Thank you for your interest in Takes3's donor egg program. Egg donation is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Your generosity as an egg donor is rewarded in many ways. You gain satisfaction from helping someone create a family in addition to being well-compensated for your time and effort. The process requires a few weeks of diligence and attention but minimal discomfort or pain.
Takes3 is not a medical clinic and no medical tests take place in our offices. If we are able to take action on your application, you will have an interview and complete a more extensive questionnaire. Your profile will then be posted on our private database (accessible to Takes3 clients only) for a recipient to select. This matching period can run from a few days to a few months.
Once selected, you will begin the medical screening at the recipients’ clinic, which could be in your home city or somewhere else in the US, if you are open to travel (travel is all expenses paid in advance).
The egg donation process includes a medical screening and then a series of hormone stimulation leading to the retrieval procedure. The whole process from screening to retrieval takes about three months; the actual stimulation period lasts about twelve days and is when most of the attention of the process is focused.
Egg donor candidates must be at least 21 and no older than 29. [If you have recently donated successfully and are between 30 and 32 years old, your application may be considered.] Applicants must be US citizens or legal residents, residing in the US.
Egg donor candidates can be of any ethnic or religious background. They must have knowledge of their family medical history. Egg donor candidates must be physically fit with a BMI (body mass index) less than 27. [To calculate BMI, use this online BMI calculator.] Candidates must be non-smoking, in excellent health, mature, and responsible.
Takes3 recipients typically seek motivated women who are attractive, fit, and well educated (with graduate or college degrees, or in college or graduate school).
Takes3 receives many applications, but can only respond to a small percentage of them. When you apply, you will immediately be sent an emailed acknowledgement to confirm that it was received. If we can take action on your application, you should receive a follow-up email from us within a couple of days.
Takes3 is not a clinic, and no medical procedures take place in our offices. Recipients choose donors from our database, and their donors have the medical work at the recipient’s clinic, which can be anywhere in the US but is typically in the Boston and New York metro areas.
First, you complete and submit our online questionnaire. If you are a potential candidate, we will schedule a time to speak to you by phone for an extensive interview where we review your questionnaire, explain how our program works, and answer all your questions. There will be a more extensive questionnaire to complete; we will also ask for supplementary materials such as more photos and a copy of a photo ID.
After you have submitted the materials, your profile will be posted on our private, password-protected database, accessible to Takes3 clients only. Each donor has a code that does not reference her name in any way; there will be about three current photos and a paragraph describing basic physical characteristics, educational background and other general biographical details, as well as the non-confidential portion of the questionnaires. At that point, we wait for a recipient to select you.
Once your profile is posted, we wait for a recipient to choose you. This can take a few weeks to a few months; it is impossible to predict. For most recipients, physical resemblance is the most important criterion, so it is a matter of luck.
The actual process takes about three months from start to finish: the screening in the beginning takes about 3-4 hours on a weekday. Then there are a few weeks of downtime while we wait for results and make the donation schedule. The actual donation period lasts about two weeks, during which there are a series of quick, early morning monitoring appointments, ending with a full day off for the retrieval (monitorings and retrievals can occur any day of the week).
Once you are selected, we will contact you immediately for information on your availability and schedule. We will accommodate your schedule as best we can. Once the match is official, we send your information to the clinic, and the nurses take over from there, for the most part.
Once matched, every donor needs to be screened. The screening process is not painful or difficult. Although every clinic has slightly different protocols, most require some preliminary hormone blood tests (sometimes timed with your menstrual period) and perhaps an ultrasound of your ovaries, to make sure all is healthy and normal. Most clinics require a copy of your latest Pap test lab report.
Once those preliminary tests results are done, there will be a genetic, psychological, and medical component to your screening that takes about three hours altogether. This is done on a weekday. The clinic will take blood to test for genetic and infectious diseases and give you a drug screen, you will have a written psychological test (the MMPI or PAI) and have an interview with the psychologist/ social worker, and talk to the geneticist to review family medical history. There is no cost to you (or your insurance) for any medical testing.
It can take two to four weeks for all the results to come in. There will not be much for you to do at this time, although the clinic may start you on birth control pills in the interim. Most donors pass their screenings; if you do not; the clinic will provide the reason.
After all the results are in, you will review your egg donor contract with a lawyer: the contract guarantees your compensation, transportation reimbursements, and protects you against liability.
The actual donation process takes about three weeks; first they will suppress your cycle with hormones, then stimulate your cycle with other kinds of hormones. It is the same process that women who freeze their eggs or do IVF to get pregnant with their own eggs go through: it is a very routine procedure that thousands of women do every year.
You will begin by taking birth control pills and sometimes the hormone suppressant Lupron. After about ten days of the Lupron, you will go into the clinic for a quick blood test and sonogram to make sure you are ready to start. This test will take place early in the morning, typically before 9AM, in order for the clinic to get results by the same afternoon. This appointment will take about a half hour. Then you will start the stimulation medications, administered by injection every morning. These injections do not hurt and the clinic teaches you how to do them. Then for about twelve days thereafter, you will be going back to the clinic for monitoring appointments every other day or so. These appointments take about 30-40 minutes and are done early in the morning: you will have a blood draw to test your hormone levels, and they will give you an ultrasound to measure the growth of your ovarian follicles. When there are enough mature follicles, the retrieval will be scheduled. This 12-14 day monitoring period should not disrupt your everyday routine much: they are completed early in the morning and you have the rest of the day free. Nobody can tell that you are on these drugs and you can go about your normal life.
The retrieval typically occurs on the twelfth day of the stimulation period, although it can be a day or two earlier or later. You will know which day your retrieval will occur two days before the actual procedure. It takes about fifteen-twenty minutes, but you will need to arrive at the clinic about an hour ahead of time and can leave about an hour afterwards. You will be lightly sedated, and using the sonogram screen to guide them, the doctors extract the fluid out of each follicle vaginally with a long, thin needle. The procedure is called an ovarian cyst aspiration. [Your ovaries makes cysts naturally when you ovulate: when you donate your eggs, they create a number of cysts in a very controlled way, monitoring them as they grow, then aspirating them when they are mature.] You will not feel any pain during the procedure. Afterwards, you should go home and rest for the day.
Overall, egg donation requires a series of early morning appointments which take about a half hour and are done by 9 AM. These appointments can take place any day of the week. The screening generally requires about three hours on a weekday. The retrieval occurs about 6-8 weeks after the screening and requires a full day off; it can occur any day of the week.
If you are working with a clinic in a different city, you can have your initial hormone testing locally. Then you will need to travel to the clinic for all the rest of your screening, which is scheduled for one day (there would be one overnight hotel stay). You would typically be able to have two local monitoring appointments and then travel back to the other city for all the rest of your monitoring and retrieval; you go home the day after the retrieval. This donation trip usually lasts about a week. The travel expenses are covered in advance and arrangements are made for you. You can have a companion with you for your retrieval trip and all his or her expenses are covered.
You will not know where you will have the medical work until you are matched; we will let you know where your recipients are working at that time. If you are open to travel you may be offered an opportunity in another city. We only work with major IVF clinics that are registered with the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).
Yes. You may be instructed to go off hormone-type birth control (such as the pill, Mirena IUD) when you are matched. But until then, it is fine to be on birth control. If you use the Depo shot, you will need to go off it a few months in advance.
No. We welcome qualified egg donor candidates from all over the country.
No. Once you finish your screening and before you begin your cycle, a special donor oocyte insurance policy is purchased for you. You do not need insurance, and if you have insurance, no medical costs are charged to your policy.
No. All your medical, legal, insurance, and travel (if required) costs are paid for in advance.
After an egg donor passes her screening but before the cycle begins, she will have a lawyer review the terms of her egg donor contract. The contract outlines and reinforces the payment of her compensation and travel expenses, and protects the egg donor’s rights. Legal fees are paid for in advance by the recipients.
Most of our matches are mutually anonymous; egg donors don’t meet their recipients and the recipients do not meet the egg donors (although they see photos and have information about them). If you want some information about your recipients, we can get that for you. Takes3 finds out from both recipient and egg donor what kind of relationship is desired, and we make arrangements accordingly. If you have any specific requests about the kind of recipients you would like to donate to, we will honor them.
Takes3 has a unique message board that allows some mutually anonymous communication between donors and recipients, should both parties desire this.
An average egg retrieval yields about 8-20 eggs. The donor’s eggs are then placed in an incubator where they are fertilized with sperm and observed for a few days. If the eggs are fertilized successfully, one or more resulting embryos may be transferred to the uterus of the recipient mother or a gestational carrier. Any fertilized embryos remaining may be frozen for later use by the intended parents.
Most egg donors do pass their screenings, but if you do not, a nurse or doctor will inform you and explain. No compensation is offered to egg donors who do not pass their screenings (but any travel expenses required for the screening trips are paid for).
The side effects of the follicle stimulating hormones can be similar to PMS: bloating, tenderness, etc., although everyone responds differently and most tolerate the stimulation easily. The egg retrieval may cause some temporary soreness or cramps that last a few hours, but the procedure itself is not painful. Serious side effects are very rare, and no long-term effects of egg donation have been discovered. Egg donation does not deplete your ovarian reserve. The doctors discuss the full range of risks with each donor at length. To avoid the risk of pregnancy, egg donors must abstain from sexual intercourse during the process.
For an extensive description of the egg donation procedure and its risks, NAFG recommends prospective egg donors consult the guidebook Thinking of Becoming an Egg Donor? prepared by The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law's Advisory Group on Assisted Reproductive Technologies.
One of our former donors created a vlog on her experience and it is very thorough and accurate:
Yes. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends a maximum of six anonymous egg donation cycles per donor. A period of at least three months is recommended between each donation.
We welcome candidates who have already donated; we would request the medical records from any previous donations along with the questionnaires.
Yes, if you request this information in advance (it would be included in your contract).
The Northeast Assisted Fertility Group’s donor program (Takes3) is registered with the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) and is licensed by the state of New York. NAFG’s president and founder, Sanford M. Benardo has been a leading assisted reproduction lawyer for many years. He is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the legal professionals group of the ASRM and is past president of the American College of Assisted Reproduction and Adoption Lawyers. NAFG abides by the ASRM’s ethical guidelines for egg donation. Please see the Who We Are page for more information on our staff.
Takes3 has a highly selective donor pool of educated women from all over the US. We have excellent, long-standing working relationships with the first-rate clinics that have consistently referred their patients to us for years. We have facilitated several thousand donor matches.
$15,000, payable immediately after the retrieval of donor eggs. The compensation is paid in one lump sum; donors receive 1099 forms the next year. Previous donors are compensated $18,000.
NAFG (Takes3) has been a member of ASRM and SART since we started in 2006. We have always followed and will continue to follow their ethical guidelines as they relate to our program.