What to expect as an Egg Donor
It is very important that you understand what is required of you as an egg donor, prior to fully committing to the egg donation process. Below is a summary of what to expect as an egg donor with our program.
The Matching Process:
The official match begins when you are notified by Conceptions that a recipient is interested in your profile and you verbally accept. A written agreement/contract between you and the Recipient(s) will then be drafted. A coordinator from Conceptions will ensure that you are aware of all aspects of the egg donor process, including your responsibilities (as well as those of your Recipient).
At the start of the process, it will be necessary for you to undergo a thorough medical examination, including a pelvic exam, blood draw (to check hormone levels, infectious disease and any requested genetic testing), and an ultrasound to examine/measure your ovaries. In addition, we will coordinate a psychological evaluation with a psychologist or social worker who will speak with you to determine if you are mentally prepared to participate as an egg donor. All testing and evaluations will be done at no cost to you.
The Egg Donation Process
Once the screening is complete and the agreements/contracts are in place, you will begin the donation cycle which typically takes between 3-6 weeks. The Egg Donation Cycle will begin with a few weeks of birth control pills (to synchronize your menstrual cycle with your Recipient’s).
The next step is to stimulate egg production. You will be given follicle-stimulating hormone injections to increase the number of mature eggs your body will produce. FSH injections are similar to the natural hormones your body produces. These medications are injected once daily, just under the skin for a period of 10-12 days. We will train you on how to mix and administer the medications.
Throughout the cycle, you will have monitoring at the clinic. This will include a blood test and ultrasound exam to determine your response to the hormones and growth of the follicles. When the doctor feels the follicles are mature, the date and time of your egg retrieval will be confirmed. Approximately 36 hours before the retrieval, you will be given one final injection (HCG) to ensure that your eggs are ready to be harvested.
The Egg Retrieval is a minimally invasive procedure that requires a light general anesthetic. The procedure is very safe and typically takes about 20-30 minutes. The doctor will use a small, ultrasound-guided needle inserted through the vagina to aspirate the follicles in both your ovaries. Immediately following the procedure, you will rest in the recovery room for approximately an hour. You will need someone to drive you home. Most donors resume normal activity the next day. You can expect a menstrual cycle to start within 7-10 days after the procedure.
You will receive compensation on the day of your egg retrieval. First time donors are compensated $5,000. We do offer an incentive program for repeat donors.
As with any medical procedure, there are possible side effects and risks. Most donors feel little or no discomfort during their egg donation cycle, others have slight symptoms which typically disappear after the egg retrieval procedure. In some cases you may experience bloating, abdominal cramping, pressure and swelling, all of which will go away when you start your next period. Severe side effects are extremely rare, and the doctor will explain the various risks associated with the procedure. There are no proven long-term effects of Egg Donation on a woman’s health or future fertility. According to ASRM recommendations, a donor may donate up to 6 times.