From A to Zygote: Everything You Need to Know About the Egg Donation Process
We get it. You’re a little nervous. You want to donate your eggs but aren’t quite sure what to expect. What’s it like? Does it hurt? Will you be able to donate more than once?
Just like anything else in life: knowledge is power. We’re here to give you all the information you need about the egg donation process. That way you can make the most informed decision when it comes to donating your eggs.
Cause we all know, it’s a decision not to be taken lightly.
Step 1: Egg Donor Application
Before anything else, you must apply to be an egg donor. This is best done through a reputable agency.
Once your application is accepted, all egg donors must be screened. You’ll go through a few meetings with our great team at Elevate so we can get to know you. You also get to ask a lot of questions during your consult.
We’ll ask you to fill out a lengthy health history about your family too. This is to make sure you fall within the ASRM guidelines to become a donor. While anyone who wants to donate is a generous woman, there are a specific set of standards and guidelines that decipher who qualifies to be a donor. There will also be a psychological evaluation over Skype or FaceTime. This is to make sure all egg donors are mentally prepared to donate their eggs to an intended couple.
Egg donation is not for everyone. Only those who have been determined as physically healthy and emotionally sound will be considered for egg donation.
Step 2: Matching
Once your profile has been accepted, we will post it online.
And then we wait.
Intended couples get to choose who they want for their egg donor. Different couples want different traits, so we like to offer a wide variety of candidates.
When a couple selects a donor, we move forward with the egg donation process. Some donors are matched right away, while others wait for a while before being matched with intended parents.
If you find yourself waiting, don’t get discouraged. The perfect match is out there, it just may take to some until they find you.
The psychological evaluation and the genetic assessment is there to offer the intended parents a full look at what health lines run in your family and to make sure you are fully prepared to donate your eggs.
Step 3: Evaluations and Appointments
Once you’ve been matched, you will be asked to go to a top fertility clinic for some blood work and testing. This testing is to make sure that there will be no abnormalities or compatibility issues between your eggs and the intended sperm. What’s great about this process is how much you are going to learn about your own body and your fertility levels. From AMH levels to AFC (you’ll learn what those mean), you will know exactly what your fitness is as a donor.
Depending on where you live, you may be asked to travel at this time. Of course, all travel expenses will be paid for, but you must be willing to keep all medical appointment made from this point on. We make sure it’s a fun trip. We put you in a nice hotel and give you stipends to eat out and have fun!
As you will learn, egg donors are on a strict schedule that correlates with their monthly cycle, clinical appointments, and the intended parent’s schedule. Commitment is a big part of this process, though you should enjoy yourself when traveling.
Step 4: Suppression and Stimulation
After the required genetic testing is done, the egg donor will start daily injections surrounding your menstrual cycle the following month. These injections will first suppress the natural cycle, then later a different medication will be used to stimulate the ovaries. These drugs are all FDA approved and many are naturally occurring in your body.
During a natural cycle, only one egg matures. For egg donor purposes, it is ideal to have many mature eggs for retrieval. Thus the need for ovarian stimulation. During this time, the egg donor must be monitored closely. Blood tests and ultrasounds will be done to make sure the ovaries are responding well. You will be closely monitored and checked for you health and safety.
You may need to clear your schedule for these appointments. Being flexible and available is very important at this stage. However, we can work with your work schedule or schooling schedule. We want to help you perform your cycle at a time that works for you.
Step 5: Egg Retrieval
When the eggs have sufficiently developed, the donor will do some final trigger hormone. A few days later, the eggs will be retrieved during a short in-office procedure.
The donor will be under light sedation (less than getting your wisdom teeth out) and the physician will use an aspiration needs to retrieve the eggs transvaginally. At this point, your eggs will be fertilized and then stored until implantation.
I know, this may should overwhelming, but it is actually a quite easy and painless procedure. It usually takes just 30 minutes! You are encouraged to rest for the rest of the day. You should be back to your normal self in a day or two.
Step 6: Post-Retrieval Checkup
The last and final step for egg donors is a post-retrieval checkup. This is to make sure you are recovering properly from the stimulation and the retrieval.
Our team will stay in touch until we are sure you feeling good and are back to normal life.
Egg Donation Process is Easy as ABC
And there you have it; that’s the egg donation process. It’s pretty straight forward. The only demanding part for an egg donor is the few weeks of injections and the egg retrieval process. But don’t stress, we’re here to help you every step of the way.
If you’re interested in donating your eggs, apply today! You may be the perfect donor that an intended couple is looking for.