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!

Explaining the New science of Egg Freezing. Understanding what all the hype is all about.

Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation is a new technique which allows women to preserve their reproductive potential for later. Just like its name, the process involves harvesting a woman’s eggs from the ovaries, freezing the unfertilized eggs and storing it somewhere safe until it’s time to be used.

Reasons for egg freezing.
Egg freezing is an option in many situations:
-for women who would like to delay having children until later
-for women undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy; or diagnosed with illnesses that may seriously affect one’s fertility. Egg freezing before the treatment saves their eggs, giving them a chance to bear their biological children later on
-for women with ovarian disease, or needs to have it removed
-for women undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization)

Explaining a woman’s egg supply and her biological clock. Unlike men, we women are born with all the egg supply we are ever going to have in our entire lifetime. At birth, we have around two million eggs. By puberty, we have three to four hundred thousand eggs left. Every month during menstruation, we release around one thousand eggs, leaving it to die, unless fertilized. All remaining unused eggs expire naturally at menopause. By late 30’s, our fertility starts to drop, we run out of eggs, plus our egg’s quality decreases, leaving us with smaller chances of getting pregnant naturally. But science changed all that.

Egg Freezing cycle, how it begins: Doctor’s Consultation. The process starts with a visit to your doctor. Make sure to schedule your doctor’s appointment on Day 2 of your menstrual cycle. On your initial visit, lab tests, transvaginal ultrasound, and hormone blood testing will be performed. Why? The test results will help in predicting your egg’s quality, the possible amount of eggs that can be retrieved per cycle as well as how many cycles you will need.

Test results. Two to three weeks after, your test results will be available for viewing. At this time, your doctor will discuss the cost, your medication, and how many cycles will be needed. The type of medication and the dosage will depend on your biology. No two cycles are exactly the same, it is always different.

Medication, self-shots and monitoring visits. Once your doctor has given you clearing, your medication begins. This takes around 10-12 days. The needles used are very thin and are subcutaneously shots (under the skin, not into the muscle like a flu shot). The type of medication, dosage as well as how many times you need to take the shots will depend per doctor’s instruction. Every 2-3 days, you are required to make early morning visits to your doctor in order to monitor how your body is responding to these medications. You will be tested (blood and ultrasound) several times during the visits until your doctor gives the go signal that your eggs are mature and ready for retrieval. Don’t worry, all these will be discussed thoroughly with you. You’ll be given hands-on-instructions and video training on how to correctly administer these medications.

3 Types of medication you’ll need. The first type of medication is a follicle stimulating hormone that gets your ovaries working overtime to produce multiple eggs/follicles. It starts at Day 2 of your next period. You need to give yourself these hormonal shots for 10-11 days.

The second type of medication prevents premature ovulation (ovulating early and releasing your eggs before the retrieval). Usually, it is injected once daily, beginning mid-cycle.

The final medication, the “trigger shot”. When your egg follicles measures between 17-22mm, they are ready for retrieval. You will be given an “hCG hormone” trigger shot which prepares your body to release the eggs at the right time. 36 hours after, you’ll need to schedule for retrieval day.

Retrieval day. Retrieval is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning there will be no open cuts, and does not require you an overnight stay at the hospital. This is done in a fertility clinic or in your doctor’s office and takes only 15 minutes. They use a technique called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. During this procedure, you will be under intravenous anesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain. An ultrasound-guided needle is inserted into your vagina to identify the follicles. A suction device connected to the needle is used to remove the eggs. They are then collected and placed in test tubes after which they are handed to the embryologist (the experts for egg freezing) for egg freezing to begin.

Egg Freezing. Right after harvesting, the unfertilized eggs are immediately frozen using a technique called vitrification. The eggs are frozen using very low temperatures in order to keep them from forming ice crystals which damages the quality of the eggs. By freezing it, the biological activity in the eggs are suspended and preserved. They are kept in cold storage up to 10 years until ready to be thawed and used. Once thawed, biological activity resumes for the eggs, and are ready to be fertilized.

Best age for egg freezing. According to studies, the best age to freeze one’s eggs is at 36 or earlier. The earlier, the better egg quality. If you are in your early twenties, this is something to consider. Being too young, you might be able to get pregnant naturally and won’t have the need to use your frozen eggs. By freezing your eggs at an older age, before fertility slows down, you have higher chances of making use of your frozen eggs.

An egg freezing cycling is costly, ranging between $10,000 to $12,000, plus additional fees for the drugs. Cold storage fees range between $500-$1000 yearly. The costs increase if you need to undergo the procedure a second time to retrieve more eggs.

Does it work? There are several factors to consider. It depends on your age when the eggs were frozen, the age of pregnancy, and others. That’s why doctors often recommend having a couple dozen eggs frozen to achieve success. The success rates, for now, aren’t high enough. Pregnancy rates using frozen eggs are lower compared with fresh or frozen embryos. But if you’re in your early 40s, wanting to conceive, eggs that were frozen in your late 30s are your best options.

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First-Time-Egg Donors, what’s next for you? Don’t worry, we have your back.

We at Egg Donor Solutions are excited to have you on our team. Finally, after going through the long screening process, you must be feeling a little bit of everything: excitement, curiosity and maybe a little bit lost and anxious. These feelings are normal. As new egg donors, it’s important to be informed and realistic about the journey you are about to take part in. What’s next, you ask? Don’t worry, we have your back. Let these steps guide you.

Step 1: Watch our short video and sign up for an initial interview. Once your application has been approved, it does not end there. We prepared a short video explaining initially where you are in the process and what to expect. After viewing the video, you will need to set up a one-on-one phone interview with one of our Care Coordinators ASAP. It’s our way of welcoming you and getting to know you. Together, both of you will go over your profile and see if your profile has room for improvements. Consider their suggestions, and make the changes. This is also the best time to ask questions. Don’t be shy. If you get jittery during this, you can always write your questions on a sheet of paper and voice it out during the interview. We would be more than happy to answer your concerns, it’s no trouble at all.

Step 2: The waiting begins. As much as we want to give you the good news that we’ve found you a match, most often times, you’ll need to wait. Getting matched can take a few weeks, sometimes it can take much longer. We have many potential Intended Parents looking for egg donors all year round, however, picking the right donor may take some time for our IP’s to come to a decision.

Step 3: Prepare for the best. While waiting, this is the best time to prepare yourself (mentally, physically and emotionally). Eat healthily, refrain from taking too much alcohol, NO to nicotine, and drugs. Engage in activities that make you feel your absolute best. Seek support from an egg donors group, from family and friends. Nothing can go wrong with a positive outlook.

Step 4: Update your Egg Donor Profile regularly. Updating your Egg Donor Profile every 6 months is crucial. Have you relocated and taken a new job offer? Took new classes or completed a degree? Are you expecting or just gave birth? Are you on medication? Have you smoked over the last few months? These are just a few important things that need to be updated on your profile. Please let us know. Most important, keep your profile picture current. Just because you haven’t been chosen yet does not mean Intended Parents are not viewing your profile. It’s just a matter of time.

Step 5:  Communication is the key. Be responsive. Always keep communication open. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to communicate with us and keep us informed. Responding to our calls and emails is a must, especially during a cycle. So much is at stake, yours and potential Intended Parents as well. If you have lost interest, let us know. We respect that and understand that it happens.

We hope these steps inspired you more to take part in this special journey. We appreciate you. For added readings, visit us. As the saying goes: Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.

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Beating the drama and stress of college life.

Beating the drama and stress of college life. Living and finding your life’s purpose despite all the chaos.

One reason why college students drop out of school is not that they lack money, intelligence or talent but simply because they failed to find their purpose.

College is hard work. As a college student, you should know your dreams and let this dream guide you ‘til the end. Remind yourself every day of who you are and why you are in this position in the first place. What and who is important to you? Why are you in college? Is it for your family and friends? Or is it for you? Reflect on what matters to you. When you know your purpose, you will never lose yourself. Hope will always be your recourse because you believe that you can do anything, and everything. It’s easy to lose sight of the shore when your heart is not passionate about your destination.

Can you find and live a meaningful life in the middle of all the chaos in your college schedule? Yes, you can. You just need to know where to look. Here are a few ways you can find your purpose:

•          Make learning your first priority, and pass it on. In everything that you do, give it your all–100%. Lessons are not limited to what is discussed in the four corners of your classroom. Every waking opportunity, everyone you meet, every new experience (whether good or bad) is a lesson. Learn from it. Life is the final test. How well you do in life doesn’t depend solely on the grades your college professors will rate you. Learn, learn, learn and then learn some more. But don’t stop there, share your learnings to others. As Yoda famously said, “Always pass on what you have learned.”

•          Get involved and establish connections. Don’t be a stranger in your community. Take the time to explore your campus. Join organizations or creative clubs. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to pick one. Let your hobbies, passions, and principles guide you. When you join organizations, you make friends, you build connections. You feel part of a group, you become one with the group. You’d be surprised.

•          Volunteer when you find the chance. Nothing can be more rewarding than doing volunteer works. The simple act itself can bring so much purpose. There are so many ways you can volunteer. You can:
1.         take care of abandoned cats and dogs at your local animal shelters
2.         build houses for Habitat for Humanity
3.         volunteer at your local soup kitchen
4.         offer to babysit or nanny for a family in need
5.         spend time with a Senior Citizen in your neighborhood or at a nursing home
6.         what you don’t use can be what others badly need: be a hair donor, blood donor, egg donor, used clothing donor, or donate to your local food bank

•          Find time to read. Somewhere out there, is a book waiting for you. Reading opens your horizon, expands your knowledge and can be therapeutic as well. So many good books, such little time.

•          Count your blessings. When stress is just too much, in your lowest, and even in your happiest and successful moments, take time to pray, meditate and reflect on all your blessings. No matter how little or in abundance you have, always be grateful. Never forget to share it with others, even if others won’t. You’ll be surprised at how a random act of kindness can change a person’s life.

We all have our own purpose, the trick is finding it. Don’t let fear stop you from seeking it. The
sooner you do, the happier you’ll be. College life is such a great experience despite all the chaos
and trials. All you need to find is one good mentor, one loyal and crazy friend, and most important, your life’s purpose. One learning a time…