have an online presentation that will be opened to you, and we are available to discuss any further questions or thoughts that may arise.

JOIN OUR ONLINE DATABASE

With your final consent, you will officially join our Egg Donation Program: your anonymous profile goes live on our website. You could be chosen in a few minutes, or a few months!

Our secure database is password-protected. Registered ababySA Recipients (those looking for eggs to start a family) can view your profile; they will not know who you are, but will see a bit about you, physically, as well as relevant details from your questionnaire that will help them to choose you to donate.

We’re a completely anonymous Egg Donor agency! Confidential information will NOT be shared, ever. Never. Ever.

YOU ARE CHOSEN

Often, after repeated in-vitro fertilization procedures and repeated pregnancy loss, a couple will choose to use the male sperm to fertilise a donated egg so that their child carries half of their genetic material. A recipient couple can also be a male or same-sex couple.

Our Recipients are patients undergoing fertility treatment at a Fertility Clinic. They are looking for the best possible match to create their family unit and they take your gift very seriously. When they choose you, we will let you know, and make sure that you’re ready to start the donation cycle.

Generally, Recipient couples want to start the process as soon as possible. Your Recipient parents will never forget you.

 

2. WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN EGG DONATION CYCLE?

We perform a special role in the Egg Donation cycle, where we concentrate on making sure that our Donors are most suitable for a specific match. Our professional medical partners are the medical specialists and will provide medical advice unique to you. There is, however, some basic information that is important for you to understand your role in this special journey.

An Egg Donation Program typically lasts from six to eight weeks.

PRE-CYCLE SCREENING

During the first two weeks, a fertility specialist will perform a medical examination (including a pelvic exam, ultrasound and blood tests) and a psychological assessment, at your Fertility Clinic. This pre-cycle screening will confirm that you are both mentally and physically ready to donate. The Clinic will be reasonably close to your home or workplace.

The Clinic will close a contract with you, as well as your Recipient, to protect your equal rights and in which you agree to the Donation, as long as the results of the screening are all OK.

Next, you are started on a low dose birth control pill, so that your menstrual cycle can be synchronized with the Recipient. This usually takes four to six weeks, marked by the first day of your next menstrual cycle.

PRE-DONATION: the last two weeks

During the last two weeks of the program, you take a two-week course of fertility medication, to stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs on time. You’ll have to visit the Clinic regularly, now, so the doctor can keep a close eye on you make sure that you are managing, and that the medication is at the proper dose to help produce eggs.

Eggs grow at their own pace, and Clinics use slightly different methods, but these last two weeks typically work like this:

DAY 1:

Your menstrual cycle starts. Let your IVF co-ordinator know and they’ll schedule your next appointment: usually 8 days later.

DAY 2:

 You start medication, a daily injection.

DAY 8 – DAY 12:

 You’ll be on medication for about twelve days. The doctors will do ultrasounds three times this week to see how the egg follicles develop in your ovaries. They are also watching you carefully to make sure that Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) stays away. There’s no pain involved, don’t worry!

DAY 12:

 Almost there! Your doctor can now give you a date for the Retrieval and will ask you to take final medication, exactly thirty-six hours before the procedure. (This injection starts the last stage of maturation, to time the Egg Retrieval perfectly, and goes hand in hand with your commitment to the Retrieval Date.

DAY 13:

 No medication. None.

DAY 14:

 Egg Retrieval: the day is here! You’ll have to take a day off, as it’s now or never! This day can’t be rescheduled, or the Donation WILL fail.

THE EGG RETRIEVAL

This is an in-theatre procedure, scheduled for 36 hours after your final injection, usually in the morning.  You are put under a mild anaesthetic while the doctor retrieves your eggs vaginally, using a suction needle. Guided by an ultrasound scan, the doctor can position the needle precisely into each follicle for aspiration or “suction”. The eggs are released and collected and taken straight to the lab to be fertilised.

The process takes 15 to 30 minutes; you’ll rest few a few hours at the Clinic and you may want to relax for the rest of the day. Take it easy for a few days, as with any medical procedure: your doctor will tell you exactly what he expects after the Retrieval. And you MUST have someone drive you home afterwards: it’s the law.

You may feel a bit bloated or uncomfortable, with some mild cramping and even spotting after the procedure. You’ll have pain medication (just in case) and you can resume light daily activities a few days later. And please remember to avoid unprotected sex for 7 days before the Egg Retrieval, and for 2 weeks afterwards (till you get your next period and can start your regular contraceptive).

We perform a special role in the Egg Donation cycle, where we concentrate on making sure that our Donors are most suitable for a specific match. Our professional medical partners are the medical specialists and will provide medical advice unique to you. There is, however, some basic information that is important for you to understand your role in this special journey.

An Egg Donation Program typically lasts from six to eight weeks.

3. COMPENSATION AND AFTERWARDS

You will be paid on the day of your egg retrieval, after you have completed the program. The current rate is R7,000 as an allowance for your time and inconvenience. This amount is legislated by www.fertilitysa.org.za.

Recipients also cover your medical costs related to your donation process, so you will NOT pay for doctors, evaluations, blood tests or medication prescribed as part of your donation.

In-vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer

We told you how your eggs are retrieved and then sent to the lab. Here, an Embryologist examines them and puts them in a special fluid that protects and prepares them for sperm, which is added after two or three hours (outside the body: in-vitro). Once fertilised, the embryo’s are observed by the Embryologist and are ready for transfer to your Recipient after three to five days growth.

Nature will then decide if the embryo transplants successfully and your Recipient falls pregnant.

Return to us for further selection, if you want

In South Africa, the medics suggest a maximum of six donations, or five pregnancies, whichever comes first. Clinics may differ slightly in this, but will be able to justify their policy to you. Once you are matched, or chosen, we remove your profile from our website. After at least one normal cycle and period, you may choose to donate again – so you have at least three months break between donations, and the decision to continue is yours and yours alone. It is not an automatic process; let us know and we’ll welcome you back.

The South African Medical Ethics Committee recommend the rates we pay to Egg Donors per donation cycle; it’s an inconvenience allowance for the time and energy you expend in gifting your eggs, to help parents with their dream of having children.

How and what will I be paid?

You will be paid on the day of the egg retrieval, after you have completed the program. The current rate is R7,000, invoiced and paid to you by your Clinic on the day of your retrieval. Recipients also cover your medical costs related to your donation process, so you will NOT pay for doctors, evaluations, blood tests or medication prescribed as part of your donation.

Eggs are not sold, they are gifted and no price can be put on that gift. Your Recipient parents are investing a lot in you, both financially and emotionally and we rely on you to be reliable and responsible and fully committed to a successful pregnancy.

Your most important obligation is to stick to all instructions you are given by your doctor, while on the program. You’re born with about two million immature eggs, or follicles in your ovaries. By puberty, only 300,000 immature eggs are left! Each month, a group of ten to twenty eggs grow and develop; your body selects one of these to ovulate, once each cycle. One egg! The remaining eggs from this group don’t develop fully and are flushed in the menstrual cycle or reabsorbed by your body.

When you donate in an Egg Donation Cycle, you are given fertility medicine to develop the eggs that would normally have been discarded by your body. You work with the Fertility Specialist selected by your Recipients, who is concerned with both the best possible retrieval, and dedicated to your safety and wellbeing.

4. RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS

It’s critical that we know about any medicine you are taking, or if you need to take any course of medicine while on our ababySA database. Please take only medicines approved by the Fertility Specialist during the Donation cycle itself and try to lead a healthy lifestyle (which includes being careful with alcohol and cigarettes)! This is because other medicine, or alcohol may affect the stimulation medicine and reduce the quality and quantity of your eggs and, later, the embryos.

Some women may experience some side effects typical of Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS), which includes breast- or ovary-tenderness, fluid retention, mild allergic sensitivity, abdominal bloating, headaches and moodiness. There could be minimal spotting, but you may feel a little bloated and uncomfortable for a day or two at the most afterwards.

Some women experience no side effects.

It may take from a day and occasionally up to two weeks after the egg collection, to get completely back to normal. And there are risks, although extremely rare: they’ll also be discussed during your time with the Fertility Doctor.

The main risk is a condition called Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which happens in 1% of In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) cases.

If you fall into the unlucky 1%, once the hormone treatment starts, your ovaries may start producing too many eggs. That means you’ll feel sick, you’ll bloat and be in some pain. You’ll have all the necessary cell numbers; immediately, your doctor will ask you to get to the clinic for a check up. Treatment is usually a bit more bed rest, but if the doctors think it’s necessary, they’ll check you into the clinic to be treated with antibiotics.

And that’s also why we make sure that you can get to the clinic for occasional scans: they’re an important part of managing your donation and the medication with it.

Secondly, on retrieval, as with any medical procedure – there is a tiny chance of infection, or reaction to the anaesthetic. An antibiotic shot is given together with the anaesthetic as a preventative measure.

According to the professionals, there is no link between ovarian cancer and ovulation drugs. Long-term, the consequences of egg donation are not known, but records show that the medical risks associated with egg donation are very low; it’s a safe process.

Most Egg Donation Cycles are hassle-free, but – if you experience any side effects from the medicine given to you – you must let the doctor know immediately. If you don’t, you may have unnecessary complications. Your health and well-being is THE most important thing, so please monitor how you feel and call if you have any questions or any odd symptoms. 

Your doctor should give you written information about the medicine and procedures, and will talk openly with you about any possible side effects and risks associated with each medicine or procedure. Please ask the doctor if there’s anything you’re uncomfortable about.

There is also a risk that you fall pregnant: obviously, you are highly fertile while taking the special medication and – without care, you may be out of commission for some time!

Or you may contract an STD. If so, we would have to cancel the donation. From the time you start follicle stimulation, until you get your next period (about 4 weeks) you’ll be highly fertile. If you want to avoid pregnancy, use non-hormonal birth control like condoms. Or preferably abstinence up to eight to ten days after the retrieval, when your menstrual cycle starts again and you can resume your regular contraceptive method.

Thank you for reading all the information; that’s a great start!

 

  • Zeta

    “I want to help woman reach their dream of bearing children and experiencing the joy of motherhood.”

  • Fundiswa

    “I hope that you are able to find someone to give you the gift you are looking for. I would be so happy and grateful to help you achieve this.”

  • Chandi

    “Let’s us raise this generation and build this nation with love and passion. May God be with you. I love you both.”

  • Sumiko

    “I thrive on helping other people and would love to help you realise the dream of having your own family.”

  • Precious

    “My goal in life is to make people happy – this is just another way of doing that.”

  • Joyce

    “You have been too awesome! Thank you for your support, I would do this again, no questions asked. Your ethics and kindness will take you far.”

  • Samantha

    “Thank you so much, you are an amazing woman and it’s a pleasure working with u. I am also happy I was able to donate such a wonderful gift.”

  • Buhle

    “Thank you so much for everything, I appreciate working with you and everyone you introduced me to. I just hope and wish my recipients are successful.”

  • Roxanne

    “I have only received excellent service from ababySA.”