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.

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