Egg donation is a process where a woman donates her ova to another woman to assist her with conception via assisted reproductive technology.
If you’re interested in becoming an egg donor, most reputable egg donor agencies follow the ensuing steps:
#1 Submit Egg Donor Application and Pass Screening
The entire egg donation process begins with an application. The form will inquire about specifics such as age, ethnic background, family history, current medical conditions, interests,hobbies, education level, work experience, etc. Your application will undergo an initial screening. If accepted, you will likely have two interviews. The first is with the clinical coordinator and the other with a physician. The latter interview may involve testing as well.
Applicants who pass these initial screening procedures will have their names forwarded to the agency’s egg donor program.
#2 Egg Donor Matching
Couples who decide to pursue egg donation may view the agency’s pool of donors online and choose a candidate. A tentative match is made when the recipient selects a specific donor and decides to move forward. At this point, the IVF coordinator will get in touch with the donor to check her availability. If she is available and passes an FDA sanctioned set of tests, an official match will be made. The donor and recipient matching process may be very quick or may take up to a few months.
#3 Suppression and Ovarian Stimulation
The donor begins by self-administering regular injections of Lupron, a medication used to suppress her regular cycle. This is done to synchronize her cycle with the recipients. In the ovarian stimulation phase, the donor will administer gonadotropin injections to stimulate the ovaries. These injections urge the release of several to mature (as opposed to one in a natural cycle) for the purposes of retrieval.
In the ovarian stimulation phase, the donor is closely monitored via ultrasound and blood tests to ensure her ovaries are responding well and not experiencing hyper-stimulation. Most reputable egg donor agencies schedule these monitoring sessions in the morning.
#4 Development of Endometrial Lining for the Recipient
For the recipient to be able to conceive healthily, she must have a favorable uterine setting. Her endometrium must be a minimum of 7mm. While the donor’s eggs are developing for retrieval, the recipient must take progesterone and estrogen to ready her endometrium for implantation.
#5 Ovulation and Egg Retrieval for the Donor
Through an ultrasound, the agency doctor is able to determine if the donor’s eggs have developed and are ready to be triggered by ovulation. To do this, an hCG injection is administered. After two days have passed, the donor’s eggs are retrieved in a quick office procedure. The donor first receives I.V. sedation while the agency’s physicians use aspiration methods with the help of ultrasound to retrieve the eggs. Donors who are at this phase must take rest at home to recover.
#6 Fertilization and Embryo Transfer
The retrieved eggs are fertilized using either the recipient’s partner’s sperm or a donor’s sperm. Embryos that result from fertilization are first incubated and then graded. On day 3 (sometimes day 5) after the egg retrieval procedure, the embryos are transferred into the recipient’s womb.
#7 Post-Retrieval Check-up and Pregnancy Tests
Donors are required to visit the agency for a post-retrieval check-up. This is to ensure she is recovering well from the medical procedures. Egg donation is a 3 to the 5-week procedure for most donors.
Two weeks after the embryo has been transferred, the recipient will receive a pregnancy test to measure levels of hCG. When pregnancy is confirmed, the recipient is “discharged” to her own obstetrician for ensuring prenatal care.
Your decision to become an egg donor gives another woman a chance to experience parenthood. If you would like to pursue egg donation, get in touch with reputable egg donor agencies. Contact Rite Options today.