Stay-at-home moms are always looking for ways to earn extra money, but most of the ways available to us – crafting, online surveys, part-time retail jobs – take up a lot of time and only earn small amounts of money. If you’re looking to earn a large chunk of cash quickly, often up to $15,000 or more, consider becoming an egg donor.
Egg donors provide their eggs to infertile couples and help other families have children. Like sperm donors, nearly all egg donors are anonymous. It is a way for you to give the gift of life to a family who cannot conceive children on their own.
The egg donation process is complicated, and you need to understand how to donate eggs before you sign up. It is not a simple sequence; it requires you to undergo a variety of tests, including genetic, medical and psychological testing, before beginning the weeks of injections required to produce and harvest eggs. Although egg donation is in theory similar to sperm donation, egg donation pays so much more than sperm donation because egg donation literally alters your life for a period of one to two months.
During egg donation, you are injected with hormones that cause your ovaries to release multiple eggs at once. Remember, you are born carrying all the eggs you will ever create, and every month your ovaries release a single egg during ovulation. However, these hormones cause you to release dozens of eggs simultaneously, which means you experience PMS times 12: large amounts of belly and breast swelling as your ovaries and uterus prepare for the influx of eggs, and of course all of the water retention, irritability and discomfort that comes with the usual menstrual cycle.
It takes a few weeks after the initial injections before your eggs are ready to be harvested. This involves more needles as doctors remove the eggs from your body one at a time. From there, the eggs are given to other families and implanted via IVF. You never know how many of your eggs result in successful pregnancies. After your eggs are harvested, your body slowly releases the extra hormones and your life returns to normal. Read Stanford’s description of the egg harvesting process for more information about the full medical procedure.
Although egg donation involves multiple injections and a period of discomfort, it is perfectly safe. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine has a large amount of data on the process, which is considered both medically safe and ethical. Numerous stay-at-home moms have already taken advantage of the egg donation process as a way to contribute to the family income while helping other people to start their own families.
Here are a few more caveats: expect to undergo a full series of tests to determine if you are carrying any genetic diseases, as well as psychological tests to ensure you understand the risks involved. It’s best if you’re on the younger side – most egg donation sites cap donation age at 30 or 31, and you’re definitely ineligible after age 35. Although the idea of egg donors having to be “genius supermodels” is a myth, donor families do prefer women with strong educational accomplishments and often show a preference for tall, slender women.
Do not sign up for egg donation if you are currently breastfeeding a child; you do not want the synthetic hormones to seep into your child’s breast milk. It is also not a good idea to do an egg donation cycle if your children require constant, active attention; during the donation process, there will be a handful of days when you might be too uncomfortable or swollen to move, and the process is best for stay-at-home moms who have children who are out of the active toddler stage.
On the other hand, if you are a young mother in good health with children who are able to manage most of their own basic needs, there is no reason why an egg donation process should disrupt your family’s life. Even if it means you take a few “mommy sick days,” you should still be active enough to prepare meals, manage school drop-offs/pick-ups and maintain the work you do as a stay-at-home mom.
If you’re interested in becoming an egg donor, contact a donation site in your area and see if you qualify for the donation procedure. Discuss the procedure with your spouse or partner, and explain to your children that mommy is going to need extra love and care for the next few months. Then take the hormones and release your eggs – and think of how much a mother just like you is going to love her new baby.