Egg Donation Retrieval Cycle Steps
Continue below for more information on the egg donation retrieval and how to become an egg donor:
To protect the Donor’s health, it is the Egg Donor’s responsibility to be honest and vigilant throughout the egg retrieval process. It is imperative to attend all medical appointments and to follow physician instructions regarding procedures and medications. If at any time you are unsure about your responsibilities, please communicate your concerns to Las Vegas Egg Donation, Inc. and/or your fertility clinician. Please inform us IMMEDIATELY if your personal information or status changes so that we may update your profile.
Egg Donation Steps:
Step 1: Application and Profile
The online Egg Donor Database is used to help Intended Parents (IPs) find their ideal candidate. Once qualified, your profile (with identifying and private information removed) will be placed on our exclusive database. Since this is the main source of information that the IP(s) will view about you, it is recommended that you provide honest and complete answers, and let your personality show through as much as possible. Once our office receives your complete application, we will review your information and set up a brief interview. You will then be added to our database. By applying to be an Egg Donor with Las Vegas Egg Donation, Inc., you understand that we do not charge Egg Donor Candidates any fee for inclusion on our database. you are responsible, however, for providing all medical information requested, including but not limited to physician contacts for primary and OB/GYN care that involves the release of confidential medical information.
Step 2: The Matching Process
The time line of the matching process can vary. You may be on the database for a week or it may take several months. There are a few factors that can have an impact on this:
- Egg Donor location – local or long distance.
- IP(s) preference for certain physical characteristics (most matching their own).
Once we have IP(s) interested in having you as their donor, you will be contacted by a representative from Las Vegas Egg Donation, Inc. to determine your availability. After a match occurs, the entire process may range from one to three months.
Step 3: The Match Agreement
Once your availability has been confirmed, you will be sent a Match Agreement. The Match Agreement is an official document specifying your commitment to a donor cycle along with an outline of your compensation. This agreement also permits Las Vegas Egg Donation, Inc. to begin coordinating your psychological and medical screening. Your case will be referred to a reproductive attorney who is experienced in this field. If you choose to not utilize this attorney, Las Vegas Egg Donation, Inc. will provide you with referrals to attorneys who specialize in this field. The IP’s will contribute $750.00 toward this alternate legal consultation. Any legal consultation fees greater than this amount ($750.00) will be your responsibility.
*Please note that you are able to make changes to your contract at any point before the Egg Donor Contract is finalized. However, you may be liable for costs incurred by the IP(s) if you make any changes after you have signed a Match Agreement.
Step 4: Psychological & Medical Screening
Now that the contracts are under way, you will be contacted with details for arranging your psychological evaluation, medical screening, and legal representation. It is necessary for you to complete the psychological screening prior to attending the medical screening. In addition, your significant other/sexual partner will need to participate in the psychological and medical screening. The medical screening may include a pelvic exam, vaginal ultrasound, blood tests to screen for infectious diseases, drug screening, and cervical cultures for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, and hormone blood tests to predict ovarian response. Depending on the IVF physician, other procedures may also be included in the screening protocol. After successful completion of the psychological and medical screening, the final contract will be sent to your attorney and clearance will be issued for you to begin injectable medications.
Step 5: Contracts
After the match agreement is signed and received, your attorney will send you an Engagement Letter stating that you are hiring your attorney. This document must be signed by both you and if applicable, your spouse/significant other. After the engagement letter has been signed and returned to your attorney, a copy of the draft contract will be sent to you for review. It is your responsibility to fully read your contract and ask any questions or concerns and make requests or changes you deem necessary. Before the final signing, your attorney will contact you to review your entire contract. Once the contract is finalized you will NOT be able to change it.
Step 6: Start of Medications
When all screenings and contracts have been completed, you will begin taking medications in preparation for the egg retrieval. Every physician has a different medical protocol for the egg retrieval process. Your physician will provide you with a calendar, which will specifically tell you what medications to take, when, and what dose.
Step 6A: Start of Birth Control
Most Egg Donors will be placed on birth control at the time of the medical screening. You will continue to take birth control through the contract phase in order to synchronize your cycle with the recipient’s cycle. Medical personnel from the fertility clinic will instruct you regarding your birth control to help regulate your hormonal levels and to prevent ovulation. During this process, you will see your fertility clinic physician for ultrasound examinations and blood tests to monitor the development of your Donor eggs. It is vital that you attend all appointments and take the medications as instructed by your physician.
Step 6B: Suppression
(Not every physician will administer this step) You will be instructed to stop taking birth control pills and begin taking a suppression medication. This is administered to prevent you from ovulating spontaneously during the stimulation process. You may be required to take this for approximately 14 – 21 days and you will continue until about two days prior to the egg retrieval. This is given daily by a small injection just under the skin on the stomach. Ice or a local anesthetic may be used to numb the area for the injection. Medical personnel from the fertility clinic will instruct you in detail regarding your injections.
Step 6C: Follicle Stimulation
A woman normally develops and releases one egg per month during ovulation. You will begin taking injectable stimulation medications, called Gonadotropins, once or twice daily for approximately 8 to 21 days prior to egg retrieval. Gonadotropins replace your natural follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to trigger a uniform stimulation, which induces your ovaries to produce several mature eggs. You will be instructed by the fertility clinician on when and how to take each injection. Your dose may change based on your body’s response to the medication. Ultrasounds will track the number and size of your follicles and blood work will determine your estrogen levels.
Step 6D: Egg Retrieval
During the week of your egg retrieval, your eggs will be monitored by vaginal ultrasound and blood hormone levels to determine your response to the stimulation drugs. These appointments can often be completed before work/school. When your follicles are mature, you will be instructed to take the hCG injection. Depending on your doctor, this medication may be combined with other medications. This injection helps eggs mature, preparing them for retrieval. Egg retrieval occurs approximately 36 hours after your hCG injection. The egg retrieval process is a generally painless procedure, which takes about 20-30 minutes with about an hour recovery at the clinic. You will have intravenous sedation for comfort. Intravenous sedation uses a needle drip to administer drugs into one of your veins to make you feel sleepy and less anxious. The drugs administered may make you fall sleep. The procedure to retrieve the Donor eggs is called an oocyte (egg) aspiration, which is performed with a needle passing from the upper vagina into each ovary. This method extracts the eggs and is performed under ultrasound guidance. Some women experience cramping on the day of retrieval, however this feeling usually abates by the next day. Sensations of pressure and/or fullness may last for several weeks after since the ovaries may remain enlarged for some time. After a brief recovery from the anesthesia, you will be released from the clinic. You must have a companion drive you home and you must rest for the remaining portion of the day. The next day you may experience some discomfort. You must refrain from unprotected sexual intercourse until the completion of your next menstrual cycle, as you will be extremely fertile and unwanted pregnancy could occur. Your menstrual period should begin approximately 2-3 weeks after your retrieval.
Step 7: Fertilization & Embryo Transfer
Once the Donor eggs are removed from the ovaries they are immediately examined for maturity and quality. Eggs meeting specifications are placed in a special incubator and are mixed with sperm. Approximately 16-20 hours later the eggs are inspected for fertilization. If fertilization is successful, the embryos may be transferred into the recipient’s uterus.
Step 8: Follow-Up Appointment
The day after your appointment you may be called by the medical facility to ensure you are not suffering from any complications. Often you are asked to call-in a week after the procedure to ensure you are properly recovering. Take advantage of this time to discuss any and all symptoms you may be experiencing to protect your health. Please note, not every physician will require this step.