Female college students have the potential to do this — as long as they are willing to donate their eggs.
With the rising cost of tuition, a lot of people have to turn to more unique measures instead of just relying on jobs or loans. Other options include selling plasma or services around campuses, such as tutoring. But young females aged 20–30 years old have been increasing egg donations in order to cover the cost of their education.
According to an article on neontommy.com, 75 percent of the females who are registered at Beverly Hills Egg Donation are college students. The process is more than just an application, however.
The Fertility Center of Illinois (FCI) website described the requirements for donors in Illinois, including annual PAP smears, a psychological evaluation and a series of medications over multiple months, among other screenings. Additionally, if donors have any recent tattoos or piercings, letters of confirmation regarding the sterilization process must be submitted to the center from the parlor. Donors even have the option of being anonymous.
Even with these regulations, I’m not sure that I would turn to this. I understand that this is a legal practice, but as articles in USA Today and the Huffington Post pointed out, “federal law bans the selling of human organs.” Opposition to donors often compare the act of selling a part of yourself is similar to prostitution, but I definitely do not agree with that. Prostitution is illegal and those who hire prostitutes seem to do so for the sexual pleasure, with the exception of Holden Caulfield in “The Catcher in the Rye.” Being an egg donor is not a sexualized process for the recipient; instead, it is often a gift of life that many couples do not always have the opportunity to receive otherwise.
The process itself seems to be relatively simple. Donors undergo surgery for approximately 10 or 15 minutes and may feel a little disoriented the next day but otherwise have limited immediate side effects, according to an article on Atlantic Fertility. There always seems to be conversation about whether or not this process prevents the possibility of conception in the future, but as of now, there is no evidence to support those claims.
But I feel like the age restrictions are interesting. According to an article on the Examiner website, the human brain does not stop developing until the age of 25. Granted, this is an estimate and there are exceptions to every rule, but this is the general understanding.
So how can the centers allow women as young as 20 to sell their eggs? If the brain is not fully developed for another five years, there is a chance that this decision should not be made by this young of a person. I turned 21 almost two months ago, and even though I have opinions on this matter, I don’t necessarily think I would have been qualified to make a decision this big one year ago. And I don’t think I am any more qualified now.
I do believe that egg donation is probably wonderful for a lot of couples, and I’m glad that the donors do not have to pay for the process, but it just seems like there are a lot of other factors to consider. One of the young women in the USA Today article mentioned that she did not regret her decision to donate her eggs, but recommended that other women considering the process do a lot of research to make sure that is what they actually want. As college students, I totally understand the appeal for some relatively quick cash, but women everywhere should be aware of what the entire process entails.
Grace Johnson is a senior english major and columnist for The Vidette. Any questions or comments regarding her column can be sent to email@example.com.