Egg Donor Process
How to Donate Your Eggs: The Procedure for Donating Eggs
As you consider becoming an egg donor, West Coast Egg Donation would like to extend a warm welcome as you embark on what we hope is a very fulfilling journey! The compatibility of our egg donors and intended parents is an important part of the egg donor process at West Coast Surrogacy. So before getting started, we encourage all potential candidates to review our egg donor requirements.
Once a woman has been accepted as a WCED egg donor, she is entered into our password protected Egg Donor Database. Intended parent(s) will have the opportunity to review the database to select a donor, and once chosen, we will confirm her availability. Chosen egg donors are advised to consult with independent attorneys specializing in reproductive law to answer any legal questions about the process of egg donation (referrals are available upon request).
Step One of the Egg Donor Process: Screenings and Legalities
Before beginning any egg donation procedure, the chosen egg donor will need to undergo a psychological evaluation, a variety of medical/fertility screenings, and a legal review. All medical screenings will be done at the prospective parent(s)’ IVF center. Once those are complete, the egg donation cycle will not begin until all legal contracts are signed.
Psychological Evaluation: The donor will be asked to speak with a psychologist to make sure she fully understands the benefits and risks of egg donation and has proper motivations for becoming a donor. WCED needs to know that our egg donors are reliable and will honor their agreement. Likewise, egg donors should view this evaluation as an opportunity to explore their feelings, have their questions answered, and speak about what it means to be offering this life-changing gift.
Fertility Screening: The donor's ovaries will be examined through a physical/pelvic exam and blood tests to confirm her ability to produce eggs. To help determine ovarian function and reserve, the egg donor may also need to have a vaginal sonogram on the second or third day of menstruation.
Medical Screening: The donor will be tested for blood type, infectious diseases, drug use and general health. The sexual partner of the egg donor may also be asked to undergo screening for sexually transmitted diseases.
Genetic Screening: Sometimes a genetic screening will be requested or recommended. If so, the donor’s family history will be evaluated to raise awareness of possible hereditary diseases or genetic disorders. Testing consists of blood work for genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and other genetic problems.
Legal Contract: Once the donor has passed all screenings, attorneys will draft the legal contract and both the intended parent(s) and the egg donor will review and sign the document. Referrals for attorneys specializing in reproductive law are available upon request.
Once all screenings and legal items are complete, the entire egg stimulation and donation cycle takes approximately six weeks from start to finish. The physicians and WCED staff will go over the process with each individual candidate before beginning.
Step Two of the Egg Donation Process: The Stimulation Phase
Egg donors are monitored frequently during the stimulation phase. Doctors will measure follicle growth via vaginal ultrasound and will use blood tests to measure hormone levels. These frequent monitorings enable the physician to determine if the follicles are growing appropriately and if medications need to be adjusted.
- To begin, the egg donor may be put on birth control pills to synchronize both the donor's and recipient's menstrual cycles.
- Next, the egg donor will undergo a vaginal sonogram and then begin daily self-injections of Lupron. Self-injections of Lupron will be administered for approximately 7-14 days.
- A follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) will then be self-injected for approximately 8-10 days to grow the egg follicles.
- At this time, another STD (sexually transmitted disease) screening will be given to the egg donor.
- Once the follicles have reached maturity, an injection of HCG is administered. HCG prepares the egg donor’s ovaries to release the eggs.
Step Three of the Egg Donor Process: Egg Retrieval Procedure
Egg retrieval takes place approximately 34-36 hours after the HCG injection. Egg retrieval is a short procedure, lasting 30 minute or less, however the donor will rest for an hour or two after the retrieval. This allows the physician/staff to monitor the donor while the effects of the local anesthesia wear off.
- The donor will be given light IV sedation to ensure comfort.
- Under ultrasound guidance, the physician will pass a needle through the vaginal wall and aspirate the follicle fluid, which contains the eggs.
- Once the eggs are retrieved and the anesthesia has worn off, a friend or family member can drive the donor home or to her hotel. It is highly recommended that someone stay with her for the rest of the day in the unlikely event that complications arise.
- Compensation will be mailed to the donor within seven days of the egg retrieval.
With approval from the treating physician, the donor may return to normal routines one day after retrieval (with the exception of physically strenuous activity or exercise). Some physicians will require a post-retrieval ultrasound that is scheduled 7–10 days following the egg retrieval.
Learn More About the Process for Egg Donors:
Egg donation is a noble and generous act that provides another family with the gift of life. To start the process of donating eggs today, fill out our donor registration form.