Step 1: Preliminary Stage
- As the egg donor, you’ll complete and submit an application providing detailed information regarding your medical history, family health history, past and present drug and medication usage, and child bearing history. You also provide information regarding educational background, as well as your talents, hobbies, and a basic biography.
- Once approved for our egg donation program, your profile and photo is placed in our secure egg donor database for Intended Parents to view.
- Once selected to be a donor by an Intended Parent, we will mail you a contract. We will also coordinate your egg donation process.
- You will consult with an attorney of your choice for an independent legal consultation. The Intended Parents contribute $500.00 toward this legal consultation.
- You begin the medical screening phase which includes a pelvic exam, vaginal ultrasound, blood tests to screen for infectious diseases, drug screening, cervical cultures for gonorrhea and Chlamydia, and hormone blood tests to predict ovarian response.
- You also undergo psychological testing including an interview with a psychologist and a specialized personality inventory test called the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory).
- Your local fertility clinic physician will discuss the egg donation process in detail with you.
Step 2: Egg Donor Cycle Synchronization
- Following completion of Step 1, you’ll be put on birth control to synchronize your cycle with the recipient’s cycle to prepare your body for the egg retrieval for at least 14-21 days. During this process you will see your fertility clinic physician for ultrasound examinations and blood tests to monitor the development of your donor eggs.
- Medical personnel from the fertility clinic will instruct you regarding your birth control pills to help regulate your hormone levels and to prevent ovulation.
Step 3: Suppression
- You will be instructed to stop taking birth control pills and begin taking Lupron. Lupron is administered to prevent you from ovulating spontaneously during the stimulation process. You may be required to take Lupron for approximately 14-21 days. You will continue Lupron until about two days prior to the egg retrieval.Lupron is given daily by a small injection just under the skin. 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 4: 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 about 14 to 21 days prior to egg retrieval. They replace your natural follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to trigger a very precise, uniform stimulation which induces your ovaries to produce several mature eggs. You will be instructed when and how to take of each injection.
- Ultrasounds will track the number and size of your follicles and blood work will determine your estrogen levels.
Step 5: Egg Retrieval
- When your follicles are mature, you will be instructed to take the hCG injection. This injection helps eggs mature, preparing them for retrieval. Egg retrieval occurs approximately 36 hours after your hCG injection.
- During the week of the egg retrieval, your eggs will be monitored by ultrasound and blood hormone levels to determine your response to the stimulation drugs. These appointments can be completed before work or school.
- The egg retrieval process is a painless procedure which takes about 20-30 minutes with about an hour recovery at the clinic. You will undergo an oocyte (egg) aspiration, which is performed with a needle passing from the upper vagina into each ovary. This procedure will extract the eggs and is performed under ultrasound guidance. You will have intravenous sedation for comfort.
- After a brief recovery from the anesthesia, you will be able to go home. You must have a companion drive you home. You will rest for the remaining portion of the day. You’ll also need to 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 14 days after your retrieval.
Step 6: Fertilization and Embryo Transfer
- Once the eggs are removed from the ovaries they are immediately examined and placed in a special incubator. Sperm are then added to each egg where fertilization should occur. Approximately 16- 20 hours later the eggs are inspected to check for fertilization. If fertilization is successful, the embryos may be transferred into the recipient’s uterus.
Risks and Side Effects
You may experience some bloating, infection, and/or reaction to the anesthetic medication(s). Bleeding is usually minimal and infection is unlikely as an intravenous antibiotic is routinely administered at the time of the procedure.
Most donors experience personal satisfaction from giving infertile couples the opportunity to have a child and begin a family. Many egg donors return for egg donation again.
"I couldn't have picked a better agency to work with and I highly recommend Giving Hope to anyone who is searching for a pleasant experience during such a difficult and emotionally trying time."− Intended Parents, California
"As a single woman, I worried about finding an agency that would be non-judgmental and was happy to discover that this was not an issue. I was also very happy with my choice of donor and am currently awaiting the results of my pregnancy test with great hope."− Intended Parent, Illinois
"We eventually choose to work with Giving Hope, LLC …not only because they had a great list of high quality donors, but also because of the customer service."− Intended Parent, Texas