Egg Donation

What is Egg Donation?

In egg donation, eggs are borrowed from a young woman (less than 35 yrs of age) called the donor, with her consent. These eggs are then fertilized with the sperms of the husband of the recipient woman and the resultant embryo (the earliest form of the baby), is inserted into the womb of the recipient. The success rate of this procedure is in the region of 30 to 40%. In fact, many women till the age of 50-55 have become pregnant by this technique. You will be surprised that the oldest woman pregnant by this procedure is 69 year old, residing in Italy

What are the steps involved for the egg donor?

The length of your commitment from the time of being selected by a recipient couple to undergoing a cycle, can be as few as 2 weeks and as long as 3 months. You may have to take birth control pills, several weeks of injections and at least one or more days off work. This is a serious commitment you are considering, but a rewarding one as well. There have been thousands of women who have donated eggs and in turn there have been thousands of women who have become pregnant with donated eggs; women who otherwise would never have become pregnant.

The first step is to complete a very detailed application, which initiates our screening process and serves as your introduction to the prospective parents. Once a couple has selected you as their anonymous donor, we will contact you to schedule some appointments for the following tests and evaluations.

  • psychological consultation
  • medical evaluation including a pelvic examination
  • consult with the clinical coordinator (she will explain your role as an ovum donor in the program and give you medical instructions to be followed)
  • blood draw to test for hepatitis, HIV, sexually transmitted diseases (STD's), and hormone levels. (If you are sexually active, your partner will also need to have blood drawn.)

If you pass the above screening (which is paid for by the recipient), the next step will be to work at synchronizing your monthly cycle with the aspiring mother's. You will learn to give yourself daily injections, eventually the hormones will include fertility drugs. Your schedule will need to be flexible to accommodate the many appointments you will required to have to monitor your response to the hormones.

The monitoring will include blood draws and ultrasound examinations. The fertility drugs you will be taking will cause you to produce several eggs and when they are mature enough, a procedure that takes the eggs from the ovaries is scheduled at the clinic.

The retrieval is performed vaginally and under an IV sedation. The entire retrieval takes about 30 minutes and requires 1-2 hours of postoperative recovery. You will not be able to drive for 24 hours.

Once the eggs are retrieved, the laboratory staff will begin the process of fertilization (the union of the sperm and egg). An embryo transfer will usually take place after the embryos have developed in the laboratory for three to five days. We will not know the outcome for at least two weeks following the transfer..