Can You Really Make $80K Selling Your Eggs?
If you have ever watched HBO’s The Sex Lives of College Girls, Kimberly Finkle finds herself in a financial predicament. She’s lost her academic scholarship and is in desperate need of money for tuition.
She quickly considers her options — grants, military bonus, and egg donation. She optimistically finds an ad that reads, “Did you know you could have $80,000 inside of you?! Looking for students from elite colleges willing to sell their eggs.”
So, is this true? Can you really make upwards of $80,000 selling your eggs?
Ads for Egg Donation
Like Kimberly, many egg donors are young women in need of money. Potential donors are likely to resemble women who are strapped for cash. Ads are hyping egg donation across the United States — and many potential donors are finding it convenient.
The ads are highlighting egg donation on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube — and many report a spike while on the job hunt. Fertility clinics are finding would-be donors through internet activity. Clinics use behavioral data, which monitors digital footprints, from web searches to credit-card purchases.
“There are a hundred companies out there that sell third-party data that they’re collecting on users online,” states Marcus Kroon, senior vice president of the advertising firm Deutsch LA. Clinics also find potential donors through demographic targeting, in which a person’s data is bundled with those who share similar traits, such as age, gender, location, education, and political leanings.
Geofencing allows companies to narrow targets using location data by placing digital ads within a physical perimeter. The presence of a phone within a geofencing perimeter can cause targeted ads to bleed outside of the boundary, too, making them inescapable.
“We can serve an ad on TV because the mobile phone is connected to the WiFi, which is connected to the IP address,” Marcus further states. Global digital ad spending reached $491 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to $500 billion in 2022.
Egg Donor Compensation
While financial compensation is an incentive, potential donors may be surprised to learn that walking out with an $80,000 check is all but impossible.
Typically, an egg donor fee will range from $35,000 to $80,000 per cycle. Those egg donors who have previously cycled or who have exceptional qualities may be paid more egg donor compensation. Those who complete the maximum cycles are likely to make between $30,000 and $60,000 total.
In August 2021, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Ethics Committee released its updated compensatory guidelines for clinics in which it recommended: Total payments to donors in excess of $5,000 require justification and sums above $10,000 are not appropriate.
The money given to the donor, the ARSM says, is not a sale, but compensation for the time, inconvenience, and demands of the process. Depending on the location, clinic, and experience, donors can expect to make between $5,000 and $10,000 per cycle — and are advised not to complete more than six cycles in their lifetime.