Q. What is the procedure for retrieving my eggs? Does donating eggs hurt?
A. The egg retrieval procedure itself only takes 20-30 minutes. You will undergo anesthesia and will be monitored by the physician and anesthesiologist. After the procedure, you will be monitored in recovery for up to 1 hour, until your vital signs are normal. Most donors are able to go back to school or work the following day.
The egg retrieval does not hurt, you may feel slight discomfort after the procedure but this will subside by adhering to the post-op instructions.
Q. Does egg donation affect my future fertility?
A. Being an egg donor does not affect your fertility. Women are born with thousands of eggs and will never use them all in their lifetime. In the extremely rare instance that an infection occurs, fertility may be compromised; however, Donor Nexus works with only the premier physicians to ensure unnecessary complications do not occur.
Feel free to read these articles for more information- Egg Donors Don’t Hurt Chances of Later Pregnancy & Becoming an Egg Donor by the Department of Health NY
Related video: 8-time egg donor shares her experience getting pregnant after donating eggs!
Q. Who can be an egg donor?
A. A healthy woman between the ages of 19 – 29, with no major hereditary/genetic illnesses, who understands that they are giving an individual or family the hope of having a child, being an egg donor is privilege and we are looking for women who are committed to the process and will be responsible and dependable. You must be willing to travel to the Intended Parents designated fertility clinic for your medical evaluation and the egg retrieval procedure (travel expenses will be covered by Donor Nexus).
Q. How long will it take for me to get matched?
A. We wish we had a definite answer; it could take several weeks, months, or years. We are committed to ensuring the match is right for both parties.
Q. Once I am matched, how long does the egg donation process take?
A. From start to finish, approximately 2 to 4 months, if you are a first-time egg donor.
Once you have been matched, you will begin your pre-screening process.
The pre-screening process consists of 4 evaluations- a psychological evaluation (to get insight into your personality and to ensure you are emotionally ready to perform as an egg donor), a genetic evaluation (to go over your family history of any illnesses and diseases, if requested by the specified fertility clinic), a legal consultation (opportunity to review the egg donor contract to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities as an egg donor), a medical evaluation (consist of a vaginal ultrasound to determine the number of resting antral follicles, extensive blood panel to ensure you are not a carrier of any genetic abnormalities, are not taking illegal substances and are free of any STDs, a physical and training on how to inject your medications). The pre-screening process can take up to 2 months, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
Once you have completed your pre-screen process, you will begin your cycle (medications and monitoring appointments) within 1-2 months. *Depending on if you are participating in a shared cycle or a 1-on-1 cycle.
Q. What information is given to the intended parents?
A. The information you provide in your questionnaire will be available for the intended parents to review. We do remove all identifying information before uploading your questionnaire to our password-protected database. All donations are anonymous unless you agree to an open donation.
Q. What is required of me to be an egg donor?
A. An egg donor is required to complete 4 pre-screen evaluations, schedule all appointment ahead of time, arrive to all appointments on time, follow medication instructions and be responsible and dependable.
You will have 4-6 monitoring appointments and the egg retrieval. If you do not live close to the fertility clinic, we will find a monitoring clinic in your area. We will cover your costs for your travel expenses.
You will inject medications for approximately 10-12+ days. Each egg donor must understand that this process is to be their number one priority and any glitch can cause the cycle to be cancelled.
Q. What type of medication am I on?
A. An egg donor can expect to be placed on birth control pills before starting stimulation medications. Most egg donors will take a combination of medications including FSH (Gonal-F or Follistim) an LH (Menopur), and an antagonist (Ganirelix or Centrotide). Every egg donor will take a final injection called a trigger shot. The type of stimulation medication is dependent upon the physician and your hormone levels.
The injections are self-injections, into the lower abdomen area, with a needle about the size of an insulin needle.
Q. Will I experience any side effects during my cycle?
A. Some egg donors experience symptoms very similar to PMS, bloating, nausea, headaches and emotional. Towards the end of your cycle, you most likely will experience tenderness in your lower abdomen area from the injections, as well as bruising in the injection site. These symptoms vary depending on each egg donor. IVF technology has been used since the late 1970’s. There are no known long-term side effects. Learn more about possible side effects of egg donation here.
Q. When do I get paid?
A. You will receive your full compensation and reimbursement (gas and mileage to your monitoring appointment) within 5-7 days of your egg retrieval procedure. A first time egg donor is compensated at $6,500* and compensation increases with each subsequent cycle.
*Compensation is variable and will be higher for those who are approved into our premier program.
Q. What is Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS)?
A. OHSS is a very rare syndrome that can occur from egg donation; however, only one to six percent is affected in the IVF industry. Your physician will monitor you closely to avoid OHSS and prescribes a “diet” to avoid OHSS. OHSS symptoms are similar to the flu and can last for several days. In severe cases, medical attention is necessary to ensure symptoms subside. If an infection does happen, antibiotics will be prescribed.
It is best to take good care of yourself during your cycle. Be sure you are getting adequate amount of sleep, eating healthy (lots of protein) and not partaking in any strenuous activities/exercise.
Q. Do I have to meet the intended parents?
A. Majority of egg donations are anonymous. It is unlikely that you will meet or know information about the intended parents. In the rare chance that an intended parent wanted to meet you, Donor Nexus would contact you to ensure you are comfortable with a meeting (in-person, phone or video conference). If you are comfortable meeting with the intended parents, Donor Nexus would facilitate the meeting. Please indicate on your questionnaire if you are willing to meet with the intended parents.
Q. I am on birth control, is that okay?
A. Yes! Depending on the type of birth control you are currently taking, the physician may switch you to a birth control pill for the cycle.
Q. Do I have to miss a lot of school or work?
A. Most likely you will not. Your monitoring appointments will be between the hours of 7:30 am and 9:30 am, are brief and consist of an ultrasound and blood draw. The egg retrieval procedure will require a full day off for the procedure itself and recovering at home. This should be your number one priority while in cycle so if you feel you cannot adhere to the timing and responsibilities that come with being an egg donor, then we highly suggest donating when you are able to make this your number one priority.
Q. I have received my cycle medications but I don’t know how to do the injections. Help!
A. If you have received your cycle medications, please contact your clinic coordinator to schedule an in-person appointment or phone call to do injection teaching. You can also watch instructional videos via Freedom MedTeach.
Q. Does being an egg donor increase my risk of getting cancer in the future?
A. No, the results of multiple scientific studies have concluded that fertility medications do not increase the risk of cancer. Click here to read the study.
Q. Why do most doctors prescribe birth control pills (BCPs) before starting stimulation medications?
A. Usually doctors will have you take BCPs for 7 to 10 days before starting stimulation medications. This has been shown to help the follicles (egg containing structures) grow at a similar rate which leads to a greater number of mature eggs retrieved.
Q. Why is it important I take my birth control pills at the same time every day?
A. If you do not take your birth control pills the same time every day, your body could respond by starting to grow a dominant follicle or cyst. This is called a “flare-up”. When this occurs, the cycle has to be delayed as you cannot start medications if there is a follicle already growing on your ovary.