Egg Donation Process
At Egg Donor Solutions we are committed to walking you through the egg donation process. We treat our egg donors with respect and are thankful for their gift and commitment.
Being an egg donor is one of the greatest things you can do for someone else. You will make such an impact on their life with your caring heart and your willingness to reach out and help.
Most importantly, we want you to understand the process of being an egg donor. Below is a brief process overview. Once you are selected as an egg donor by a recipient, you will be assigned a Care Coordinator who will walk with you through the entire process to be sure you know exactly what is going on. She will be your advocate and always available to answer any questions you have.
Decide if being an egg donor is right for you. If you come to the conclusion that it is, finish your profile application (add several pictures and be sure you are thorough in your explanations). Once your application is complete, you will have an interview with our staff so we can learn more about you, ensure you understand this process, answer any questions you may have and also complete a background check. Additionally, if you are in Dallas, Texas we would love the opportunity to meet with you. Please contact our office to make arrangements.
This is the hardest part…. the waiting game to be selected as an egg donor. The more thorough your profile is, the more likely you are to be chosen. Recipients are always searching though our egg donor database looking for new donors and newly updated egg donors. While you are waiting, check your profile regularly to update your information and pictures. It is important that intended parents have the most up to date information. Also, you will be given the opportunity to create a video about yourself to share with intended parents. If you are open to this, our intended parents get great joy out of getting to know you better. Your willingness to travel and your flexibility to make it to appointments will also determine your chances of being selected. Some egg donors are chosen in days and some much longer. Our staff works with recipients to find compatible egg donors who match their criteria. This is often based on physical characteristics, location of the egg donor, health history, as well as personality types.
Once selected by specific intended parents, you will complete all of the necessary paperwork with our office.
You will complete medical and psychological screening. You will meet with the primary physician as well as a psychologist. The primary physician will likely require you to come to their office. If this is not local to you, you will go for a day or two to the primary clinic. We will book all of your travel. This is usually a one day trip or at times one overnight stay. The medical testing will consist of possibly a genetic consultation, physical exam, and blood draws (they test most commonly for FSH Levels, TSH Levels, AMH level, STD’s, and genetic conditions). A pelvic ultrasound will also be performed to evaluate your ovaries. Each clinic will have a different protocol and we facilitate whatever screening they deem necessary.
Additionally, you will see a psychologist who is likely local to your home. This will be a two hour, two part appointment. First, he/she will speak with you about being an egg donor and get to know you better and second, you will take the MMPI as required by Egg Donor Solutions as well as physicians across the country.
The full testing and clearance process takes between 2-8 weeks. All medical/psychological testing and travel are paid for by the recipients.
Once you are cleared psychologically and medically you will be contacted by an attorney to complete the Egg Donor Agreement which is a contract between you and the intended parents. This is an agreement that protects both yourself and the intended parents throughout the egg donation cycle. There is no expense to you.
The clinic’s primary doctor and possibly your local “monitoring clinic” will work together to make sure there is a synchronization of the ovarian cycles between yourself and the recipient. This ensures that the embryos are placed in the recipient’s womb at the optimal time to increase the chances of pregnancy.
Once you, the egg donor, and the recipient are regulated, you will start the fertility medication to stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs. The recipient will start medications prior to this time as well. These drugs are administered (by the donor) through daily injections over the span of the stimulation cycle. The injections usually go in your leg and a tiny needle is used. While you are taking the medication to mature your follicles, simultaneously the recipient will be taking estrogen to prepare the lining of her uterus so she will be prepared to receive the embryos. During this time, you will be going to monitoring appointments in the mornings for the doctor to see how your body is responding to the medications. These monitoring appointments will likely be a combination of local appointments and then you will be traveling, if necessary, to the primary clinic for the remainder of the cycle and the retrieval. Our travelling egg donors are gone between 2-9 days depending on their location and the clinic they are working with. When you are filling out your donor application you will want to specify your travel availability, but please know we cannot guarantee your travel days upfront. Of course we also run many “local” cycles where you may not need to travel at all.
Under conscious sedation (you are asleep) the eggs are retrieved vaginally. The surgeon uses a tube attached to an ultrasound probe. He/she removes the mature eggs from the follicles of each ovary by using a suctioning needle. Following the egg retrieval procedure, donors generally remain in the clinic/hospital for monitoring for 1-2 hours and then return home or to your hotel for further recovery. An antibiotic will be prescribed to prevent infection or placed in your IV while having the procedure.
We ask that our egg donors rest the day of the retrieval. No work, taking care of kids, or travelling. It is important to sleep and recover. Post-retrieval, egg donors may experience a number of symptoms including bloating and cramping, however, the following days most donors return to their normal activities.
After the egg retrieval, your job is done. Egg Donor Solutions will finalize everything with you and send your compensation check. We are happy to notify you with any information we have in regards to the results of your cycle if you are interested. After completing one cycle most egg donors want to donate again. They have found this to be a rewarding process and are eager to help other recipients. If you choose to donate again, we will start marketing you to other intended parents so you can complete another cycle. If your schedule prevents you from doing so, we can always wait on matching you again. We follow the guidelines of the ASRM and allow our egg donors to donate up to six times.
After the retrieval, the eggs are fertilized with the sperm. Three to five days later, the embryos are placed in the recipient’s uterus and any remaining embryos are often cryoperserved (frozen) for additional chances of conception.
We understand that the process above includes a number of details and additional medical information, but we will be with you every step of the way to help you stay informed. Never hesitate to ask additional questions if needed. If you have additional questions we also encourage you to visit our blog. You might read, one Egg Donor’s Story or possibly find it interesting to consider the influence your family has on you deciding to be an egg donor. There is a wealth of information when deciding if being an egg donor is right for you. If we can help in anyway, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office.