At InVia Fertility Specialists, donor compensation has been $7,000/- for many years now. This is well within the range of $5,000 - $10,000 suggested by the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). How did they come up with these numbers?
A 1993 analysis estimated that oocyte donors spend 56 hours in the medical setting, undergoing interviews, counseling, and medical procedures related to the process. According to this analysis, if men receive $25 for sperm donation, which this analysis estimated as taking 1 hour, oocyte donors should receive at least $1,400 for the hours they spend in the donation process. In 2000, the average payment to sperm donors was $60–$75, which this analysis suggests would justify a payment of $3,360–$4,200 to oocyte donors.
The above analysis fails to consider the time spent by sperm donors undergoing interviewing and screening. Even if this additional time is taken into account, however, the lengthier time commitment of women providing oocytes supports substantially higher payments to them than to sperm donors. Moreover, because oocyte donation entails more discomfort, risk, and physical intrusion than sperm donation, sperm donor reimbursement rates are reasonably considered to underestimate the amount that is appropriate for women providing oocytes.
It has been suggested that compensation for oocyte donors should be given for the hours spent on medication and on clinic visits, with the hourly rate based on the mean hourly wage of persons with demographic characteristics similar to those of the donor. This method of establishing payment rates presents practical difficulties and arguably would be unfair to women from lower income groups.
Although there is no consensus on the precise payment that oocyte donors should receive, at this time sums of $5,000 or more require justification and sums above $10,000 are not appropriate. Programs recruiting oocyte donors and those assisting couples who have recruited their own donors should establish a level of compensation that minimizes the possibility of undue inducement of donors and the suggestion that payment is for the oocytes themselves. A recent survey indicates that these sums are in line with the practice of most SART member clinics.
At InVia Fertility Specialists the amount paid does not vary based on the planned use of the oocytes (e.g., research or clinical care), the number or quality of oocytes retrieved, the outcome of prior donation cycles, or the donor’s ethnic or other personal characteristics.
Once the donation process begins, oocyte donors become patients owed the same duties present in the ordinary physician–patient relationship. The recipient couple buys insurance which will cover the costs of any complications that require hospital admission. Egg donors are screened by a psychologist who is also available to oocyte donors who experience subsequent distress related to the procedure.
If you are interested in helping an infertile couple achieve their dreams, please contact InVia Fertility and become an egg donor today!
Dr. Karande is Board Certified in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the subspecialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.