The basic medical requirements for egg donors are that you must be a woman between 21-32 years of age in general good health. You should be height and weight proportionate with a BMI no less than 18.5 and no more than 30.
You must complete, if selected, appropriate testing and have a recent normal pap test. After testing is completed you will begin taking several medications to prepare your body for egg retrieval. These are described below
This medication is a gonadotropin-releasing (GnRH) agonist. It is given as a daily injection in the AM. It is given with a very small needle. You will be instructed in how to administer this medication to yourself. It must be taken everyday and is used to suppress your natural cycle and to prevent premature release of your eggs and must be taken as directed by your physician. It is a very small dose and side effects should be at a minimum, but will be discussed with you during your initial consultation. You will get a period while on Lupron. This is natural and expected. It should be noted that most IVF clinics have been moving more towards the GnRH antagonist cycle (no lupron) so most likely this will not be utilized for your cycle.
This medication is given subcutaneously with a very small needle and usually once per day. It is usually administered in the evening. In a normal cycle women will usually ovulate only one egg. In order to increase the chances of pregnancy our goal is to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs so that more than one embryo will be available for the transfer to the uterus of the recipient or their Gestational carrier. This stimulation is accomplished with the use of these medications. There is monitoring necessary on the 4th day of this medication and then every other day or every day after. It is necessary to make sure that this medication is given in careful doses to control the ovarian hyperstimulation that you may experience. If you cannot comply with this monitoring then you will not be able to participate in the donation program.
This is a final injection and will be given 34-36 hours prior to your egg donation. The timing of this injection is based on your estradiol level and other considerations. It is the final step in maturing the eggs. This is an IM (Intramuscular) injection and you must have someone available to give you this injection. It is a critically timed medication. We can give these instructions to a family member or friend and this will be arranged at your injection class at the local clinic. Because HCG is the final step in this process as far as medication is concerned you should know that missing this injection or not be at the clinic at the appropriate time for your procedure may ruin the entire process.
This medication provides the hormone (hCG), which is the final step in maturing the eggs that have been recruited. It is a sub-cutaneous injection.
In some instances your IVF clinic may utilize a lupron trigger of either one or two doses as the final step in maturing the eggs recruited.
You will be instructed to abstain from eating and drinking from midnight before the procedure until after its successful completion. The egg retrieval is done under intravenous anesthesia called conscious sedation administered by a nurse anesthetist or physician anesthesiologist. You will need someone to transport you to the clinic for this process, as you cannot drive yourself. The actual egg retrieval takes less than one hour; you should plan on being at your clinic for a total of about three hours. There are consent forms that you will need to sign and preparation that is done one hour before the procedure. After retrieval, you will remain at the clinic in recovery for a minimum of one hour. You may be given antibiotics before leaving the clinic. You may feel nauseous and/or slightly sleepy, and should plan on going home to rest for the remainder of the day. You may experience some vaginal bleeding no heavier than a normal period and often much less. You should report anything abnormal to the clinic immediately and will be given appropriate discharge instructions in regards to this process.
After the retrieval process, the eggs are placed in a Petri dish in the lab and mixed with the recipient partner’s sperm or a process called ICSI is done to hopefully achieve fertilization of the retrieved ovum. A few of the fertilized eggs (embryos) will then be placed into the recipient’s uterus (or Gestational carrier) three to five days after egg retrieval. Any additional embryos may be frozen for use at a later time.