Yes, you read that title correctly.
This may be one of the strangest ways you can make money as a side hustle, but everyone has to go… why not earn a buck or two.
A medical treatment called Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is a therapy that involves taking a stool sample from a healthy individual and inserting it into the gut of a sick person. This treatment is used to treat a variety of gut microbiome-related illnesses.
Essentially this process is a fecal transplant from a healthy person into a sick person. It really is no different than donating plasma or blood, just a little grosser. Just to name a few, FTM helps doctors treat people with Clostridium Difficile, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Autism, and even Obesity.
Besides monetary benefits, donating stool samples can save lives. Many people suffering from these illnesses are out of options and with FMT, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With Clostridium Difficile alone, over half a million Americans are affected each year and over 30,000 of them fall victim to it. When antibiotics have failed, FTM, can save 85% of them after their first try.
Do you qualify?
Just like donating your sperm, plasma, or any other bodily fluid, you must be in excellent health, but to qualify, it’s a little more stringent. You must have regular bowel movements that meet specific criteria (this varies from person to person), be 18-50 years old, and live a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, you cannot have any health history of the illnesses that FMT is used to treat. Below is the following criteria you must meet in order to qualify:
- Ranking between type 3 and type 5 on the Bristol Chart
- None of the following GI conditions:
- IBD (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis)
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic diarrhea
- Gastrointestinal polyposis
- No chronic disease
- No allergies
- Free of the following infections
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Known exposure to any of the above viruses within the past year
- You have not participated in the following in behaviors the past 6 months:
- Risky sexual behaviour
- Tattoo or body piercings
- Traveled to select countries where endemic diarrhea is prevalent
- Been in prison
You will go through two rigorous screens that include blood and stool samples and you must have the ability to donate three times per week for at least 60 days. If you pass all of the testing and you are able to donate according to the schedule, you can then start donating stool samples.
Where can you sell your poop?
If you live in or around Boston, MA, OpenBiome is one the leaders in stool sample donations. They are a full service stool bank and pay $40 per sample they collect. Taymount Clinic is another place where you can donate stool samples on a regular basis.
Besides clinics like this, there are studies opening up across the globe that are in need of healthy people, willing to donate stool samples. You can also check out FMT studies, to find participating clinics and studies around the globe.
The question everyone has been waiting for, how much can you make selling your poop?
At many of the popular, full service donation clinics, donors are able to make up to $13,000 annually. Programs vary on how much they pay you per sample, but it usually averages around $40, three times a week. However, when you donate, if you deliver a bad sample that can’t be used, you don’t get paid for that visit.
Not too bad of payday for something you were going to do anyway!
What is the donation process?
The process to qualify and start donating varies from location to location, but it usually involves five steps:
- Join the waiting list: Believe it or not many stool donation services have a registry of people waiting to donate the stool. When a spot opens up, the clinic will contact the next person on the registry.
- Questionnaire: The next thing you will have to do is take a health questionnaire. This is very similar to a blood donors questionnaire and usually takes two weeks for the results.
- Interview: After passing the health questionnaire, you will have to complete and pass and in-person health assessment by a medical professional
- Blood and stool screening: If you pass the in-person health assessment, you will be asked to give a blood and stool sample for screening. This will determine if you have any health problems or other risk factors they try and avoid.
- Donate: After passing the questionnaire, health assessment, blood and stool screening you are qualified to start donating!
Again, this is just the usual process and it does vary slightly from location to location. They all involve extensive screening and questionnaires to ensure you are a proper fit for a donor.
Who knew donating your own poop could be so profitable? If you are looking to make some extra money, this is a great option if you qualify. Not only are you earning money, but you are saving lives in the process, literally! While, it may seem gross, knowing you are helping others is a rewarding experience.