Donor Services

Preparing for Stimulation and Egg Retrieval

After a recipient has chosen you as a donor, you will begin a process that will require a time commitment of about six to eight weeks. There will be approximately five to seven office appointments during this time period. A relatively flexible schedule and your absolute commitment to the donor egg process is necessary.

Fertility Medications for Egg Donation

                The first step is learning how to administer fertility medications.

Fertility medications are used to help a woman’s ovaries produce multiple eggs. Some of the medication is a purified form of the natural hormones your body uses to regulate the production of eggs each month. Fertility drugs are given by injection.

A registered nurse will instruct you on administering injections. You can also bring someone with you who would be willing to give your injections.

Egg donors give their own injections at home and most don’t find them particularly uncomfortable. In most cases, these medications are given over the course of two to three weeks. These medications need to be given at a consistent time every evening.

The Egg Donor Medication Cycle 

To start the egg donation process you will have a hormonal blood test and vaginal ultrasound on the second or third day of your menstrual cycle.

You will begin taking birth control pills for a minimum of several weeks followed by a medication called Lupron in order to synchronize your menstrual cycle with the recipient’s cycle.

After finishing the birth control pills, your period will start again. You will have more blood tests and an ultrasound during the first few days of this cycle, as well.

You will then start injections of the medicine that will stimulate your ovaries to begin producing follicles. During this time, you will have an additional three to five office visits for blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds to determine your response to the medications, monitor follicle size, number, and growth, and aid in determining the daily dosage of medications and timing of egg retrieval. These visits usually last 15 to 30 minutes and are scheduled so that your laboratory results will be available that same day.

Sometimes a stimulated cycle does not advance to egg retrieval. The cycle may be delayed or cancelled due to inadequate follicular development or hormone levels, or premature ovulation. Although canceling a cycle can be disappointing to the donor and the recipient couple, all factors must be optimal to achieve the best possible outcome and hopefully establish a pregnancy.

 The guidelines from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommend that an egg donor undergo no more than six stimulated cycles. You will be compensated on a “pro-rated” basis if your cycle does not advance to egg retrieval.

 If you cancel your cycle, you will receive no compensation.

The Egg Retrieval Procedure

Once the ultrasound and blood tests show that the eggs are optimally developed, a procedure will be performed by the physician to retrieve the eggs from the ovaries.

You will need to be available for one full day on the day of the egg retrieval. During the egg retrieval you will be sedated using medication administered through an IV. Using the ultrasound for guidance, a needle is passed through the vagina into the ovaries and the eggs are removed. This procedure usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Once the eggs are retrieved, they are taken to the laboratory. The climate in the laboratory is specifically controlled to provide an optimum environment for the eggs. The egg retrieval procedure is usually performed in the early morning. After a short recovery period in the office, we recommend that you spend the rest of the day quietly at home.

**You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure and stay with you that afternoon and evening. Most women return to their normal activity the following day.

You will have a follow-up visit approximately one week after egg retrieval which will include a vaginal ultrasound. You will be given a check for $3000.00 at this visit.

Other Egg Donation Requirements

  • Egg donors should take a daily multiple vitamin
  • Please do not take Ibuprofen, Motrin, or other related products
  • Tylenol may be taken as needed for discomfort
  • Please use caffeine in moderation during the egg donation process
  • Please Do Not drink alcohol during the egg donation process
  • Please notify us if you become ill during the egg donation process
  • Please call our office to ask about taking ANY medications other than those in your egg donation cycle
  • While you are on the fertility medications, AND up to one month following the egg retrieval, please abstain from sexual intercourse or use barrier contraception.

You are extremely fertile during this time.

Legal Responsibilities

The law is very clear on this matter. Children born as a result of the egg donation process legally belong to the couple receiving the donated eggs. Egg donors have absolutely no responsibility for the future welfare or support of these children.