Is Egg Donation Painful?

Considering donating your eggs to help an individual or couple build their family? You probably have a lot of questions. For many prospective donors, one of the main concerns is whether the procedures will hurt.

Let’s walk through some of the key steps of the process so you can have a better idea of what to expect.

Once approved to serve as a donor, you’ll need to self-administer hormone injections for approximately three weeks.

While the prospect of giving oneself a shot might seem scary, the needles are very thin. Plus, because all of the injections are subcutaneous—under the skin—they’re easy to self-administer. (Those who are more squeamish or reluctant to self-administer often ask a family member or friend to help.) Some women experience bruising at the site of the injection, and any pain or discomfort experienced is typically mild.

Vaginal ultrasounds will be conducted throughout the injection process to shed light on how many mature eggs you are able to produce. These ultrasounds will also reveal how your body is responding to the injections, helping the doctors determine whether hormone levels need to be increased or decreased.

These ultrasounds are considered to be painless, though it’s recommended that you familiarize yourself with what is involved in vaginal ultrasounds beforehand, so you can go in feeling confident and prepared. It’s also recommended that you empty your bladder beforehand, as they may lead to a slight feeling of discomfort during the ultrasound.

During the actual egg retrieval—a relatively quick part of the entire donation process that lasts about 30 minutes—the doctor inserts an ultrasound probe with suction into the vagina to gather the eggs. The procedure itself is not painful; however, depending on the clinic you’re working with and your specific needs, you might be given anesthesia, sedatives, or painkillers.

Immediately afterward, you might feel a bit groggy and experience some cramping or a feeling of pressure in your lower abdomen or pelvic area.

After retrieval, donors usually stay a couple of hours in the hospital to help ease any discomfort; let the anesthesia, sedatives, or painkillers wear off; and ensure you’re ready to go home. A friend or family member will need to escort you home and stay with you for the remainder of the day. In the few days following retrieval, you should plan to take it slow—no intense workouts or strenuous physical activity. You will likely experience some cramping or bleeding during this time. This typically lasts only a day or two, a week at most.

After that, you’ll be free to return to your usual routine!

Learn More About Egg Donation
Donating eggs can be a very rewarding experience—you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone build their family.

Want to learn more about egg donation and gain insight into the specifics of each aspect of the process, or are you ready to get started on the journey of becoming a donor? Contact Egg Donor America today.