Egg Donation Cycle
- Once the matching process
is complete, all medical and psychological screening must be completed
before the egg donation cycle begins. Whenever possible, Tiny
Treasures, LLC attempts to schedule the entire screening process
during one office visit, but clinical requirements/schedules do
vary. This initial consultation may require the presence of the
Egg Donor and her partner (if applicable) for a period of approximately
3 to 5 hours, depending on the clinic’s screening protocol.
The Egg Donor's screening is completed as required by the Prospective
Parents' clinic and may include the following:
Generally consists of a series of blood tests, cervical cultures,
a physical exam, and a vaginal ultrasound. This screening is done
to confirm that the Egg Donor is medically healthy and able to donate.
Additionally a blood test is usually required on the second or
third day of the Egg Donor’s menses to assess hormonal levels.
Generally in the form of blood tests; investigates whether the
Egg Donor is a carrier of genetics diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis.
Conducted by a psychologist or social worker to ensure that the
Egg Donor is aware of all the psychological implications of the egg
donation process. This screening will help determine whether the
Egg Donor is psychologically sound enough to be an Egg Donor.
If the Egg Donor has a sexual partner, s/he may also be required to
undergo blood tests to screen for sexually transmitted diseases.
- The Egg Donor will be put on birth control pills to help regulate
her menstrual cycle and to coordinate it with the recipient’s
(e.g., prospective mother or surrogate) cycle.
- If a "Lupron Cycle" is used, at (approximately) the end of
the third week of her cycle, the Egg Donor will begin taking Lupron
(daily self-administered injections) to stop her ovaries from
ovulating. Prior to beginning Lupron, the Egg Donor will likely be
monitored via a blood test and vaginal ultrasound to confirm that
she is ready to administer injections. If an "Antigon Cycle" is
used, the Egg Donor will not take Lupron, but will begin with Step
5 (see below).
- The Egg Donor can expect to receive a portion of her compensation,
in the amount of $750, when she begins her Lupron or Antigon injections.
- After taking Lupron for 7-14 days, the Egg Donor will then begin
taking stimulation medication (self-administered injections),
which will cause her egg follicles to grow. This medication is
generally taken for 8-11 days. Though FSH comes in many different
brand names, Fertinex, Follistim, and Gonal-F are the most often
used brands (these are also self-administered injections).
- The Egg Donor will be monitored during this 8-11 day period (via
blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds) to ensure that her follicles
are growing at an expected rate and to monitor medication dosages.
This monitoring will help the physician determine what day the
final HCG injection should be administered (see next step). Some
clinics require that most of this monitoring be completed at their
site, whereas other clinics will allow the Egg Donor to be monitored
at a clinic convenient to her until the last few days of the cycle.
The Egg Donor will also be screened for STDs (via blood tests) again
during this period.
- When the follicles are determined to be “ready”
for retrieval, the HCG injection is given, which prepares the
Egg Donor's ovaries to release the eggs. This injection is generally
injected in the muscle (clinical requirements may vary), so the
needle may be somewhat longer than it has been for previous medications.
The physician will inform the Egg Donor of the exact time she should
administer this injection. The timing of the HCG injection is
crucial, so it is important that the Egg Donor take the injection
exactly as instructed.
- The retrieval is scheduled for 36-40 hours after administration
of the HCG injection.
- During the retrieval, the Egg Donor will usually be under light
anesthesia and the eggs are retrieved from the Egg Donor's ovaries
via a "vacuuming procedure:" a tiny needle is inserted
through the vaginal wall into the ovaries and the eggs are vacuumed
from each follicle. While under anesthesia, the Egg Donor should not
feel anything during this procedure. The entire procedure itself
takes only 15-30 minutes.
- After the eggs have been retrieved, they are combined with
the prospective father’s sperm in an attempt to fertilize
as many eggs as possible.
- After the procedure, the Egg Donor will remain at the clinic for
1-2 hours to recover from the anesthesia, after which she can
return home. The Egg Donor will be expected to rest for the remainder
of the day, as she may feel some bloating, cramping and other
side effects the day of the retrieval. It is required that the
Egg Donor arrange for a companion to drive her home after the retrieval.
Further, it is highly suggested that her companion stay with her
throughout the day, in the event that she experiences unexpected
- The Egg Donor will receive the remainder of her compensation within
a week after the retrieval, once our agency has been informed
that the retrieval is complete.
- Egg Donors typically resume all normal activity the day after the