Becoming an Egg Donor
The following is a guide to help you understand what to expect during the process. Please also refer to Cycle Summary for an explanation of the medical process. We are committed to standing by you during the entire process. We will be there to guide and support you every step of the way.
STEP ONE - Social Screening
When your final donor application is completed and accepted, We will contact you within 48 hours to arrange a phone or an in person interview. We will enjoy getting to know you and hearing about your family and your life's dreams and we will carefully explain the medical procedures. After this interview you will be asked to have your profile put on our password protected website and will likely be matched very soon with a loving couple. Supplying a number of diverse photographs of you and possibly your family members is a key factor to being matched.
STEP TWO - Being Chosen
It is a wonderful feeling to know that you have the honor of helping someone to achieve their dream. We will give you reassuring information about your couple who will have been screened and interviewed by our staff. We may be the only agency to turn down prospective couples who are not ready to be recipient parents. After you agree to participate you will be given paperwork to sign and asked to have your blood drawn on Day 3 of your menstrual cycle in order to measure your fertility.
STEP THREE - Psychological Screening
Your emotional health is an important consideration to exclude the presence of psychiatric disease which could be inherited by a child. You will be asked to take a standardized psychological test which consists of many true and false questions. This test will need to be proctored by a professional in your area.
STEP FOUR - Genetic Report
The Egg Donor Program offers a genetic screening of chosen donors. A Board Certified Geneticist will interview you over the phone, take your family history, construct a family tree, and write a report which we will be happy to share with you. Please be prepared with as much information as possible regarding your family history and be aware that our Geneticist may ask you to provide more information from family members regarding medical history (It is not required that you disclose to anyone the fact that you are donating). You will also be tested for common genetic diseases. This is a wonderful opportunity to receive important health history for yourself.
STEP FIVE - Medical Screening
Day 3 FSH Test
Please keep track of your menstrual cycle even before you are chosen, particularly the day of onset. Frequently the reproductive Physician will request a blood test and possibly an ultrasound, on the third day of your menses. This test can be an indicator of your current fertility. It is extremely important to inform The Egg Donor Program and your physician's office immediately when your period starts, even if this occurs over the weekend. If the blood test is not done exactly on the third day the cycle can be delayed by a month.
The Reproductive Specialist at the office where you are chosen will Interview you and take your health history and explain the procedure.
The FDA requires a panel of infectious disease screenings for all Egg Donors. This includes the following screenings:
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Pap Smear
- Urine Drug Screen
- Cystic Fibrosis Genetic Screening
- Vaginal ultrasound of the ovaries
STEP SIX - Legal Contract
All egg donations include a legal contract between a donor and recipient to define parental rights. These contracts are usually signed on separate pages to protect anonymity. As a donor, you will be offered expert legal counsel, which is paid for by the Program, in order to help you understand the document you will be asked to sign giving up your legal rights to the eggs which are retrieved from your body.
STEP SEVEN - Cycle Begins
You will begin to synchronize your cycle with the recipient of your eggs by taking Birth Control Pills for about 10 days and then usually about 21 days of a series of fertility hormones which are administered at home by you or a friend through injections with small gauge needles. During the treatment phase of the cycle, you will be asked to make several brief visits(normally 4-6) to the physician's office for morning monitoring which include a blood draw and vaginal sonograms to monitor your egg.
STEP EIGHT - The Egg Retrieval*****
The Egg Retrieval, also called Trans Vaginal Aspiration, takes place in the morning and last about 30 minutes. The eggs are recovered vaginally. You will be sedated for this procedure with "Twilight Sedation", so you may not drive yourself home. With an ultrasound as a guide, the eggs are retrieved through the vaginal wall via a large needle and an aspiration process, which recovers the eggs from the top of the ovary where they have matured in small follicles. You will have a short recovery period in the office afterwards. It is recommended that you spend the rest of the day quietly at home. Most women feel fine afterwards and the next day you may return to normal activity. You should get a period in about 2 weeks. You are still fertile and able to conceive that month so be sure to use protection if you have intercourse.
******Please note that although we are quite familiar with the process, we are not a physician's office. Therefore we will ask you to rely on the explanations and instructions given to you by the medical experts who treat you.