Fresh and Frozen Egg Donation Cycles: What's Best for You?

Becoming an egg donor is a powerful and rewarding experience for many young women. It’s one of those rare opportunities in life in which you’re able to help someone else achieve their dream while also being compensated for your effort. However, many women don’t realize that becoming an egg donor requires a significant commitment of time and energy. While many are able to make room for egg donation in their busy schedules, others discover that it’s impossible to do so. However, for these women, there is still another option – donating to a frozen egg bank.

Fresh Egg Donor Cycles

In a fresh egg donor cycle, egg donors are matched with intended parents before the cycle begins. At this time, the egg donor will go through several screenings, including fertility, medical, genetic, and psychological screenings. Next, the egg donor and recipient must have their menstrual cycles synchronized, which is achieved using birth control pills.

Once the egg donor’s and egg recipient’s cycles have been synchronized, the egg donor has a transvaginal ultrasound performed and is prescribed injectable Lupron hormones, which will be self-administered for 7-14 days. Next, the egg donor will self-inject follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) for 8-10 days, which will trigger her egg follicles to grow and produce mature eggs.

At this point, egg donors must go to the clinic on a daily basis so that follicle growth can be monitored. This is done using a combination of transvaginal ultrasounds and blood tests. Once the follicles have reached peak maturation, they are ready for retrieval. Egg donors are given an HCG shot, which will trigger her ovaries to release the eggs. About 36 hours after the shot is administered, the doctor will perform the egg retrieval process.

While the egg donor is under light sedation, the doctor will use the ultrasound to guide a thin aspirating needle through the vaginal wall and into the ovaries, where it will gently collect eggs and the follicle fluid that surrounds them. This takes approximately about 30 minutes to complete. Immediately following the egg retrieval procedure, the egg donor is allowed to rest for an hour or two while being monitored. She is then ready to be taken home by a friend or family member. After a day or so, she may return to her normal daily activities, aside from engaging in physically strenuous activities or exercises.

Frozen Egg Donor Cycles

With a frozen egg donation cycle, there is no need to synchronize with an intended parent. Instead of being matched with someone, you’re donating your eggs to an egg bank. While the egg donation process is still medically the same as a fresh cycle, you can start the process right away and schedule everything on your own terms and timeline. Upon retrieval, your eggs will be frozen via a process known as vitrification and will be available for future intended parents to choose from. This option is generally appealing to women with busy schedules.

Learn More

Fresh or frozen, the decision to donate your eggs is a highly personal, commendable decision. For more information on egg donation, contact Egg Donor America today.