Question

Egg Donation F.A.Q.s

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE EGG DONOR PROCESS

How can I become an egg donor?
What medications are used for the IVF Egg Donor Process?
Will I be monitored while taking these medications?
Will my cycle be canceled or delayed if I don't stimulate?
How are my eggs retrieved?
Is the egg retrieval painful?
How long does the egg retrieval procedure last?
Other egg donation requirements

HOW CAN I BECOME AN EGG DONOR?

If you are interested in becoming an egg donor, please complete the Donor Screening form (add link it to the form) and fax to 281.557.5837 or email to: info@infertilitytexas.com.

Other qualifications for egg donation include the following:

  • Age 18-32
  • Non-smoker
  • Healthy weight range
  • Normal results from physical exam, ultrasound, and consultation at our office.
  • Normal results of lab tests.
  • Psychological consultation and personality testing of you with a psychologist.

Once we have received and reviewed your Donor Screening information, you will be informed whether you have been denied or will proceed to the next step in becoming a donor.

At this point, you will be asked to complete a more detail Donor Application and 6 to 8 photos of yourself (please include at least one (1) full-length photo.

After we have received and reviewed your records, we will schedule a consultation, possible physical exam and ultrasound. You may have a hormonal blood test done on your first, second, or third day of your menstrual period. You will complete the remaining requirements (lab tests and psychological evaluation) after a recipient couple has chosen you. If you complete the qualifications, you will be notified and matched with the recipient to start the process. You will have a second consultation with Dr. Schnell or Dr. Sims to discuss consent forms.

WHAT MEDICATIONS ARE USED FOR THE IVF EGG DONOR PROCESS?

In preparation for the IVF process, birth control pills are started during the menstrual cycle (prior to the egg retrieval) to place the ovary in a suppressed or “quiet” state.

The following medications are also used: Lupron, Repronex, Follistim, and or Gonal-F and hCG (also known as Profasi, Ovudrel, or Pregnyl). During IVF, the medication Lupron is used to suppress or control the timing of ovulation so that mature eggs may be retrieved before they are spontaneously released.

Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the follicle in the ovary. This process occurs approximately 14 days before the next menstrual cycle. Lupron is a subcutaneous injection (under the skin like an allergy shot) that is usually started approximately several weeks after starting birth control pills and continued daily until hCG is administered. It usually takes about 1 to 3 weeks for Lupron suppression to occur.

Birth control pills and Lupron will be used to synchronize your cycle with the recipient’s cycle. The stimulating medications Repronex, Follistim, and or Gonal-F, which are subcutaneous injections, are then started daily to stimulate the ovary to produce and mature as many follicles as possible so that later embryos are available for uterine transfer for the recipient.

These daily injections (Lupron and the stimulating medications) will continue until the blood estradiol levels reach an optimal level and the follicles are a proper size. This will require 2 injections a day. Once this level is achieved (minimum of 9 days to a maximum of 14 days), hCG, an intramuscular injection, will be given to imitate the body's LH (luteinizing hormone) mechanism and induce ovulation. Ovulation usually occurs about 36 hours after hCG is injected; therefore the removal of eggs is timed at about 34 to 36 hours after the injection.

You will also begin antibiotics on the day of starting your stimulating medications and continue until after the retrieval to prevent infection.

You can give yourself all of the injections. We will train you and another individual of your choosing to give you these injections. It is necessary for you and or your husband/support person to know how to give injections because some of these will be given at night when the office is closed. These medications need to be given at a consistent time every day to greatly improve the success of your therapy.


WILL I BE MONITORED WHILE TAKING THESE MEDICATIONS?

Monitoring will be done by vaginal ultrasounds and estradiol blood tests to indicate the individual patient response to stimulating medications. The vaginal ultrasound shows the number, location, and size of follicles.

This painless procedure involves placing the ultrasound transducer inside your vagina to visualize the ovaries. The estradiol blood test measures the concentration of estradiol in the blood, which is secreted by the follicles. Both the ultrasound and estradiol blood results are used to determine the dosage of medication.

This will first be done approximately 7 to 14 days after starting your Lupron injection to confirm that suppression has occurred and there are no ovarian cysts, which could interfere with proper stimulation. If suppression has occurred, you will start Repronex, Follistim, and or Gonal-F injections.

After approximately 2 days of Repronex, Follistim, and or Gonal-F injections, frequent vaginal ultrasounds and estradiol blood tests are used to determine the patient response to the medications, monitor follicle size, number, growth and aid in determining the daily dosage of medications and timing of egg retrieval.

These daily injections will continue until the follicles are a proper size and estradiol levels reach an optimal level. This monitoring optimizes ovarian stimulation and provides for increased patient safety and will continue until hCG is given.

We will inform you of your estradiol blood levels and give you further instructions the same day on the amount of medication to take or not. It is very important that you are available for these telephone calls.


WILL MY CYCLE BE CANCELED OR DELAYED IF I DON'T STIMULATE?

Sometimes a stimulated cycle does not advance to egg retrieval. This may occur because of inadequate follicular development, hormonal levels, or premature ovulation. The cycle may be delayed or canceled. This is very disappointing to the donor, recipient couple, and the IVF team, but all factors must be optimal to achieve the best possible cycle and hopefully to result in a pregnancy.


HOW ARE MY EGGS RETRIEVED?

The egg retrieval, also called oocyte aspiration, is done at our office approximately 34 to 36 hours after the hCG injection. This procedure is done under intravenous sedation.

The vaginal ultrasound guides the thin aspiration needle through the vaginal wall into the ovarian follicles. After the eggs are removed through suction, they are taken to the laboratory in a culture tube with special media to examine the follicular fluid for eggs.

The eggs are evaluated for maturity and placed in a culture media. The climate in the laboratory is specifically controlled to provide the maximum environment for the eggs and later embryos.


IS THE EGG RETRIEVAL PAINFUL?

This procedure may be associated with some discomfort or intermittent sharp, crampy pains. A certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA) will give you I.V. sedation to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. So far, Center of Reproductive Medicine patients have not reported any severe pain and most do not even remember the events of the egg retrieval procedure.


HOW LONG DOES THE EGG RETRIEVAL PROCEDURE LAST?

The egg retrieval will last approximately 15 to 20 minutes. After the procedure you will recover at the office for 2 to 4 hours. You will need to have someone drive you home after the procedure and stay with you that afternoon and evening. Most people will return to their normal activity the following day.


OTHER EGG DONATION REQUIREMENTS

There are some restrictions while you are going through this process:

  • We request that you inform us if you become ill or another physician prescribes you medication.
  • Some medications should not be taken while going through the egg donor process because they can interfere with egg quality.
  • Egg donors should only take Tylenol when necessary. No Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, antihistamines, or related products, and only those medications prescribed by your CORM physician should ever be consumed during the egg donation process.
  • The egg donor should take a daily prenatal vitamin with calcium.
  • CORM stands by a NO smoking policy during a cycle. You may be randomly tested.
  • NO alcohol consumption during the stimulation process.
  • Tattoos are permitted only if tattoo clearance form has been completed by tattoo establishment.
  • You should not have perms or dye your hair while you are taking the stimulating medications (Repronex, Gonal-F, and or Follistim).
  • While you are on the medications and up to 1 month following the egg retrieval, you should abstain from sexual intercourse. You are extremely fertile during this time. You will be given birth control pills after the procedure.

If you have any additional questions or are interested in egg donation, please contact our office at 281.332.0073 or email our Egg Donor Coordinator, Gina Pierce: info@infertilitytexas.com

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