Many fertile couples around the world are blessed with their bundle of joy through egg donation. Over the past two decades egg donation has become increasingly popular, advertised in both print and broadcast media. Some women donate their eggs in hopes to provide couples with the most precious gift, while others donate to cash in. Whatever your reason, like any other procedure, egg donation has its pros and cons.

According to health.ny.gov, to qualify as a donor, you must be at least 21-years-old and no older than 35. The lower limit is to ensure you can legally enter a contract and the upper limit is to ensure fertility, and decrease the risk of birth defects. Some programs prefer a woman who has already carried a baby to full term, because experts believe they are more likely to be fertile and it is easier to anticipate their feelings regarding having a genetic connection with an offspring that will not be their own. 

Prior to being selected as an egg donor, you have to go through a series of interviews, either over the telephone or through an application. If the program sees you as a fit, you are then required to undergo medical and psychological screening.

Medical screening includes: physical examination, including a pelvic exam. Blood will be drawn to check your hormone levels. An ultrasound is conducted to examine your uterus, ovaries and other pelvic organs. You also have to detail medical and psychological history about yourself and immediate family.

If you successfully get through the screening process and still decide to move forward with egg donation, then you should know the pros and cons of the procedure.

Pros

- Many women feel a sense of joy, being able to help another woman conceive a child.

- Monetary benefits can range to nearly $10,000.

Cons

- According to Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel of the National Institute of Health, the primary concern of egg donation is Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome, which is when fluid leaks out of the vessels. This can cause pain, bloating, nausea, and in serious cases kidney and liver failure.

- Other less severe risks include: infection, pain, cramping and overstimulation of the arteries, which may modify your menstrual cycle.

Though helping a couple conceive a child may be a great accomplishment, make sure you are not jeopardizing your own health.