The Egg Donation Process
Below you’ll find some basic information about the egg donation process from start to finish. We look forward to working with you to help one of our wonderful intended parents build their family. This article is intended to give you a brief overview of egg donation and answer some common questions, such as how does egg donation work? And what is the egg donation screening process like?
How does egg donation work?
Egg donation is a complex yet very routine process where a donor takes medication that increases the number of eggs that develop in her ovaries. Once those eggs are ready, she’ll undergo a brief, noninvasive outpatient procedure to remove them.
Once the eggs are removed, they’ll be fertilized with sperm from the intended father or a donor. The embryos are allowed to develop in the lab for a few days and then, they’ll either be frozen for future use or transferred into the uterus of the intended mother or a gestational surrogate in the hopes of creating a pregnancy!
There are many reasons why someone would use an egg donor. Just a few of these reasons could include:
- The couple is a same-sex male couple
- The female partner went through premature menopause
- The female partner carries the gene for a serious genetic disorder
- The female partner had her ovaries removed
Whatever the reason why someone needs or chooses to use an egg donor, they are extremely appreciative of the young woman or women who helped them build their family. It truly is an incredible gift to another person or couple.
The Egg Donation Process at Extraordinary Conceptions
The next sections will provide more information about what to expect during the entire egg donation process.
Step 1: Submit Your Donor Application
There are a few basic requirements all egg donors need to meet. These include:
- being between the ages of 18 and 29
- in good health
- having a BMI of 27 or less
- refraining from using recreational drugs or tobacco products
If you meet the basic requirements, please submit your initial egg donor application. Someone from our Egg Donor Team will get in touch with you to answer questions and help make sure you complete your online profile. As you set up your profile, provide as many details as possible on the application sections. We ask you to email us 8-15 pictures of yourself so that we can put them on your profile to show intended parents what you look like at varying ages from childhood to the present.
Step 2: Getting Matched with Future Parents
Your online profile will be made “Available” once you complete the profile and submit your pictures. Future Parents can search for donors using our very private and secure database. They’ll be looking at details such as likeness, ethnicity, education, etc. It is important to know that all of your identifying information will be removed in order to protect your privacy.
When there are future parents interested in working with you, an Egg Donor Coordinator will contact you and get the screening process started.
Step 3: The Screening Process
After you’ve been selected by parents, your Egg Donor Coordinator and the fertility clinic will work with you to start the egg donation screening process. This appointment usually involves a physical exam, genetic testing, STD testing, drug/nicotine screening, and other blood tests. During your screening appointment, the Egg Donor Nurse Coordinator will cover the entire donation process with you. You will also complete a background check and psychological screening in order to complete the screening process. Results from your medical screening are usually returned within 3-6 weeks.
Step 4: The Legal Process
After you received medical clearance, you’ll enter the legal part of the process. The contracts start with the egg recipients and their attorney and then go to you and your attorney. This can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to complete until all parties are satisfied. This is paid for by the future parents.
Step 5: Medications and Monitoring
Once you have legal clearance, you’ll receive your calendar for medications, monitoring, and travel if necessary. During this time you’ll give yourself daily injections to stimulate egg development using very small needles that go into the skin of the thigh or abdomen. You’ll also be monitored very closely by the clinic (or a selected local clinic if your fertility clinic is not near your home) and go in for blood work and vaginal ultrasounds to make sure that your body is responding well to the medications.
It’s important to note that if travel is required, it is paid up front, including a per-diem fee. (Per diem is provided per 24 hours overnight.) Future Parents are also responsible for the costs for the medical screening, insurance, legal fees, etc.
Step 6: The Egg Retrieval
The egg retrieval itself is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure in which you are given a mild sedative. The egg donation procedure takes less than 1 hour, and after 30-45 minutes in the recovery room, you’ll be allowed to leave with your travel companion. Most donors tell us that they don’t remember the procedure. Your clinic will schedule a follow up session if appropriate. Your compensation check will be mailed to you within 10 business days following the egg retrieval.
Additional Egg Donor Information
Donors are able to donate up to six (6) times per the current American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM’s) guidelines. Please note that these guidelines are recommendations, not rules. More and more clinics are open to additional egg donation procedures and will discuss that with donors on a case-by-case basis. Since egg donation is such a rewarding experience, many of our donors are asked to be made available on the site right away!
If you have any other questions about the egg donation process, please don’t hesitate to ask us!