The Egg Donor Process and What to Expect

Learn more about the egg donation procedure, from the initial screening all the way to post retrieval.
Your friends at Extraordinary Conceptions are here to help you understand how egg donation works and answer your questions.

Egg Donation Process & Procedures

At Extraordinary Conceptions, we help connect intended parents with surrogates and egg donors to bring new life into the world. If you consider becoming an egg donor yourself, we’re here to help you navigate the process. On this page, you can learn everything about the egg donation process, from the application and screening to the eventual egg retrieval procedure. Our team is happy to address any of your questions or concerns you may have along the way.

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What is the Egg Donation Process?

The egg donation process refers to the full circle of conception to birth of a child by using donated eggs, or oocytes, from another woman. The woman who donates her oocytes is called an egg donor. Parents who cannot conceive “naturally,” whether due to medical reasons, risk of genetic disorder, or lack of ovaries, turn to this option to build and grow their families. Many LGBTQ+ couples also choose to work with an egg donor.

How Does Egg Donation Work?

The egg donation process is a fairly involved one. At Extraordinary Conceptions, we offer support along the way to make the steps as straightforward as possible. As a donor, you will be expected to take medication, attend medical and psychological screenings, and eventually undergo a minimally-invasive medical procedure to retrieve your eggs. After egg retrieval, you can rest and recover as instructed by the IVF physician.

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Egg Donation Process and Risks

Donating your eggs is incredibly safe, and according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, donors are able to complete up to 6 cycles.

And just like any medical procedure, the egg donation process does come with a few risks, however unlikely they may be. Some of the risks associated with egg donation are:

  • Mental Distress 
    Most egg donors find the experience incredibly rewarding. For others, it can be psychologically challenging.

  • Discomfort and Bruising at Needle Site
    Donors may experience some bruising at the needle site when drawing blood, as well as discomfort around the area.

  • Reaction to Fertility Drugs
    In some cases, donors don’t respond well to the fertility drugs required for retrieval. Some report headaches, weight gain, feelings of pressure in the stomach, and changes in mood. Some also experience allergic reactions or infection, but it is rare. Although there have been claims that these fertility drugs can lead to ovarian cancer, there is no proven evidence to back this up. Although rare, egg retrieval can also cause changes to your pelvic organs, which can lead to fertility and menstruation issues, as well as pain.

  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
    In rare cases, taking fertility drugs can lead to OHSS—especially if you’ve taken the medication but then decide not to go through with the retrieval process. While OHSS can be very serious, the risks can be minimized. If you are concerned about this risk, speak to our team.

  • Post-Retrieval Complications
    It’s uncommon, but some donors experience discomfort following their retrieval procedure. In some rare cases, bleeding, infection, or blood vessel/bowel injury can occur, and surgery could be required.

  • Torsion
    Sometimes, certain movements can cause torsion, an incident where your enlarged ovary becomes twisted. This can result in abdominal pain.

  • Unplanned Pregnancy
    Unprotected heterosexual intercourse can lead to an unplanned pregnancy during an egg donation cycle. If you become pregnant during this process, your contract could be severed.

  • Long-Term Effects
    Egg donation is a fairly new procedure, and we don’t know everything about it yet. There is a chance that the medications or procedure can lead to long-term effects that are still unknown.

What is the Egg Donation Screening Process?

The egg donation screening process is in place to protect everyone involved; you, your intended parent(s,) and the coming baby. After submitting an application and matching with a family, you will undergo a physical exam, drug and nicotine screening, genetic and STD testing, and any other blood tests required by your doctor. During this time, you will also undergo a full background check and psychological screening.

Once you’ve been cleared, you will work with your intended parents and respective lawyers to develop a contract. From there, you will begin taking your fertility drugs and will be expected to undergo medical monitoring.

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How Long is the Egg Donation Process?

This is slightly different for everyone and will depend on the length of your screening process. Usually, we tell donors to expect the process to last anywhere between 12 to 16 weeks, starting after they’ve been “matched” with intended parents.

Donating Your Eggs Process: Retrieval and Post-Retrieval

It’s time for your egg retrieval! This procedure typically takes under an hour, plus around 30 minutes of recovery onsite. In some cases, your clinic might request a follow-up appointment, but for many donors, this is where the process ends. We always ask that you bring a travel companion to accompany you for your retrieval.

After embryos have been lab-developed, they will either be frozen for future use or immediately transferred to your intended mother or gestational surrogate with a process similar to IVF. In the meantime, we recommend taking it easy for the day. You will receive your compensation check within two weeks.

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Ready to Begin the Egg Donation Cycle Process?

At Extraordinary Conceptions, we’ve been helping egg donors, surrogates, and families for over 15 years. Over that time, we’ve seen miracle babies grow into happy, healthy teenagers— and we are honored to have been a part of their story. If you are ready to give the gift of a child to a family, get in touch with our team. We are here to answer all of your questions and help you navigate this exciting journey. We look forward to meeting you.

Read About Becoming an Egg Donor From Women Like You!

Take a look at what some of our own surrogates have said about their experience with Extraordinary Conceptions:

“Any “difficult” parts of the pregnancy were immediately erased the moment I saw the look on my Intended Parents’ faces. It was pure joy for all of us!”

“I just wanted to thank you guys for working so hard with us to make this happen! I feel so grateful being able to help such an awesome couple.”
“Extraordinary Conceptions really made the process of surrogacy a wonderful one. Always making me feel comfortable and being there to answer every single question. Thank you for introducing me to my intended parents and letting me help make their dreams come true.”
“Seeing the parents hold their baby for the first time was the best part of my journey and I knew immediately that I wanted to do this again”

We’re Honored to be Part of Your Journey!

Apply to become an Egg Donor with Extraordinary Conceptions today, and someone from our team will be in touch with you very shortly. We are honored and excited to help you take the steps to making a family’s dreams come true.

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