1. How does the egg donation process begin?
All potential donors will have to first fill out an application on the Simple Steps Fertility website to establish that they meet initial criteria recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Once an application is filled out a representative from our agency will contact the potential donor to set up a follow up interview either in person or by skyp.
2. Will egg donation prevent me from having children in the future?
This is a very common and important question asked by potential donors. There are some risks that are associated with egg donation however, egg donation is a safe procedure that will not impact your future fertility potential. It is a common myth that a woman only loses one egg every month. The truth is that a woman loses hundreds of eggs every month. During an egg donation cycle some of those eggs that the Donor was already going to lose are matured and removed during the egg retrieval.This process does not cause you to run out of eggs sooner in the future. The eggs that are induced to grow by these medications were already „linked‟ to this cycle and would have been lost anyway had they not been induced to grow.
3. Will I go into Menopause early if I donate my eggs?
No, the eggs that are matured and removed during an egg donor cycle are eggs that the Donor was already going to lose for that cycle.
4. What are the risks associated with egg donation?
During and Egg Donor cycle the risks and benefits will be discussed by the Agency and a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist. The physician will explain the process and risks that are associated with the egg donation cycle and egg retrieval. The Donor will have an opportunity to ask questions and become fully informed prior to starting medication. However, some of the risks associated with Egg Donation include:
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrom (OHSS)
- Cyst Formation
- Ovarian Torsion
- Allergic reaction caused by antibiotic during egg retrieval
It is important to conduct further research and ask questions to fully understand all risks involved with egg donation.
5. What kind of medication will I be using ?
An egg donation cycle is completed in three phases. The first phase known as the preparatory cycle is where potential egg donors undergo careful screening for genetic, psychological, hormonal and physical screening before begining any medication. Once that is completed birth control pills are prescribed in the predatory cycle to synchronize the follicles for the ovarian stimulation. The second phase of the cycle is known as the ovarian stimulation cycle. During this time the egg donor will inject follicle stimulating hormone, FSH, to stimulate the ovary in hopes of inducing the simultaneous growth of several oocytes (eggs) over the span of 8 or more days. Other “fertility drugs” are used to prevent premature ovulation and maturation of the follicle once it is fully grown, this injection is known as the “trigger shot.” The medication is used for two weeks leading up to the Egg Retrieval. Some examples of these medications are:
- HCG/ Lupron
These are common medications that are used by fertility centers for ovarian stimulation.
6. What is an Egg Retrieval?
An egg retrieval is the process of removing the eggs from the ovary. During an egg retrieval the physician will use a transvaginal ultrasound probe to visualize the ovaries and the egg-containing follicles within the ovaries. A long needle is guided into each follicle and the contents aspirated. The aspirated material includes the egg. The procedure is done under anesthesia to ensure the donor is comfortable and doesn’t feel any pain. For the egg donor, the retrieval is the last step. In about 2 weeks, their normal period will begin, and by that time their ovaries will often be back to normal size.
7. What are some risks associated with the egg retrieval?
The most common risks that are associated with the egg retrieval are infection and bleeding. However, complications from the egg retrieval are rare. The donor will be given antibiotics to prevent infection and will be in the recovery room for at least one hour to monitor for possible bleeding.
8. When will my body be back to normal?
The healing process can be different for each donor. However, most donors will be back to normal in 2 weeks when their menses begin. Some donors will feel more pain than other during the healing process. It is expected to have mild cramping as the ovaries return to their original size. All donors are required to have a post op visit with their physician to ensure that everything is back to normal. All donors are also given health insurance in case of an emergency during the entire cycle.
9. How will Simple Steps Fertility Egg Donor Agency help me during this process?
Simple Steps Fertility Egg Donor Agency will be with you every step of the way. A representative from the agency will be in touch with you daily to help answer all of your questions and concerns. We try to help accommodate your schedule and make it easy to go through the screening process. We have a 24 hour nursing support team that is ready to help during your cycle and drivers that can help you get to your appointments or Egg Retrieval. We are on your team to help make this a positive and rewarding experience.
10. Will this be an anonymous process?
Most egg donation cycles are anonymous. However, sometimes intended parents and donors would like to meet each other. This will only happen if both parties agree to it. It is important to understand that the agency, attorney and doctors office will try to keep all information and medical records as anonymous as possible.