Egg Donor Blog

Welcome to our Egg Donor Blog. This is a place where you can share your experiences, encourage other donors, and ask questions. Feel free to connect with other donors and our staff. We want this to be a positive resource for you!

Testimony of a 4x Egg Donor

I have donated for four families! I know that 3 out of the 4 families have conceived! My profile says that my first donation has frozen for a later transfer, I hope that they have conceived as well or will in the future. 

I learned about Egg Donor Solutions via an ad on the radio. I looked into it because it sounded so interesting. I was in college, working full time, and a newly wed. We just paid for our wedding and we were struggling financially.  

It was a chunk of change that would help my husband and my financial situation greatly. I had signed up to be a bone marrow donor and never got matched, I had a “why not?” kind of attitude thinking I would never get selected.

To be even more transparent, I was in it for the money in the beginning.

Once a family picks you and the contracts started, is when my husband and I had some tough conversations and I actually started to feel the weight of my decision to be an egg donor.  

There are hard questions asked and you can only answer them honestly and what you think is right for you, the family, and the future child/children. Some uncomfortable things have to be done and it takes dedication and responsibility to complete a cycle.

I thought I had a good understanding of what I was doing as an egg donor… and it was actually a good thing, a great thing even. I had many conversations with people talking about how awesome it was for us helping a family extend their family. But only until I became a parent did I understand the magnitude and beauty of being a parent.

I am a mother of an almost 2 year old. I never would have understood the greatness of what I was participating in until recently suffering from a miscarriage. I got a glimpse of what my families possibly went through, maybe many times, and experience that gut wrenching feeling personally.

Heartbreak.

There’s so much anonymity throughout it all, only years later do I feel somewhat knowledgeable about egg donation, the process and how everything works! But everything I’ve learned has only fortified the pride and joy I feel for having donated. 

Three of my donations were local donations and my last donation I traveled to Arizona! My favorite experience was when I traveled. I don’t leave Texas often, but my trip to Arizona was phenomenal.

I got to have an experience whilst going to doctors appointments and injecting myself with hormones to prepare for retrieval. The intended parents of that donation were what opened my eyes the most. I have never met them but upon arrival I was given a heartfelt gift and letter, after retrieval they sent me flowers.

Just their love and support for me, a stranger,  was eye opening on just how amazing this whole process is! I still get teary eyed thinking about it and I’m still thankful for them going above and beyond their “contract” to make me feel appreciated.

My local donations were all happening in the midst of my personal, busy life- I spent a great deal crying happy tears (blame the hormones) during that time in Arizona because I was allotted a moment to dedicate myself to a family who needed me. I didn’t get that opportunity with previous donations and their letters helped me realize just how grateful I was for the experience and opportunity to help all my families. I was being thanked profusely and I actually got to take a moment and be thankful with them. 

I helped 3, hopefully 4, families achieve a dream.

The BEST dream.

I am thankful to the families who selected me and allowed me to be a part of their journeys to conceive. And of course the money was helpful… it’s sort of icing on the cake.

I would love for my families to know that their investment in me helped me get through college, pay off debt from our wedding, and supported a few endeavors like a piano and braces!  They helped me achieve goals!

I pray for nothing but success, happiness, and love for all going through this process or even thinking about it.

Traveling Tips

Egg Donors can choose to donate locally in the city they live in or travel to an intended parent’s clinic to allow them to be matched with intended parents quicker.  After you have become an egg donor it is important to think of travel if you are open to the latter. Egg donors that are local to the fertility clinic they are working with invest less time off from work, parental responsibilities, as well as school. However, if you live out of state it can be more complicated and it is important that you are educated on this.

Safe Travels

Being prepared is one of the best ways to combat the stress of traveling during the egg donation cycle. Having a care coordinator can help in the process. They are able to arrange fights, transportation, sleeping accommodations, and setting expectations for the city you will be in. A quality agency will be happy to walk you through this process, you should not navigate it on your own.

During the pandemic, we are committed to serving our intended parents & our donors. We are committed to creating families safely and working together. While traveling may look different, we are supplying our donors with masks & sanitizers. We are closely following CDC updates & following ASRM guidelines.

Before the Journey

It is important to know that preparation is essential to the journey. However even the best prepared person can undergo stress during egg donation.

  • Know your destination addresses. Write down addresses to important locations such as the hotels, clinics, donor facility, and other locations. Even if a rental car or phone has GPS, you may be riding in a taxi, Uber, Lyft and the addresses written down can be important.
  • Know your routes. Look up the locations that you will be attending and determine how long you will need to get from one location to another. This can help you determine the mileage and your time frame needed to get to the different locations. Knowing these routes can help you determine the cost of the transportation in a taxi.
  • Check the weather. Know the weather that you’re going to expect. Rain or snow may delay your transportation to your location. Weather can also delay flights or cause traffic issues.
  • Be prepared with contact information.  Have the information of your care coordinator, hotel, and fertility clinic either written down or in your phone.  Never hesitate to contact them for extra help.

Don’t Forget

Sometimes the simple things can slip our mind when we are in a rush, or worried over the outcomes of the impending egg donation process.

  • Medications and Luggage: It isn’t uncommon for luggage to be lost, so be sure to pack essentials in a carry-on bag. Remember to keep your medications in your carry-on bags. Remember to have a doctor’s note so that the airlines will allow you to have the medications.
  • Punctuality: It is important to be on time for your appointment during the egg donation process. Many egg donation retrievals happen during the morning and being punctual is critical. Consider using the wake-up services at the hotel you are staying in. Double up on wake-up reminders.
  • Ensure you understand when your medications are to be taken. Many clinics provide times either via email, phone, or even a patient portal. It is helpful if you share this information with your care coordinator so she can support you.

Enjoy and Relax

It is important that even during the stressful time of egg donations you are able to relax. Enjoy the scenery of the city that you are visiting. Know your accommodation ahead of time; know if there is WIFI or an airport shuttle. Bring your camera and visit the sites; bring some things that relax you like music or books. Each egg donor is encouraged to bring their spouse/partner, other family member, or friend to be there with you through the egg donation process and retrieval.  This will keep you at ease and also as a bonus you have someone to enjoy the sites with you.

Donor visiting San Antonio River Walk during her retrieval.

Care Coordinator

Most egg donation agencies have Care Coordinators or Case Managers to help you through the process from start to finish. Be sure to have your Care Coordinator’s information written down in case something happens to your phone. They are able to help when you get into trouble even though they aren’t with you.

Keep your Care Coordinator up to date on how you are doing. She is always just a phone call away and will be your advocate if you need one.

No matter what happens be relaxed; enjoy the journey through the egg donation cycle.

Hip Hip Hooray, it is retrieval day.

We are so thankful for your willingness to help create families! Be the solution. Create a happy family. Benefit Financially.

COMMON MEDICATIONS REQUIRED FOR EGG DONORS

As an Egg Donor some of the medications and protocols may be all new information. Do not let it overwhelm you. Here is a list of the new terminology. We are always here to assist you along the way, in addition to your clinic. No question is too small!

In simplest terms, an egg donor goes through the same medication protocol as any woman does when going through IVF (In-vitro fertilization). These are hormones and there are some potential side effects. Egg Donation is a huge gift and it is a commitment. We never recommend you make the decision lightly. There are a few medications that can be used with different protocols but this should give you an idea.

Please note, you wouldn’t take all of these. There are just different combinations of medications doctors use based on their preferences as well as how they feel your body will respond to them after you complete further testing.

  • Ovarian Stimulation: When a donor starts medications, the first goal of those medications is to stimulate follicle development. Each clinic uses different medications at different dosages to facilitate follicle growth. Common medications-Lupron, Gonal-F, and Follistim
    • Lupron- also known as Leuprolide Acetate(Lupron®) acts on the brain to suppress the body’s own hormone production, thus preventing follicle development and egg release. Doctors use it in combination with other medications to improve their control of the woman’s cycle.
    • Gonadotropins- hormone medications that directly stimulate the ovaries. When you directly stimulate the ovaries, a donor produces more follicles, thus increasing the number of eggs.
      • Menopur and Reproex are a combination of FSH and LH
      • FSH-Follicle Stimulating Hormone
      • LH-Luteninizing Hormone
    • Follistim and Gonal-F-only contain FSH
    • GnRH-antagonist (most common medications are Ganirelix or Cetrotide)-these medications are used to prevent premature ovulation. They are usually given several days after the donor has started medications, but prior to retrieval.
  • Trigger shot-hormonal drug that stimulates the final maturation of the eggs (oocytes). Determining this timing is critical to the success of the cycle. Different clinics use different protocols. The trigger shot is completed 34-36 hours before retrieval.
    • HCG Shot is also known as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin(Profasi®, Ovidrel®, Novarel®,and Pregnyl®) is a hormone that matures the developing follicles and triggers release of an egg from its follicle. It is taken as an intramuscular (IM) injection.
      • The HCG trigger is being used less and less these days due to high rates of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). HCG trigger stays in the donor’s system for up to 10 days which is why it can cause more side-effects.
      • HCG trigger will be used if the Lupron trigger fails or if the donor’s E2 and P4 levels are lower than expected after several days of medications.
    • Lupron Trigger-induces a surge of LH and FSH hormones from the pituitary gland that induces egg maturation.
      • The Lupron trigger is, at times, administered in two different phases. 1 dosage approximately 36 hours prior to retrieval and the other 12 hours later.
      • The morning before the retrieval a donor will complete a LH and Progesterone blood work to determine if the trigger “worked.” In 1-5% of cases there is an inadequate response to the Lupron trigger and adjustments have to be made last minute.
  • Combination-Some fertility specialists give a donor the Lupron trigger with a small amount of HCG (1000 or 1500 units) to reduce the risk of inadequate responses.

That was a lot of information! And again, we will be here & help to guide you through this journey! If there are any questions at any time, please reach out! Thank you so much for your willingness to help create a family through Egg Donation.

Lupron Trigger-induces a surge of LH and FSH hormones from the pituitary gland that induces egg maturation.The Lupron trigger is, at times, administered in two different phases. 1 dosage approximately 36 hours prior to retrieval and the other 12 hours later. The morning before the retrieval a donor will complete a LH and Progesterone blood work to determine ifthe trigger “worked.” In 1-5% of cases there is an inadequate response to the Lupron trigger and adjustments have to be made last minute. Combination-Some fertility specialists give a donor the Lupron trigger with a small amount of HCG (1000 or 1500 units) to reduce the risk of inadequate responses.