Frequently Asked Questions for Egg Donors
Can you briefly tell me what the process is like?
Medications are given to suppress the menstrual cycle and ovarian stimulating medications are given to stimulate the production of eggs. Most of these medications are injections and are self-administered for 3-6 weeks (this can vary) until retrieval. The retrieval is done vaginally with a catheter under a mild intravenous (IV) sedation. The retrieval takes about 20 minutes with about an hour in the recovery room. Afterwards you may experience some mild cramping, bleeding, or bloating.
What kinds of medications are used?
Medications are used to coordinate cycles, suppress ovulation, stimulate follicles, and to trigger release of eggs. Examples of these include birth control pills, Lupron, Ganirelix, Follistim, Gonal-F,Menopur and HCG. These may be used in different combinations depending on the clinic and physician and some of the medications can be known by various names.
Are there any complications of which I should be aware?
Most people experience limited to no complications. You can experience minor discomfort after the procedure, or symptoms associated with your natural cycles, such as headaches, moodiness, or cramping. There have been a very small number of extreme cases of hyper stimulation. Although it has never happened in our program, there is a need to disclose that there have been very rare and extremely limited cases of infertility or death.
Will donating affect my own fertility?
No relationship between egg donation and future fertility has been clearly established, although research is continuing. Egg donation does not deplete your ovarian reserve. Each month you release a number of eggs, but only one comes to maturity, generally. The hormones administered in the donation process stimulate more than one to reach maturity. Women in their 20s have hundreds of thousands of viable eggs, although the number diminishes over time.