Which young lady, when faced with crippling student debt and having to pay rent, hasn't (jokingly) contemplated donating her eggs? Well, maybe that's a generalization, but egg donation is often suggested for people who want to help out childless families — and make some money in the process. (In fact, one study found that most women donate their eggs for altruistic reasons, not financial ones.) But for many women contemplating the option, though, the realities of egg donation aren't actually clear — from the money involved to the process of donation itself, and the different medical and health consequences that need to be considered before going forward with it.
According to inviTRA, a community for people trying to conceive using IVF, egg donation is regulated on the state level in the U.S., not federally; it's based around recommendations by medical associations and the needs and wants of egg "customers" (people who will use the donations) themselves. Which means that you need to do a lot of research into the particular legal and medical structures of the state in which you're donating. If you're donating to somebody specific, called a "known donation," they need to be in the conversation too. All kinds of people want egg donations to help them become pregnant, and the eggs you donate, if viable, will go on to be used for IVF. It's an amazing process that was unthinkable less than 30 years ago, but it's more complicated than popping into a gynecologist's office and leaving with a check.