Because You’re Worth It: How the US Egg Donation Industry Monetizes Beauty

A booming reproduction business commodifies women and their looks while clients hoping for a baby pay tens of thousands of dollars

Because You’re Worth It: How the US Egg Donation Industry Monetizes Beauty
Illustration by Joanna Andreasson for New Lines Magazine

On an evening in mid-February 2019, Annie Oliver stood in line at her local pharmacy in Knoxville, Tennessee, determined to receive an estrogen-stimulating medication she hoped would help her get pregnant. She was 38 years old and had been married for a year and a half. A few months after their wedding, she persuaded her husband to start trying for a child. As an English language teacher at a local school, Oliver was aware of her own age compared with most of her students’ mothers. So, she took precautions to increase the chances of pregnancy: She measured her temperature every day and checked her cervical mucus for changes each time she used the bathroom, a regime that was supplemented with vitamin cocktails, leafy greens and fibrous fruits. But, after several months, Oliver began to notice that her temperature didn’t increase when she was supposedly ovulating, a normal indicator of the six days in a woman’s cycle when she is at her most fertile. Oliver thought it was time to see a doctor.

Create a free account to continue reading

Create an account to access exclusive content.

My account

Sign up to our newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy