To some, the phrase “egg donation” sounds complicated. But, after you review these steps, you will have a greater understanding of the procedure.
With more than 20,000 egg donation cycles performed in the US annually, you can be assured that the premiere fertility centers have egg donation down to a smoothly-running process. Also, with anonymity assured, and the opportunity to make between $7,000 and $25,000 per donation, there has never been a better time to explore egg donation.
Step 1: Become Aware of Egg Donation Opportunities
Growing up, you may have heard your mother and her friends talking about infertility. Infertility occurs when there is a hormone imbalance problem called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which can interfere with normal ovulation. Now as a college student, you start to notice egg donor ads. From online ads to poster ads around campus, your curiosity about egg donation starts to increase and at some point, those overheard conversations start to make sense. After the “ah ha” moment hits, you realize you can help someone overcome infertility without disrupting your life. After conducting further research online, and engaging with women who have donated, you realize that you fit the egg donor criteria and can gain a financial benefit. Now it’s time for you to start the application!
Step 2: Complete the Application
The application will ask that you provide personal information related to your educational background, hobbies, family history, blood type and medical history. Other components of the application include quality photos, as they are one of the most effective tools to matching with intended parents. Within your photo gallery, it’s important to add at least one childhood photo, a full body photo, and a current headshot. Once the application is completed, you will be sent an email notifying you whether you’ve been accepted into the egg donor program.
Step 3: Get Matched with Intended Parents
Your profile is created from the information you provide on your application. Once your profile is created, it will be presented to the list of intended parents who have requested someone who fits your general profile. After you are selected by the intended parents you will then move forward with the screening process.
Step 4: The Screening Process
The screening process includes a medical and genetic screening, psychological evaluation, and background check. Before attending your screening appointments, you must pass the background check. Once you pass the background check, genetic testing will be conducted. Genetic testing is an effective way to identify any genetic abnormalities and receive information about your fertility. Both the medical and genetic test takes only a day to complete.
The psychological evaluation measures your behavior, personality and cognitive abilities. Unlike the medical and genetic screening, the psychological evaluation can be completed in your local area. If you aren’t located near RSMC in San Diego for the genetic and medical screening to take place, the fertility clinic will provide transportation assistance.
Step 5: Legal Process
After you are matched with intended parents, both you and the intended parents will sign an agreement. You will be given an attorney, who represents you exclusively, to discuss the contracts with before signing. The intended parents will have a separate attorney to prevent conflict of interest and fully protect both parties’ interests.
Step 6: In-Cycle Calendar, Injections and Monitoring
Once steps one to six are completed, the doctor will determine a date to start the process and create a medication calendar. Generally, you start with birth control pills to synchronize your monthly cycle with the woman who will carry the baby, either the intended mother or surrogate. You will then receive an easy to administer daily injections of hormones for two to three weeks with a small needle. Most egg donors start by taking Lupron injections for about 10-14 days to shut down ovulation. This will help the doctor control the timing of ovulation and egg maturation. After the Lupron injections process is complete, you will start a daily injection of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that will encourage the development of multiple egg follicles. After tests reveal that the eggs are matured, ovulation is triggered through a single injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This will then assist with the next procedure, egg retrieval.
Step 7: Egg Retrieval
The Egg retrieval procedure occurs 34–36 hours after the HCG injection. The retrieval occurs at the fertility center and you will need to bring someone with you to help you get home since you won’t be able to drive after anesthesia. If you are flying in, you will need to bring a support person with you. During the procedure, which usually takes around 20 minutes under light sedation, the eggs are retrieved through transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. Using a tube attached to an ultrasound probe, the doctor gently guides a suctioning needle into each ovary and removes mature eggs from the follicles. The average egg retrieval nets between 10 and 18 eggs, enough for two or more IVF attempts. After the retrieval, you rest at the fertility center for an hour or two, just to make sure you’re recovering nicely. You are then free to leave and rest at home the remainder of the day.
Step 8: Post-Retrieval Check-Up
A post-retrieval check-up appointment will be scheduled at your fertility center or local medical office, whichever is most convenient for you. Congratulations! You’ve gone through the egg donation process and not only helped to build a family but helped yourself too.
If you want a more complete explanation of the procedure, please watch the video below from a premiere fertility center in San Diego, California.