The Kofinas Fertility Group’s egg donation program helps infertile New York couples become parents.
Thank you for your interest in our donor egg program. Many women cannot become pregnant because they either do not produce eggs or the eggs they produce are of poor quality. Egg donors are absolutely vital to helping some couples have children. By donating your eggs, you are providing an incredibly thoughtful and precious gift to an infertile couple: a baby of their own. Egg donation is a simple medical procedure, and thousands of women donate eggs each year. Your participation and the information that you provide will always remain completely confidential.
Who might need donor eggs?
Many couples who want to have children find it difficult or impossible to conceive. Using special techniques, some couples can conceive using their own eggs. More recently, egg donation has allowed some women whose ovaries do not produce enough healthy eggs to become pregnant using donated eggs.
The most common use of egg donation is to treat women who have run out of fertile eggs and are unable to get pregnant on their own. The age of a woman’s eggs is the main factor that determines her fertility, and a woman’s peak fertility is in her teens. This is the time of her life when she ovulated her best and most healthy eggs. By the time a woman reaches her mid-40s she will have used up her healthy eggs. Many of the eggs that remain in her ovaries may have abnormal chromosomes and are incapable of producing a healthy baby. However, this sequence of events can happen much earlier, and may occur as soon as the early to mid-20s in some women.
Although a woman may run out of healthy eggs in her 40s, or may lose her ovaries to premature menopause or surgery, her uterus remains a healthy place to have a baby well into her 50s. Since it is the age of her eggs, or her lack of eggs, and not generally the health of her uterus that determines whether she can have a baby, obtaining healthy eggs from young fertile women is the perfect solution to many couple’s infertility problems.
Who can become an egg donor?
The brief definition of an egg donor is a female who donates her eggs to help another woman get pregnant using in vitro fertilization. However, not all women qualify to donate eggs. We look for healthy young women who want to help others achieve their dreams of starting a family.
We are always looking for new women for our egg donor program. They must meet the following requirements to be eligible to participate:
• Age 21-32 years
• Live or work in the New York metropolitan area
• Non-smokers only
• Non-drug users
• In good health
• Must have regular periods
• Height/weight proportionate (Body Mass Index of less than 30)
• Minimum high school diploma/college degree preferable
Women in this age range are best suited to help others have a baby. It is helpful for donors to have been pregnant in the past as a “check” of their fertility, but isn’t required.
The Kofinas Fertility Group has been committed to creating healthy families for 30 years. We adhere to an application and screening process that allows us to identify young women with the qualities and attributes that our patients look for in a prospective egg donor.
If you believe you meet the requirements for the Kofinas Fertility Group donor egg program, you can begin the registration and application process by clicking here. Thank you for your interest. You can change another women’s life.
Why become an egg donor for the Kofinas Fertility Group?
For women in Brooklyn and throughout the New York metropolitan area, there are considerable advantages to donating to the Kofinas Fertility Group compared to traditional or agency-run donor egg programs.
Time – It only takes a few months to give the gift of life. If you are accepted into our donor egg program, completing your first donation cycle can take anywhere from 2 to 4 months from the start of the application process through the day of egg retrieval. It takes approximately 6 to 9 months to complete this process in traditional donor egg programs due to matching delays.
Convenience – The Kofinas Fertility Group has offices in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. Our staff makes every effort possible to make this process easy for our donors. We work around your busy schedule and make special arrangements to see you at times that are convenient for you. Because of all the conveniences and accommodations that we provide to our donors, 87% of them return to us for repeated donations.
Future fertility – A woman can successfully donate a large number of eggs without posing a threat to her own fertility. There is no research indicating an increase or decrease in future fertility by donating eggs. Many of our donors go on to have children of their own, while others have already completed their own families and decide to donate so that other women can experience the joy of parenthood.
Rewards – Many of our egg donors come to us through word-of-mouth referrals from current egg donor applicants. If you refer a friend, you will receive a $500 referral fee upon the completion of her donation cycle. Hundreds of couples have become parents through referred donors, so give the gift of parenthood by spreading the word. Whether you are accepted or denied for donation, tell a friend to list you as a referral source when she completes a donation cycle, and we will reward you. Egg donation is a relatively easy, safe and convenient way to earn thousands of dollars in a short amount of time. Healthy young women of all ethnic origins have been participating in our donor egg program since 1990. Our donors complete a thorough screening process (at no charge), which evaluates general and reproductive health, genetic history and psychological stability.
Compensation – Compensation for egg donors varies, depending on whether the donor’s fertility potential is proven or not. Proven donors receive slightly higher compensation due to the fact that pregnancy success rates are higher with proven donors. Upon completion of a cycle through egg retrieval, the Kofinas Fertility Group provides first-time donors with compensation starting at $8,000. Compensation may increase for successful donors who complete additional donation cycles. Many donors find the experience very rewarding and complete the maximum number of 6 donation cycles.
What are the steps of the egg donation process?
If you apply to become an egg donor, you may have several medical visits before you are accepted. These visits will include a physical and gynecological exam, medical and family history, blood and urine tests and a psychological evaluation. You will also discuss your rights and responsibilities with a program representative. A donation will not occur unless you are accepted into the program, you are matched with a woman who will receive your eggs, and you give your consent.
Egg donation makes use of in vitro fertilization, and there are three steps in the process:
1. Donor evaluation for acceptance into the program. The first step is to evaluate your health and prepare you for the medical procedures you will undergo. You will have an interview with the nurse coordinator of our egg donor program, which is designed to answer your questions concerning the egg donation process and to make sure that this is an appropriate program for you. Later you will see us for a medical history and physical examination to make sure that you have no undiscovered health problems. Laboratory tests will be performed to evaluate your fertility and check for common illnesses. Psychological testing will be scheduled with our psychologist.
2. Stimulation of your ovarian cycle. Once you are matched with a donor egg recipient, your nurse will synchronize you with your recipient using birth control pills prior to starting your ovarian stimulation with hormone injections. Synchronization takes 3-4 weeks. The stimulation portion of your cycle takes about 2 weeks, with an average of 10 days of stimulation prior to egg retrieval. While you’re on the birth control pill and five days before the last pill is taken, we will start you on an injectable medication called Lupron (Leuprolide). This medication blocks the influence of the pituitary gland on your ovaries and prevents premature ovulation. Once your period starts (approximately 5 days after the last active pill is taken), we will start stimulating your ovaries using natural hormones that produce an egg during a natural cycle. These hormones — FSH and LH — are used in different combinations and dosages in order to stimulate the ovary to produce 10 to 20 eggs. We use minimal amounts of medication in order to obtain eggs of high quality, and to avoid potential complications due to hyperstimulation of the ovaries. All of the medications that we use must be given by injection because oral doses would be deactivated by the digestive system. In most cases, these drugs are given over the course of 9-12 days. You will have 4-6 visits to the clinic during this time for blood tests and ultrasound pictures of your ovaries to follow the effects of the fertility medications on egg production.
3. The egg retrieval procedure (“egg harvest”). The egg retrieval procedure takes about 15 minutes in one of our operating rooms. Even though the procedure is quick, because the donor goes under light anesthesia for the retrieval, the entire visit typically takes one hour. After the retrieval, women typically take the rest of the day off but can begin light activity or even return to work the following day. It is required that someone who is 18 years or older is with the donor to drive her home on the day of the retrieval.
The egg harvest procedure is usually performed in the morning. In many cases, donors report that they are completely back to normal by the afternoon. Most women tell us that they are a little sore for 1 to 3 days after the procedure, but otherwise feel well.
Once your eggs are harvested, they are taken into the in vitro fertilization laboratory. There they are cleaned, inspected, and fertilized with sperm from the recipient’s partner. Several days later, the fertilized eggs are placed into the uterus of the mother to begin a pregnancy.
What does the testing/screening process involve?
Screening our donors is an important step in the donation process, and it begins with baseline hormone and pelvic ultrasound testing. As the name suggests, we are interested in your female hormone levels and potential egg count. These initial results determine your eligibility to continue with the process. If you are not currently on any form of contraceptive, baseline screening is typically conducted on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th day of your menstrual cycle. For those women on pills/patch/ring, this is typically done on your 7th pill/patch/ring–free day). Paraguard IUD users test on cycle days 2, 3, or 4.
If you are cleared to proceed after your baseline screening, your next step is a one-day comprehensive visit with our certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP). During this visit, we will conduct a physical assessment and give you an overview of the entire process, which involves education, lab work, and a review of your personal and family medical histories. You may bring a friend or family member with you, but please let us know prior to this visit.
After medical clearance, you will be asked to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed psychologists for your psychological interview. Once we have psychologically and medically cleared you, you will be accepted as a donor in our program.
How long does the egg donation process take?
While it is difficult to provide an exact timeframe, we estimate that completing your first donation cycle can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months from the start of the application process to the egg donation.
Fertility medication is usually given over the course of approximately 12 days. You will need to plan for 4-6 visits to the clinic so our doctor can monitor the progress of your medications. These visits usually last 15 to 30 minutes and are performed in the morning between 7 am and 10 am. Out staff makes every effort to accommodate your schedule. On the day of the egg collection procedure, you should plan to be in the clinic for half a day. The egg retrieval is performed in the morning, and you should plan to rest at home for the remainder of the day after your procedure.
How often will I need to miss work or class?
Not often. Evaluation day and the day of the egg retrieval are the only appointments where you will absolutely need to request a day off from work or plan to miss classes. You may also need to take time away from work or class to complete the psychological consultation with our licensed psychologists. However, our psychologists will work very closely with you and your schedule. The remaining appointments for lab work and ultrasounds are conducted early each morning from about 7 am to 9 am, allowing you to schedule your appointment before normal working hours.
How are medications administered?
We teach you how to use a very small needle to administer your medication into the fatty part of your stomach or thigh. Your last injection will be into the muscle of your thigh or backside.
What are the effects of the fertility medications?
The hormone injections that you will be taking are very similar to the hormones that your body produces daily. Most women do not describe any noted effects from the medications, as they are all-natural hormones or simple chemical derivatives of natural hormones. Doctors have had over 60 years of experience with medications such as HMG and have found them safe and effective. The side effects that people do notice are related to the action of the drugs. Menopur and highly purified FSH cause the ovaries to make hormones and eggs, and some women report mood swings on these medications. Most patients tell us that they don’t feel anything other than minimal abdominal discomfort as their ovaries grow in size with developing eggs.
Can I accidentally get pregnant as a result of the egg donation procedure?
Accidental pregnancies are unlikely. There is only a several-day period (around the time of the egg harvest) that you could become pregnant. We will know exactly when this “critical interval” is and advise you to avoid intercourse during this time.
Who will use my eggs?
Egg donation is a treatment option for women who do not produce enough normal eggs but are otherwise able to be pregnant. Some of these women have malfunctioning ovaries or started menopause at an early age. Others are at an age where they produce eggs less readily, even with fertility drugs. Still others tried standard IVF but produced poor-quality eggs or embryos. Less commonly, women decide to use donor eggs because they are aware of an increased risk for inherited disease in their biological offspring. For example, the woman herself may be healthy, but she and her partner may both carry a gene for the same disease. This creates a risk in the child if it inherits the altered gene from both parents. Using an egg donor who does not carry the gene eliminates this risk. Most often, donor eggs are used by women in their late 30s or 40s. Very few women under the age of 36 use donor eggs. Our program will allow women over age 50 to be recipients. Our program will treat unmarried women who are trying to become pregnant without a male partner and who require donor sperm as well as donor eggs.
What will the recipients of my eggs know about me?
Recipients will only know the information included by you in your application. We do not disclose any identifying information to the recipients. To protect your anonymity, we highly recommend avoiding any details about yourself or your family (e.g. children’s names, name of college attended) that could potentially identify you. We also recommend reviewing your application before submission to check for spelling and grammar errors, and for issues with consistency of information.
Will I be able to meet or talk to recipients?
No. Because our program is anonymous, we do not allow communication between our donors and recipients, nor can we disclose the outcome of their cycle. Once you have donated your eggs, you no longer have the rights to them or to any information regarding their disposition. Following egg retrieval, the eggs belong to the recipient(s). Therefore, we would be violating their privacy if we share information with you.
What are the legal responsibilities of egg donors?
The law is extremely clear on this matter: children born as a result of the egg donation process legally belong to the couple receiving the donated eggs. Egg donors have absolutely no responsibility for the future welfare or support of these children.
Do I have to meet the couple that is receiving my eggs?
No, in most instances we perform anonymous egg donation. Neither the egg donor nor the recipient couple is aware of the identity of the other party. We do ask for you to provide us with a picture of yourself (and your children if you have any) to aid our patients in their selection of a donor. Some recipient couples express a desire to meet their donor before the process begins. The choice to have an “open” arrangement requires agreement by both donor and recipient.
Will the recipient know who I am?
Our program keeps the identity of donors confidential (often called “anonymous donation”). If you enter our program, the recipient will have important information about you, but you will never meet or know each other’s names.
Can I donate more than once?
If the physician approves you to donate again, you may donate up to 6 times in your lifetime. Approximately 60% of cycling donors in any given month are repeat donors. About two months following your egg retrieval, a donor team physician reviews your donation cycle and the recipient outcome to determine your future eligibility. We will contact you and return your profile to the donor database. As long as all labs are up to date by our protocol, you can go back on the donor list immediately.
How much am I compensated for donation?
Donors are compensated for their time commitment to our program. As a donor, you will not be charged any out-of-pocket expenses. You will be compensated a total of $8,000 for your first cycle.
What if I am not accepted?
It’s natural to feel rejected if you are not chosen. Sometimes the decision is made to protect you from medical harm. Or you might find the process too time-consuming or emotionally difficult. In some cases, it simply means that the right match has not been found.
To prevent prospective donors from dwelling on the reason they were not accepted, our programs will not provide this information. This is our policy. Please make certain you are comfortable with that before going through the screening.
If I recommend a friend to donate with the Kofinas Fertility Group, is there a referral bonus I could receive?
There is! For any friend/family member you refer who completes egg retrieval, you will receive $500. Referrals are always welcome. Please be sure to advise your friend or relative who is applying to list you as their referral source.
If you have any questions about our egg donation program, or to schedule an appointment, call 718-340-3611. You can also schedule an appointment using our easy online form.