Have you been thinking about becoming an egg donor and want to know what the egg donation process is like? Since our establishment in 2012, Donor Nexus has earned the reputation of being a top-rated Southern California egg donor agency. Throughout the years, we have had the opportunity of working closely with many first time egg donors. Drawing on this experience, we have put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide for anyone considering donating their eggs to make sure they know exactly what to expect.
Step by Step Guide to Becoming an Egg Donor
Step 1: Fill Out Our Preliminary Application
Potential egg donors must complete a brief preliminary application before being able to fill out the questionnaire. Click here to fill out our egg donor application.
Step 2: Fill out a Questionnaire and Submit Photos
Once Donor Nexus reviews your application, you will receive an email that includes a questionnaire to fill out and a detailed overview of the program. The questionnaire provides insight for prospective intended parents on the type of person you are. It is very important to fill out the questionnaire in great detail. This is your opportunity to show off your personality. Along with the completed questionnaire, you will submit 12-15 photos of yourself throughout your lifetime. Intended parents like to see photos of the donor as an infant, child, teenager and as an adult. Any photos from graduation or of extra curricular activities you participate in are encouraged. Please also include at least one full body photo of yourself now. Sharing photos of your family and siblings are great too! Keep in mind that these photos will be listed on your on-line profile so make sure they are appropriate (no Vegas photos please!).
Step 3: Submit Your Completed Questionnaire and Photos to Donor Nexus
Donor Nexus will review your completed questionnaire to ensure you are a proper candidate for egg donation. If you are accepted into our program, we will upload your profile onto our password protected database as well as contact you to schedule a brief phone call, Skype call or in person meeting (ideally) to answer your questions and review the process and logistics of donating. Please note, all identifiable information will be removed from your profile, such as your full name, birth date, home address, etc. It is our priority to keep you anonymous.
Step 4: Acceptance into Our Program
Once you have been accepted into the program and your profile has been uploaded to our database, Intended Parents can begin reviewing your profile. When an Intended Parent comes to Donor Nexus we help them find an egg donor based on the characteristics they are looking for. Usually it is characteristics similar to the intended mother, such as ethnicity, hair color, eye color, etc. We then provide egg donor profiles to the Intended Parents to review based on their specific criteria. We do not have an exact timeframe of how long it will take for you to be matched. It could be several months or over a year. It is important that the match is perfect for the Intended Parents. On occasion, we may contact you for additional information not listed on your profile. A specific Intended Parent may want additional photos of you as a child or know more about your family or something that you wrote about on your profile. The more prompt you are the more likely the specific Intended Parent will choose you.
Step 5: Selection by an Intended Parent
It is a privilege to be an egg donor so we hope you are excited to embark on this journey.
Upon selection, we will contact you to share the good news! At this point, we will begin the prescreen evaluations necessary for all egg donors to complete. Prescreen evaluations consist of a medical evaluation, a psychological evaluation, a genetic evaluation, and a legal consultation.
Egg Donation Screening Process
- Medical Evaluation: This will be completed at the Intended Parent’s designated fertility clinic on day 1, 2 or 3 of your next menstrual cycle. The evaluation includes a blood panel that screens for any illegal substances, STDs, and to ensure you are not a carrier of a genetic diseases. It also includes a vaginal ultrasound to determine your resting follicle count along with a physical to ensure you are healthy. You will also meet with a nurse coordinator to review the next steps and receive injection training so that you will know how to inject your medication when the time comes.
- Psychological Evaluation: This is done primarily to make sure that you are emotionally ready to perform what is required as a donor, and also to get insight into your personality. You will complete an interview with the psychologist as well as complete an online 300-point personality assessment.
- Genetic Evaluation (if required by designated fertility clinic): You will speak with a genetic counselor to discuss your family history of any illnesses or diseases.
- Legal Consultation: This consultation will give you the opportunity to speak with an attorney to review your donor contract so you understand your rights and responsibilities as an egg donor.
The prescreen process can take up to 2 months to complete. If you are participating in a shared cycle*, we may enter into a holding period of 2 months while we look for another intended parent to join your cycle. This is not applicable to donors participating in a one-to-one cycle.
*Donor Nexus specializes in shared cycles. Most families have expended a lot of money trying to conceive through IVF on their own. With the shared cycle, we are able to offer more affordable egg donor cycles to our patients. Instead of donating to a single couple, you may donate to multiple couples. Many donors prefer to donate this way because they become proven donors much faster! You are then more likely to be matched for subsequent cycles and may be eligible to receive a higher compensation.
Step 6: The Cycle Begins
Egg Donor Medication Protocol
Once we are ready to proceed with the cycle, your clinic coordinator will provide you with cycle dates and a medication instruction sheet. Donor Nexus will provide you with a schedule for your monitoring appointments that you attend while taking medication. You will also receive a shipment of medications and needles for the injections. Your clinic coordinator will schedule an in-person appointment or phone call to do injection teaching. You may also watch instructional videos via Freedom MedTeach. Egg donors will take medications for approximately 2 weeks and will have approximately 6 monitoring appointments. Monitoring appointments consist of an ultrasound and blood draw to monitoring your response to the medications.
The medication protocol usually includes a combination of stimulation medications. Most likely you will be given an FSH (either Gonal F, Follistim), Menopur and an antagonist (Ganirelix or Cetrotide). These hormone medications are stimulating the ovaries to produce an adequate number of eggs for the retrieval. The stimulation medications are taken by self-injection once a day in the lower abdomen area for approximately 10 days.
While taking medications, you will visit the clinic about every other day for approximately 10 days. You are required to be seen between the hours of 7:00 am and 9:30 am so we can get same day results. The appointments are brief and consist of an ultrasound and blood draw to determine how you are responding to the stimulation medications. The doctor will review the results of the ultrasound and blood work and determine whether there needs to be a change in the amount of stimulation medications you are on. *This is a very crucial part to the process. Appointments must be completed at a certain time of the day so we can receive same day results to ensure your medication protocol is at a safe dose for you! It is your responsibility to schedule appointments in advance and to arrive at appointments on time.
The last injection is taken at the end of the 10-day timeframe when your hormones have reached the appropriate level. The physician will instruct you to take the “trigger” shot. This injection releases the eggs from the side of the egg-containing structures, called follicles. The trigger shot is taken ~34 hours prior to the egg retrieval.
Step 7: The Egg Retrieval
Egg Retrieval Process
The egg retrieval procedure will be completed at the clinic. The procedure itself is no more than 20 – 30 minutes. You will be required to come in earlier to sign consents and to get ready for the procedure. You will be under monitored anesthesia care. You will be closely monitored by the physician and anesthesiologist throughout the procedure. Once the procedure is done, you will stay in the recovery room for approximately 1 hour to allow your vitals to return to normal. You are required to bring a companion along with you to drive you home and supervise you for 24 hours. You will be on bed rest for the remainder of the day. Most egg donors are able to return to school or work the following day.
Step 8: Compensation & Reimbursement
Within 5 – 7 days of completing the egg retrieval, you will receive your compensation and reimbursement checks in the mail. Egg donors are reimbursed for birth control pills taken during the cycle and gas and mileage to and from the monitoring clinic.
Egg Donor Application Form
Our egg donor application is the first step to becoming an egg donor with Donor Nexus. Although it is a fairly simple and straight-forward application, we request complete honesty and accuracy for your responses. Once we receive your application, you will hear from a Donor Nexus Case Manager within the next few days. Your dedicated Case Manager will be by your side throughout the rest of the process, providing you with professional and compassionate support.
Give the Gift of Life
We hope this gives you a brief understanding of the process involved in becoming an egg donor. We encourage you to check out our page on Becoming an Egg Donor, read our Egg Donor FAQ, and read the first-hand egg donor experiences as told by our previous donors. We understand that choosing to become an egg donor is a big decision to make, which is why we aim to provide you with as many resources as possible. Additionally, our caring and experienced staff is available for any questions you may have. If you are ready to take the first step, fill out the preliminary application now!
We hope you are excited to start this journey and help give someone the greatest gift in life, a family!