Mimi’s Story: Sometimes I Wonder What My Children Look Like
Jennifer Lahl—Eggsploitation Executive Producer, Director, and
Writer—interviews a woman who just sold her eggs for the fourth time.
Jennifer Lahl: I frequently receive emails from egg donors who find our work and our film Eggsploitation. This conversation just arrived in my inbox. I share it with you in the hopes of educating other women who may be considering donating/selling their eggs, and to inform people who may be looking to purchase eggs. Thinking about selling your eggs? Thinking about buying another woman’s eggs? Think again!
Mimi*: Hello Jennifer Lahl,
My name is Mimi and I recently finished my fourth and last donation that I ever plan on doing. The reason for this last donation being my final one is basically because I have developed this intense sense of anxiety of what my future entails with my own fertility.
During my first three donations everything went very smoothly. I was given Menopur and Bravelle for the self-injecting medications. I was eager and excited for my first three donations because of the great feeling I received about helping couples have babies. I have always been a very altruistic person, and the money they offered was also very enticing since I was a college student without a job, just trying to get by.
I researched online some side effects and possible long term effects of egg donation, but never really got any sufficient information. I also asked the doctors and nurses about it and they made it seem like there are no risks.
After each donation, I started to gain a significant amount of weight. When I did my first egg donation I weighed 135 pounds, and now I weigh 160. This weight gain has only been in a 1.5 year span. I haven't changed my exercises or eating routine that much, so I am very confused why this is happening. I am completely self-conscious now, and the weight is not coming off no matter what I do.
After this last donation I had more severe side effects than I had in my past donations. I was extremely bloated. I could feel every step I took in my stomach. Every bump in the road while driving hurt like heck. I called my clinic and they said it’s nothing to worry about and that it would go away. Luckily, it did go away. I am now 9 days post retrieval. I haven't gotten my period yet but am hoping so soon.
The reason that I am emailing you is that I am scared out of my wits that I am going to develop some kind of reproductive cancer and or not be able to have children of my own one day. I am 23 years old and am planning on having children in my late twenties. If I couldn't do that because of a few egg donations, I would be completely devastated.
My donation stories are not as intense as some of the other women who have gone through the process, but now I am so paranoid and I feel like I was taken for granted and almost as though I was tricked. Is there any advice you could give me to help put my mind at ease?
JL: Mimi, Thank you for taking the time to write and tell us your story. I'm very sorry to hear about this. And I hope your health is ok in the short- and long-term. I wish I had advice to give. I would definitely get copies of all your medical records though and keep them. Did you do all your donations with the same clinic? What state are you in?
Mimi: I did do donations at all the same clinic and I am in Hawaii. Thank you for your caring response! :)
JL: Ok, well ask them for copies of ALL your records from all three of the donations. You should go see an independent doctor and get a complete physical exam—someone you trust who is not involved with this industry.
Tell everyone young woman you know about your story so they will NOT sell (or donate) their eggs!
Mimi: Thank you so much for the information. I will ask for copies of all of my donations and I will inform other young women. I just got a full physical with my family doctor and OB/GYN and they said everything looks fine. But of course the long-term effects are unknown. Thank you again.
JL: Can I post your story?
Mimi: Don’t use my real name; I just wouldn't want the agency finding out. I just watched your film and I loved it. It was very informative and made me really think about the decisions that I have made. I am more than happy to share my story with others and if you have any questions in particular that you would like to ask me feel free.
I am a very open person. Also, if you want, I can keep you in touch for the future if you would like to know of any medical complications that I may have later due to my many donations.
JL: Do you mind telling me how much you were paid for each donation? And do you worry/wonder about the children born from your eggs?
1st donation: $5,000
2nd donation: $5,500
3rd donation: $6,000
4th donation: $6,500
Sometimes I wonder what my children look like. Sometimes I wish that I could see pictures of them and could keep in contact with the families. But I know that will never happen, and I have been able to move past it.
Sometimes I catch myself going on the agency Facebook page and seeing pictures of the babies that have been born. I wonder if some of them look like me or if one of them could be mine. I am more interested in what my own babies will look like. It doesn't make me upset or sad, just curious. I know the pregnancies were successful.