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  • Writer's pictureEvan Billups

Donor Story: Sydney

Sydney is a PA from Colorado. Sydney became interested in egg donation having worked in the medical field and witnessing infertility issues up close. She loves to travel and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and snowboarding.

Can you start by telling me a bit about yourself, your background, where you’re calling from?I was born and raised in Colorado and about five years ago I moved to New York, so that's where I'm calling from. I am a PA and I like to travel!

Can you tell me a little bit about how and why you became an egg donor?  Where did you hear about it and what prompted you to go through with it?

I work in the medical field so I see infertility issues quite often and I can see the toll it takes on the families. So I had a friend who was looking into doing it and she wasn't a candidate for whatever reason, but she kind of inspired me, and so I signed up and it all worked out!

Was becoming an egg donor or going into the donation something that you talked to your family or friends about it? And if so, what was their reaction?

Yeah, I told pretty much everyone. My mom was not happy, but she's very traditional and it just took her a little bit to get used to and she's fine with it now. But I talked to my fiancé and friends and they were all super supportive and curious - I don't think it's a very common thing, so they just asked a bunch of questions which is totally understandable.

Yeah, were there any specific questions or concerns that either they had or you had about becoming an egg donor or about the process?

They basically just wanted to know how it worked; one big one was how they get the eggs and where they go and what they actually do. And then how long I'd be on hormones was another thing they asked. I don't think they realized how extensive medical history and family history and everything you have to do leading up to the actual donation.

Yeah, and you come from more of a medical background so was that something you were familiar with before? Or was it something that you learned more about after?

No, I actually had no idea. They gave me the checklist of everything to do, and I mean it all makes sense. Everything I had to do makes complete sense to me, and it didn't take too long to complete either; it wasn't like a burden or anything.

So what was the donation process like? How was the clinic like?  

It was good! Everyone was super friendly, helpful, kind - nothing negative at all to say.

Ok good! And what sort of physical side effects - if any - did you have for your retrieval?

Leading up to it, just being on the hormones, really the only thing I experienced was slight bloating towards the end the last few days. Other than that, I felt totally fine. And then after retrieval I would say the first day I had some pain, but they gave appropriate medication for that which took away all the pain and I was fine. And then maybe for the next three days, a little bit of pain but Tylenol helped with it. Then everything went back to normal - I don't see any lasting side effects or anything like that.

Ok good! And did you go right back to your regular activities or work after, or did you take some days off after the retrieval? 

No, I went back to work the next day and I didn't work out for two weeks like they recommended.

Looking back on the experience, what sort of expectations did you have (if any) going in and was the experience as expected or was there anything that surprised you?

I didn't really have too many expectations, just because I know it's different for everyone. You can read about it, but you're going to make your own opinions and expectations. So I didn't really have any going in. I did think once I got to Oregon that I would have to go to more appointments, but I really only had to go to like two or three and I was there for a week. So I had a ton of free time and a ton of time to explore where I was. I could've worked if I wanted to because I work from home, but I decided to explore the area.

Oh nice! Were you in Portland?


Oh cool that's where our office is!

Oh yeah!

Did you get to see anything cool?

Yeah, I love the Pacific Northwest. So we went to Olympic National Park for a day which was cool. And then we went to Mt. Hood for a day and that area. We walked around Portland for a day. We went to the coast for a day. We rented a car, so we drove around a bunch of places.

Oh nice! Who did you bring for your support person?

I brought my fiancé.

Oh nice ok! Yeah Oregon has really great nature and outdoors. So for you, what was the best part about being an egg donor?

Just hopefully helping out someone. You know you can't guarantee whether or not they'll be able to make an embryo and whether or not it'll be successful, but at least it gives them a little bit of a chance.

And are you thinking about donating again in the future?

Yeah, I told them they can keep me on for however long - I would do it again. It was very easy and simple, and there was really no lasting effects of the hormones or the retrieval that I know of so far, so yeah I would do it again.

And in terms of the compensation, is that something you're putting towards something specific or just kind of saving up?

I paid off my loans - well some of them!

Great! And how did you find Intend specifically and how did you feel about working with Intend?

My friend sent me the link - she was researching a bunch of different donation sites and she said this one looked like the best to her. And I liked working with them - everyone was super nice, super helpful, answered all my questions and kind of supported me the entire time.

And lastly, what advice do you have for someone who's interested in becoming an egg donor?

I don't know - just do it! It's worth it.

Note: this interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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