Becoming an egg donor is not something to enter into lightly. It requires a high level of maturity and responsibility, and involves taking a regimen of medications and undergoing a minor medical procedure. As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks—it is the sole responsibility of the donor to investigate all risks and discuss all medical issues with your physician.
The following outlines an overview of the egg donation process.
• Complete the initial Egg Donor Questionnaire.
• Once we have received your initial questionnaire, we will mail you an extended application. You will need to fill it out, sign, and return it with a few photographs of yourself for our database. (Return to 3412 Clark Road, Suite 100, Sarasota FL 34231.)
• We will review your completed application and screen it for acceptance. Upon acceptance, we will add your profile and picture to our database. No identifying or contact information will be displayed on your online profile.
• If a couple chooses you as a potential match, you will be asked to have genetic, physical, psychological and infectious disease screening. You may be required to travel to the location of the clinic chosen by the Intended Parents. If so, all expenses will be paid for by the Intended Parents, including flights, hotel, meals and medical costs.
• Once you agree to donation, you may not get any tattoos or body piercing until after the process is over. If you have a sexual partner, he must be screened for sexually transmitted diseases and may be required to take a drug test. Be sure to discuss this with your partner.
• We will forward an egg donor agreement to you, drawn by the intended parent’s attorney. We will refer you to an attorney to discuss the contract and any changes you may need. This contract will cover issues such as compensation, legal obligations of the donor, and more. Before the donation can continue, we must receive a legal clearance report from your attorney.
• If you are not already taking oral contraceptives, you may receive a prescription for birth control to help regulate your cycle. This coordinates your cycle with that of the intended mother. You must refrain from sexual intercourse once medications begin. Please discuss your questions regarding sexual activity with your primary physician.
• On approximately day 21 of your cycle, you will begin the first medication: Lupron. Lupron is taken as a daily subcutaneous injection. The needle is a tiny, two-inch insulin type needle, and is very painless. A professional will teach you how to administer the injection yourself. Lupron is not a fertility medication—it is given to keep you from ovulating. An ultrasound will be performed to make sure your ovaries are quiet. Please discuss all potential side effects with your primary physician.
• Once you begin taking the Lupron, our office pays the first installment of your compensation (generally $750).
• The second phase of medication involves follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This medication has many brand names; the most common are Gonal-F, Follistim and Fertinex. This medication is by injection, and will be administrated for 8–10 days to help the eggs grow and mature. Seconds of mild pain are associated with these injections. Typical complaints including bloating and occasional nausea.
• You will be required to have blood work and an ultrasound during the stimulation phase to determine the number and size of the eggs. We will help make all arrangements.
• 35 hours prior to the egg retrieval process, you will be given a medication called Hcg. You will need help administrating this medication. You will then be informed of the retrieval time.
• During the retrieval, the physician will use an ultrasound guidance machine and will insert a thin needle into the vagina and through the back of the vaginal wall to retrieve the eggs. This procedure takes between 20 and 30 minutes, and there are no cuts or incisions. To avoid discomfort, you will be put to sleep by general anesthesia or a tranquilizer before the procedure begins.
• Recovery time varies from person to person. Generally a donor experiences mild discomfort similar to menstrual cramps for few days.
• On the day of the egg retrieval the full balance of your compensation will be paid to you. If we cannot be present at your retrieval, we will overnight your payment as soon as we receive confirmation that the retrieval took place.
As you can see, egg donation involves quite a large commitment on your part. The gift you are offering is beyond measure, and we will do everything we can to make this a positive experience.
Open Arms Consultants cannot be held responsible for the intentional acts of donors, surrogates, Intended Parents or the medical or legal professionals associated with activities arising from assisted reproduction.