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What Does Egg Donation Involve?

The first step is to evaluate your health and prepare you for the medical procedures. You will have an interview with either Wendy Froman, the Executive Director, or Jossie Eaglin, the Program Director. This visit is designed to answer your questions concerning the egg donation process and to make sure that this is an appropriate program for you. Wendy is a Registered Nurse and has been working with fertility patients for over 12 years. She will be able to provide in depth information from a medical standpoint. Later, you will see the doctor for a medical history, physical exam, pap smear etc. to make sure that you have no undiscovered health problems. Laboratory tests will be performed to evaluate your fertility and check for common illnesses. You will also have an interview with a psychologist and a genetic counselor.

Administration of “Fertility Medication”

Fertility medications are used to help a woman’s ovaries produce from 10 to 30 eggs. Some of the fertility medication is a purified form of the natural hormones your body uses to regulate the production of eggs each month. Since experience tells us that women who are taking fertility medication may have a tendency to ovulate their eggs away before the doctor can harvest them for the in-vitro process, a drug called Lupron is used to prevent premature ovulation.

Fertility drugs are inactivated by the digestive system and must be given by injection. Most egg donors take their shots at home and find that they are not particularly uncomfortable. In most cases these drugs are given over the course of two to three weeks. You will have three to five visits, that must be scheduled in the mornings, for blood tests and ultrasound pictures of your ovaries. This is to follow the effects of the fertility medications on the egg production.

The “Egg Harvest” Procedure

A minor outpatient surgical procedure is performed to remove eggs from the ovaries for the in-vitro fertilization process. To perform an “egg harvest” the doctor uses the picture made by an ultrasound machine to guide a very special needle through your vagina and into the ovaries. Eggs are removed one at a time during the course of five to ten minutes.

The comfort and safety of our egg donors are our prime concern. To make sure you feel no pain, you will be given some form of anesthesia. This may vary among clinics. Once the anesthesia has worn off, you will be ready to go home within an hour. Policies vary from clinic to clinic.

The egg harvest procedure is usually performed in the early morning. In many cases donors are completely back to normal by the afternoon. Most women tell us that, they are a little sore for one or two days after the procedure, but otherwise feel well.

Once the eggs are harvested, they are taken into the in vitro fertilization laboratory. There they are cleaned, inspected, and fertilized with sperm from the recipient’s husband. Several days later the fertilized eggs are placed into the uterus of the mother to be to begin a pregnancy.

Psychological Evaluation

The psychologist’s main goal is to make sure that the donor is a reliable individual who may be counted upon to fulfill all of her responsibilities during the course the cycle.

Genetic Consultation

The genetic counselor's main goal is to learn about your genetic make-up and to recommend certain genetic testing given your family history, personal health history, or ethnic background.

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