Become an Egg Donor – FAQs

Q?

How do we match our egg donors and recipients?

A.

Most of the donations are anonymous. The prospective recipient is provided with the donor ID number and the demographic, education, occupation, hobbies, and history sections of the donor questionnaire. The recipient may choose one of our egg donors or an egg donor from another source, such as an agency.

Q?

How long will it take before I am matched with a recipient?

A.

This time varies greatly and some potential egg donors are never chosen. Please be patient. Once a couple selects you, we will contact you with further details.

Q?

How long does the whole process take after my application is received?

A.

If your qualifications and profile match what we are looking for, we can start immediately. We usually schedule interviews on Day 3 of your menstrual cycle. A complete cycle can be done in 4-6 weeks. Otherwise, we will put your profile on hold until we are able to start. This can take up to several months.

Q?

Will I get to meet the couple or couples that receives my eggs?

A.

No. You will be an anonymous egg donor. Therefore your identity will only be known to AFCT staff but not to the recipient. It can only be disclosed to the patient in extraordinary circumstances by an order from the court.

Q?

How are donors compensated?

A.

An “Anonymous Oocyte (egg) Donor In Vitro Fertilization Financial Agreement” must be completed and signed. This agreement outlines the terms of compensation. The egg donor receives compensation once a cycle is completed, defined as progression from screening to oocyte retrieval.

Q?

Do I have to pay for anything?

A.

No. We will pay for everything unless you violate your contract. This does not include your travel costs to the clinic if you come to monitor at Advanced Fertility Center.

Q?

What is in vitro fertilization?

A.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) literally means “fertilization outside of the body”. The female undergoes ovulation induction with gonadotropin hormones to stimulate the development of multiple eggs. Once these eggs mature, they are retrieved from the ovaries and combined with the sperm in a Petri dish. The resultant embryos are placed in an incubator for 3-6 days or until mature. Once mature, they are transferred into the mother’s uterus.

Q?

What are the side effects and risks of egg donation?

A.

All donors undergo conventional IVF. This means you will be taking daily doses of fertility medications. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is the most common side-effect and you may feel bloated and crampy. Sensitivity and tenderness at the injection site can be common during the first few times of treatment. Some reaction to the medication is also possible.

Q?

What are the medication side effects?

A.

IVF requires the use of several fertility medications including FSH, (Follistim, Gonal-F, Menapur, etc.), Lupron or Cetrotide, hCG, and others. All of these medications can produce side effects in a comparatively small percentage of women. The side effects may include:

• Hot flashes
• Nausea
• Headaches
• Visual symptoms
• Ovarian enlargement
• Local bruising or redness
• Ovarian cyst formation
• Swelling, pain
• Fluid in the lungs
• Abdominal bleeding
• Blood clots

• The most serious potential side effect of gonadotropin therapy is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This can lead to abdominal swelling, ovarian enlargement, rarely decrease in urination, and may require hospitalization. We make every attempt to minimize this risk, and recent stimulation techniques have drastically diminished this risk.

Q?

Will the egg donation process affect my chances of becoming pregnant in the future?

A.

There is no evidence that egg donation affects the chances for future conception. An average female has about 300,000 eggs at puberty, and only a fraction of about 300 will undergo stimulation. If a serious infection occurrs, it could adversely affect the reproductive organs; however, this is very rare.

Q?

How are my eggs retrieved?

A.

The egg retrieval, also called oocyte aspiration, is performed approximately 34-36 hours after the hCG injection. This process is performed under intravenous sedation, which is administered by an anesthesiologist.

The physician guides a thin aspiration needle through the vaginal wall into the ovarian follicles using ultrasound guidance. After the eggs are removed, they are taken to the laboratory in a culture tube with special media to examine the follicular fluid for eggs.

The eggs are evaluated for maturity and placed in a culture medium. The climate in the laboratory is specifically controlled to provide the optimum environment for the eggs and future embryos.

Q?

If I donate will my eggs run out sooner?

A.

No. You will not lose your eggs (or your fertility) from the egg retrieval process. An average female has hundreds of thousands of eggs, a few of which ovulate each month. Studies show that donating eggs multiple time does not change the number of eggs remaining for the next cycle. This is because ovarian stimulation does not recruit additional eggs to grow. Instead, it is merely rescuing those eggs that would become atretic (degenerate) toward the end of the cycle.

Q?

Is the egg retrieval painful?

A.

A qualified anesthesiologist will administer IV sedation to make you as comfortable as possible. After the procedure, there may be some discomfort or intermittent sharp, cramp-like pains.

Q?

How long does the egg retrieval last?

A.

The egg retrieval requires approximately 15-30 minutes and patients are monitored for one to two hours afterwards.

Q?

How long is the recovery period?

A.

You may feel bloated and experience some cramping a few days before the retrieval. You also may feel discomfort, bloating, and slight spotting after the procedure. This can last up to 7-10 days.

Q?

How much time off work should I expect?

A.

On the day of retrieval you may experience some pelvic cramps and/or bleeding, but the majority of patients are able return to their normal activity the day after the retrieval.

Q?

Can I have sexual intercourse while in the program?

A.

We prefer that you abstain from sexual intercourse while in the cycle. We will give you more instructions as you proceed with the program. You may get pregnant very easily (with a potential for multiples) while taking the injections. This will automatically cancel your cycle.

Q?

When can I resume sexual intercourse?

A.

It is recommended to resume safe sex after you have your first menstrual cycle after the time of retrieval.

Q?

Will I experience an increase in vaginal discharge prior to my egg donation procedure?

A.

Yes, this is very common. As your estrogen level goes up, you may see an increasing amount of clear discharge. This is a normal response and does not mean you are ovulating prior to your procedure.

Can I donate if?

Q?

…I just gave birth?

A.

We can only consider you if it has been at least 6 months from your delivery date. You must not be breastfeeding while at the time.

Q?

…I am on birth control pills?

A.

Yes. You will have to stop taking birth control for a while and take it again pending the results of your hormone tests. You will completely stop taking it before you receive hormone injections.

Q?

…I have an IUD? Depo Provera or Norplant?

A.

Yes; however, you will have to remove it to start the cycle. We do not pay for removing or putting back the IUD. You have to discontinue use of Norplant or Depo Provera for several months before you can donate.

Q?

…I have my tubes tied?

A.

Yes; however, pending the results of your hormone levels, you may or may not qualify.

Q?

…I am a virgin?

A.

No. Egg donation involves intra-vaginal sonogram/ultrasound as well as passing a needle through your vaginal wall during the retrieval process.

Q?

…I have been diagnosed with any STDs?

A.

No. We prefer our donors to not have any history of STDs (even if you have been treated and are not showing any symptoms now).

Q?

…I just did a donor cycle with another clinic?

A.

Yes, but only if it has been at least 1 months from your last donation (this can also mean 3 menstrual cycles after your last donation).

Q?

…I was adopted?

A.

No. If you do not have access to your birth parents’ family medical health information, or there is no informed person to ask, you cannot become an egg donor.

Q?

…I am a smoker?

A.

No. You will be taking birth control pills and injections. Certain ingredients of these medications will pose a health risk if you smoke. If you were a previous smoker, you must have stopped for at least 6 months.

Q?

What are modified and/or cancelled cycles?

A.

Lack of adequate ovarian response or a sudden drop in estradiol levels may indicate the need to modify the drug regimen in your next stimulation cycle.

Donor egg cycles will be cancelled if there is poor follicular development during the stimulation cycle. They might also be cancelled if there are mechanical barriers to egg retrieval (eg, scarring, pelvic disease, etc.). If the cycle is cancelled, you will meet with your physician to discuss future options.

Q?

When will the laboratory examine the eggs for fertilization?

A.

Fertilization is the penetration of the egg by a sperm and the union of the gametes (genetic material) leading to the development of an embryo. The eggs will be examined for fertilization about 16–18 hours after insemination.

Q?

How many times can I donate?

A.

You can donate up to 6 times as recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. You must allow your body to rest for at least 1months after your last retrieval before undergoing a new cycle.

Have more questions? Call our office today to speak with one of our highly trained staff members at (713)467-4488.