The Donation Process
After an egg donor has been matched with prospective parents, they will undergo a screening process prior to starting the egg donation cycle. This screening may either be done at the prospective parents’ clinic, or Egg Donor America can arrange for the screening to be carried out at a clinic more convenient to the egg donor. For more information about how to become an egg donor after the matching process is complete, read below:
An egg donor clinic screening may include the following:
Fertility Screening: A donor's ovaries will be examined for the ability to produce eggs through a physical/pelvic exam, and blood tests. To determine ovarian function and reserve, the egg donor may also need to have a vaginal sonogram on the second or third day of menstruation.
Medical Screening: This involves testing for blood type, infectious diseases, drug use and general health. The sexual partner of an egg donor may also be asked to undergo screening for sexually transmitted infections.
Genetic Screening: Family history will be evaluated to raise awareness of possible hereditary diseases or genetic disorders. Testing consists of blood tests for genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and more.
- Psychological Screening: The donor will be asked to speak with a psychologist to make sure she fully understands the benefits and risks of egg donation, and has proper motivations for becoming a donor.
To begin the egg donation cycle, the egg donor will be put on birth control pills, which synchronizes both the donor's and recipient's menstruation cycles.
After the third week of her cycle, the egg donor will have a vaginal sonogram and then begin daily self-injections of Lupron hormones. Self-injections of Lupron will be administered for 7-14 days.
Next, a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) will be self-injected for approximately 8-10 days to grow the egg follicles.
Egg donors are monitored daily during the FSH injections to measure the follicle growth and make sure it is within a healthy and appropriate range. Clinics use vaginal sonograms and blood tests to monitor the follicle growth.
Another STI (sexually transmitted infections) screening will be given to the egg donor before retrieval.
Once the follicles have matured enough for retrieval, an injection of HCG is administered. HCG prepares the egg donor’s ovaries to release the eggs.
Egg retrieval will take place approximately 36 hours after the HCG injection.
The donor will be given a light IV sedation for the egg retrieval procedure to ensure their comfort. Under ultrasound guidance, the physician will pass a needle through the vaginal wall and aspirate the follicle fluid which contains the eggs.
Egg retrieval is a short procedure, lasting 30 minute or less, however the donor will rest for an hour or two, at the clinic after the retrieval. This allows us to monitor the donor while the effects of the anesthesia are wearing off.
Once the anesthesia has worn off, a friend or family member can drive the donor home. It is highly recommended that someone stays with her for the rest of the day, in the unlikely event that complications arise.
The donor can return to their normal routine one day after retrieval, with the exception of physically strenuous activity or exercise.
- A post-retrieval sonogram with the monitoring clinic will be scheduled 7–10 days following the egg retrieval. Compensation will be mailed after physician clearance is given.
This is a brief overview of the egg donation process. An actual cycle takes approximately six weeks to complete. Egg donation provides another family with the gift of life. We would like to thank egg donors everywhere for considering this noble and generous act. The physicians and program directors will go over the entire process with each individual candidate, including the potential Risks and Complications of egg donation.
Health insurance coverage is provided to our egg donors during the course of their treatment. This insurance is for the purposes of any unforeseen complications related to the treatment cycle. Every procedure has its risks; while donating eggs is an extremely low risk, the health and safety of our egg donors is a priority.