How To Sell Your Gametes: Part 1 – The Backstory

World English Dictionary

fitness  (ˈfɪtnɪs)
— n
1. the state of being fit
2. biology
a. the degree of adaptation of an organism to its environment,determined by its genetic constitution
b. the ability of an organism to produce viable offspring capableof surviving to the next generation

3. Getting other people to carry your kids.

As a fitness trainer, you had a chuckle over your lame play on words.  Who says being gay is an evolutionary disadvantage?

Consider the facts:

  • You are non-committal.
  • You don’t want kids.
  • You have great genes–albeit, some odd genes.
  • Considering the “reckless procreation” in your family, it might follow that the women are extremely fertile.
  • You are no exception.  You have above-average reproductive organs.
  • You feel somehow obligated to reproduce, but don’t want any of the responsibility for it.


  • You are the perfect egg donor.

Every time you tell someone that you’re “selling your eggs,” there is a pause, as though the person isn’t quite sure he understands.  In the words of your famously silly Irish buddy, “When you say ‘selling your eggs,’ I’m assuming you mean diamonds and shit.”

No.   Not diamonds and shit.

Eggs.  Ova. Gametes.

Once upon a time in college, you were an ambitious athlete with a bad back.  So bad, in fact, that the cortisone injections, performance anxiety, and medications became too much for you.  You sought some counseling to cope with your feelings.  You wondered if you were going crazy.

The doctor recommended having your hormone levels checked.  So you did.  The results came in.

“You have… pretty much the lowest level of estrogen I’ve personally ever seen in a pre-menopausal woman,” she said.

You laughed, of course, because you weren’t surprised.  The lady should have tested your testosterone.  You joked about your estrogen levels must’ve played into your orientation.  But that’s n0t really the reason:

Causes of low estrogen in women
• Menopause
• Hormonal fluctuations
• Lifestyle
• Diet
• Stress
• Eating disorders
• Extreme exercise
• Pituitary diseases

Anyhoo.  It was your first glimpse into your reproductive capacity since high school, when some doctor prescribed you birth control when you told him that your cycle was all over the place (you were a three-sport athlete at the time).  You took them for about about three months and decided it was a waste of money (your first independent act of medical skepticism).

In college, you had low levels of estrogen due high levels of stress, exercise, calorie-restriction, and more.  As a sexually active adult, there was no way you were getting pregnant, even if you bare-backed it.  You began to describe your uterus to others as, “A most inhospitable place for a fetus.”

Nail in the coffin.  You would never ever end up pregnant during those peak, reproductive years of your early 20s.

Then one day, you saw it, in the Yale Daily News: “WANTED: egg donors from the Ivy League.  Earn $5,000-$10,000.”


You signed up, for shits and giggles, thinking you would have nothing to do over the summer while you recovered from back surgery.

The application was long and tedious.  You had to draw out your family tree (no easy task, considering you have a sister-aunt and about a million cousins), submit pictures of yourself, your parents, your brother.  You had to describe your own personality, strengths, weaknesses, and memories in detail.  Tedious, but fun.  This was before applications were online.  You did this on paper.

It only took a week before you were matched.  You blinked, surprised.  But in hindsight, you weren’t that surprised.

You are a 6’0″, light-haired, blue-eyed, “Viking princess” with a Yale education and super-athlete genes.  Turns out you’re a hot commodity.

The intended parents were a gay couple from Princeton.  One guy originally from Seattle, the other from Spain.  One had been a rower, the other had studied philosophy.  What a match!

You drove all the way to Princeton after your surgery–met them at a cafe, and talked about the potential child.  You fell in love with them both.  It was agreed that contact would be limited, but that anonymity would not be necessary, and the you would receive a picture of the resulting child every year or so, and letters from the parents.

For a gay couple, producing a child requires immense planning.  Not only would they pay you $5,000 (low end donation for a first-time donor) for your eggs, the had to pay their agency several thousands for mitigating the process, an additional $20,000 to a surrogate mother, and untold amounts to a fertility clinic and insurance companies.

Growing children is expensive.

After you met the parents, you drove to New York City for a psychological evaluation, to determine that you were mentally fit and emotionally prepared to part with your gametes.  You also had an over-the-phone genetic screening.

Did you understand the process?  The amount of time needed to commit to such a thing?  The amount of medication?  The extraction itself?  Probably not.  The unfortunate matter was that you were trying to sell your eggs for something “to do over the summer,” as you recovered from surgery.  You would have to return to school and go back to rowing.  You refused to miss a day of practice.  That sport meant more to you than anything else.

The donation cycle was called off due to insufficient time.  You actually felt sad.  You’d gotten all geared up to sow your seeds.

You went returned to rowing in the autumn of 2005  and didn’t look back.


October 19, 2012

Today you start your follicle stimulating medication.  It’s a little overwhelming.  A lot more difficult than looking at porn and rubbing one out.

What you’re looking at here, in the center, is

  • $5,000 worth of medication, which must be refrigerated.  If it isn’t and becomes ineffective, you have to pay that money back.  (God forbid a power outage).
  • A sharps container for your “hazardous material.”  That means blood-contaminated syringes.
  • A “pen” that administers shots.
  • A bottle of stool softeners.
  • Some alcohol swabs.
  • On the left, yes, that’s protein powder.
  • And yup, Gatorade.
  • And a new shaker bottle!

You were flabbergasted by all of this.  The directions, thankfully, are clear, and you have no trouble shooting cold medication into a fat roll.


Only 11 days more of this…

Categories: LGBT, Money, Struggles, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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