The process of becoming an egg donor in Massachusetts, however, is somewhat more formal than in many other states
.A relatively common part of the process of egg donation in Massachusetts that is less common in many other states and countries is the formal representation of the egg donor by her own attorney prior to donating her eggs. The egg donor enters a binding contract with the recipient parents before her ovulation cycles even begin.
Parents and donor are represented by separate attorneys, but the prospective parents pay the egg donor's legal fees. Qualifications for entering an egg donation program also tend to be more specific in Massachusetts. As in many other states, prospective egg donors can only enter an egg donation program between the ages of 21 and 32, although women who are already enrolled in an egg donation program can continue to receive fertility treatments for the harvesting of eggs through age 35.
In Massachusetts, prospective egg donors are also likely to be required to be non-smokers and to have a BMI (body mass index) of less than 30. Aside from the preliminary legal progress, the process of actually donating eggs is much the same in Massachusetts as anywhere else. After a written application and a telephone interview, most clinics schedule all intake testing for a single day.
Prospective donors are assessed for their psychological ability to go through the process, their fertility, the absence of sexually transmitted diseases, and their general genetic makeup. Women who are approved for the program then go through a contracting process with the prospective parents, which may take 3 or 4 weeks after suitable parents are identified. Then the egg donor goes through the first six-week fertility cycle.
Most clinics start by having the egg donor take the Pill for three weeks to suppress ovulation. Then they take an injection to further suppress ovulation for another week to two weeks, this drug given by a nurse at the clinic. When the surrogate mother starts her preparations to receive the fertilized egg, then the egg donor begins taking injections she gives herself at home for two weeks to allow multiple eggs to mature. A little less than 36 hours prior to "harvesting," the egg donor gives herself a "trigger shot" to release the eggs. Eggs are collected through a needle inserted through the vaginal wall to the ovaries with the help of ultrasound imaging.
The collection procedure is done under sedation, and most women remember nothing about it afterwards. The day after collection, most egg donors resume their normal routines, and in another six weeks, some start another donation cycle. Payments for participation in an egg donation program are usually between US $5,000 and $25,000, payable after eggs are harvested.
Acquiring a sexually transmitted disease during the fertility cycle usually nullifies the contract, and the eggs are not harvested and the donor is not paid. Numerous facilities accept egg donations in the Boston area. Egg donors may go through fertility cycles up to six times.