How to Donate Eggs - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

How to Donate Eggs

Everything You (The Donor) Need to Know

How to Donate Eggs

If you’ve ever considered becoming an egg donor, or are simply curious about how to donate eggs, here’s what you need to know about the process.

First comes the paperwork

There’s a process you have to go through long before hormones or the procedure to retrieve your eggs. It involves information sessions, paperwork and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated screening in addition to DNA testing and a psychological evaluation. The purpose of this part of the process is due to the fact that it’s a big decision to share your genetic material with a couple. It ensures that you are well-educated about the entire process and that you’re not only healthy physically, but also mentally.

You have to go through this step in order to be cleared to donate your eggs and be chosen by a recipient.

And then come the hormones

Once you get through the administrative process of donating your eggs and you’re cleared and chosen by the receiving couple, the process becomes a little more intense. You’ll likely be prescribed birth control – this is done to sync your menstrual cycle with the recipient. At this time, you’ll start giving yourself daily hormone injections, which are usually the same ones you would get if you were undergoing in-vitro fertilization. The birth control suppresses the signal your brain sends to your ovaries, and the injections stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles, which may contain an egg.

This combination of hormones causes side effects that are common with PMS, including bloating, tenderness and moodiness. With all of these hormones in your system, you’re advised to not have sex during the stimulation process and up to two weeks after the egg retrieval.

During ovarian stimulation, you will likely be monitored closely via blood tests and ultrasounds in order for doctors to see that your ovaries are responding well to the hormones and not going into hyperstimulation.

Egg retrieval

It’s usually two to four weeks from when you’re chosen by a recipient to when you undergo the egg-retrieval surgery. A doctor performs what is called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration, which involves a tube attached to an ultrasound probe. The doctor guides a suctioning needle into your ovaries to remove the eggs. This surgical procedure is performed under conscious sedation. Following the surgery, you will remain in the clinic or hospital for a few hours and then return home for more recovery. The doctor may prescribe you an antibiotic to prevent any infections and you’ll likely have a follow-up exam and ultrasound a week later.

Who is the recipient?

You can donate your eggs to someone you know or rely on a fertility clinic to match you up with a recipient. In some cases, you may be able to meet the recipients, but most women choose to donate anonymously, which means there is no contact between the donor and the recipients as well as no information about what happens to your eggs after you donate them.

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