Wits students are turning to egg donation for quick money to pay for things they need and can’t afford. Others are doing it to help couples who need a baby.
A Wits student, who spoke to Vuvuzela on condition of anonymity, says she donated eggs twice for the money. “I wanted to buy myself a microwave and a fridge, and I thought egg donation was the best way to get money.
“It was a difficult decision to make but it was better than stealing it or sleeping with a man for money,” she said.
A woman can provide one or several (usually 10-15) eggs which will be inserted into another woman’s womb together with a man’s sperm to impregnate her.
The egg donor is required to do two blood tests. An HIV test and an NMH test which checks eggs reserve, which is whether a woman‘s egg can conceive and physical well being. She also has to have an assessment done with a psychologist who will explain the entire process to her.
Another student, studying for her BA says she was touched by an article she read about a woman whose marriage was falling apart because she was infertile and desperately needed a baby to save it. The student decided to go to Med Fem clinic in Sandton for the procedure.
“I decided one day that I want to give a woman in a [similar] situation as the woman I read about a precious gift, a baby. I didn’t do it for the money.” she said.
For two weeks the donor will be injected daily with a fertilizer which eventually allows her body to be ready for the egg to be extracted.
Glenda Sigh, manager of DonorLife, said: “She should also take good care of herself, which includes eating healthy food and drinking lots of water as the injection can dehydrate her body”,
According to research by author David K. Gardner the egg donor may suffer complications which can arise from In vitro Fertilization (IVF) such as bleeding from recovery procedure and reaction to the hormones including ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome and, rarely, liver failure.
But Sigh says: “There are no risks involved as long as the donor takes good care of herself”.
South African legislation requires that the identity of egg donors not be disclosed according to the Human Tissue Act.