How far would a student go to achieve her dreams of going to college? Well, due to rising tuition costs and high interest on loans, an increasing trend is college women selling their “eggs for pay”.
This epidemic has come into scope the last few years since college is increasingly expensive.
Last year Cal State Fullerton’s tuition was $3,282 and this year it has increased to $3,426.79 which is a $144.79 difference. Although financial aid is available and there are less extreme options to paying your way through school like working a job or two, it may seem easier for some just to sell some eggs and make a quick buck.
The process requires two phases, it begins with ovarian hyper – stimulation which is administered through a series of hormonal drugs.
There are three-stages to this drug regiment and the first causes the body to simulate menopause so that the eggs no longer mature with the body. This will cause the eggs to be easier to extract later on in the process, the drugs manipulate the timing of the eggs and when they will drop.
One drug used is called Buserelin/Suprefact and this is used to treat endometriosis as well as prostate cancer. The side effects include: acne, breast pain, decrease in sexual desire, dizziness, headaches, impotence, nausea, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, weakness and weight gain. These side effects alone are enough to toss this egg donor idea out into the gutter.
After suppressing the hormone levels in a donor’s body, the second class of drugs are to be distributed through daily injections of either follicle stimulating hormone or human menopausal gonadotropin. These treatments make the eggs multiply so the doctor can harvest more eggs at once.
In the final step of the drug treatments, tests will determine if the eggs have matured and there will be one injection that triggers ovulation through human chorionic gonadotropin. A surgical procedure is then necessary to retrieve the eggs through trans-vaginal ultrasound aspiration, under conscious sedation.
The motivation behind donating eggs is far and wide.
Some women genuinely want to help other women conceive and others rush into the decision for financial gain. The reasoning behind going through an ordeal like this matters and may be the difference between regretting doing it afterwards.
In an article by Emily Woodruff she quotes Linda Kahn, “The bottom line is that we simply don’t know anything for sure, because nobody has followed these women systematically,” said Linda Kahn, a postdoctoral fellow at New York University School of Medicine.
So not only are there high risks surrounding the hormone regiment but also the long-term risks are just not known to doctors at this time. This seems very alarming as a college student, after all the initial motivation is the money to pay off student debt so health problems down the line would not be ideal.
“I actually looked into donating my eggs but I didn’t get much past the informational page that lists eligibility” said Tracy Lamar, a Fullerton College student.
Lamar suffers from a reproductive disorder called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which is a hormonal disorder that leads to enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. She would not be able to donate eggs due to her condition but nevertheless she took the time to look into it.
“After enough time of living paycheck to paycheck, you consider a lot of things” Lamar said.
While Fullerton college students may not be dealing with heavy loans and tuition as compared to Cal State Fullerton for instance, I wondered if the stakes were higher would the desperation rise.
Ally Fernandez, a CSUF student majoring in communicative disorders at first thought, considered possibly donating eggs to, “lessen the financial burden” on her parents but after examining the risk factors she changed her stance.
She would, at least, want the option of having kids later on down the road and wouldn’t want to risk being infertile even if it meant saving some money now. I have to agree, I definitely want kids in the future and I don’t want any conscious decision of mine to negatively impact those odds.
Since this is an issue dealing with a women’s body, it makes sense to ask the women but I thought I’d get a male’s perspective as well since they may have a significant other or sister who might be considering becoming an egg donor.
“I understand if a woman is in a desperate position but I wouldn’t want my girlfriend to risk infertility from this procedure,” says CSUF student Christian Claudio.
It’s important to remember that women are born with a set of eggs and that’s it. Unlike men who produce new sperm each and every day, women have to be more selective with the donation process. Men can afford to lose sperm because they are constantly producing more.
All in all it seems that rising tuition costs and the weight of loans are not enough to risk college women’s fertility health. There are other means to lessen the financial burden such as selling old clothes or taking surveys online. Our health is not worth a quick buck.