For women who are interested in donating eggs or receiving donor eggs, you may be curious as to what the egg donation process entails. The decision to donate eggs and to receive donor eggs is a personal choice and may not be for everyone. In order to make an informed decision, it is always best to do thorough research. Below, you will find detailed information on the egg donation process that may help to shed light on how egg donation works and if it is something that may be of interest to you.
Egg Donation: The Process
Depending upon the clinic you choose to work with, the process for egg donation may vary. In most cases, you can expect the process to look something like this:
- Step 1: The Screening Process. Unfortunately you can’t just walk into a clinic and donate your eggs. At many clinics, first and foremost you must pass the initial screenings and interviews. From there, testing such as blood draws to check for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, hepatitis, and drug use are performed. It is common for blood to be drawn on the 3rd day of the donor’s menstrual cycle to be used for hormone tests. At this time, a transvaginal ultrasound may also be performed as well as a psychological screening.
- Step 2: The Legal Process. After you are cleared by the doctor as a potential donor, the legal process begins. Contracts will be signed by both the donors and the recipients.
- Step 3: Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation. During this phase in the egg donation process, the donor will be given a set of hormonal drugs to aid in the production of mature eggs. The hormonal drugs will assist the ovaries in producing multiple mature eggs during the menstrual cycle, instead of the one egg that is commonly released during ovulation. Most often, the drugs administered are as follows:
- Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonist Analogues
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone or Human Menopausal Gonadotropin
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
- Step 4: Egg Retrieval. Once the mature eggs are ready for retrieval, the donor will undergo a procedure to remove the eggs. This procedure is called tranvaginal ultrasound aspiration and is performed under conscious sedation. Using a tube attached to the probe of an ultrasound, the mature eggs will be removed from the ovary follicles through a suctioning needle.
- Step 5: Recovery. Following the egg retrieval procedure, the donor will remain in the clinic for observation for one to two hours.. A follow-up exam and ultrasound will be scheduled to check the condition and ensure the health of the donor.
If you are interested in learning more about the egg donation process or about receiving donor eggs, we invite you to contact Carolinas Fertility Institute. Our team of experts are knowledgeable in the egg donation process and available to answer in questions you may have. Visit us today!