Money is tight for many people in our area these days, but there are some unique ways you can earn extra cash. For young women, donating eggs can mean big bucks. Donors can be compensated as much as $5,000.00 per cycle.

"It felt really good to be able to help couples that weren't able to have children on their own," says Danielle, an egg donor.

She went through two cycles, helping couples struggling to conceive a child on their own. For her, the ability to help others, along with a sizable paycheck when times were tough, made it the right decision.

"It was very lucrative, so it did help me pay off all my credit card debt & that's enabled me to go back to school now to get a degree," she says.

"Most donors in this area are compensated $5,000.00 per cycle," says Michele Munch, C.R.N.P.

Munch is a Nurse Practitioner with The Fertility Center, LLC in York and Lancaster Counties. She screens egg donor candidates; those who apply might surprise you.

"These are usually college age students or stay at home moms who want to supplement their income, they can also be women who've graduated college who now can't find a job & need to pay off student loans," Munch says.

The economy is forcing many people to look for alternative ways to make money & egg donors between 21 and 30-years old, in good health are needed. The process does require a commitment, including a thorough screening process, also injecting themselves with fertility drugs, ultrasounds, blood work and eventually minor egg retrieval surgery.

"It wasn't just like donating blood, where you're out of there in ten minutes and that's it, it was quite a process," Danielle says.

"They see that this is a way they can help others but also get some financial compensation for their time and what they're going through," says Munch.

Not every woman who volunteers to donate their eggs qualifies. Health screenings and family history are very important; there can be no history of alcoholism, drug abuse or genetic defects. In addition, every candidate must undergo a psychological evaluation.

Candidates who qualify can donate up to six times in their lifetime, making a potential $30,000.00. Most cycles produce between six and 12 eggs, but women are paid per cycle, not per egg. There are some risks associated with egg donation & retrieval surgery. These risks include abdonimal bloating & cramping. There is also a chance of infection. Women should be advised of these and other possible risks before agreeing to become an egg donor.

Women also need to understand egg donation is anonymous, they will not know who is receiving their eggs. Also, after the eggs are retrieved, they have no legal rights.

For more information on The Fertility Center's egg donation program, log on to: http://www.thefertilitycenter.com

Women aren't the only ones who can make extra cash through donations, men can also donate semen to make money. At most sperm donation centers, men can make as much as $1,000.00 dollars a month. However, men with certain characteristics are more in demand than others; for instance height, weight, hair & eye color are considered.

For more information on sperm donation, log on to: http://www.spermbankdirectory.com/northeast.htm

Blood plasma is also in high demand, along with hair donors, surrogate mothers & people to take part in medical research.

For more information on plasma donation, log on to: http://biomatusa.grifols.com/