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Egg Donation and Retrieval: A Guide for Donors

August 12th, 2014

egg donation, egg retrieval, egg donorWhen people have difficulty conceiving, they turn to Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists (ARMS) for help. There are many reasons someone might have trouble getting pregnant, including low egg number and low egg quality. In some cases, we help people conceive by using donor eggs during in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other procedures. If you want to help someone have the baby they desire, learn more about the egg donation process to see if it is right for you.

Donor Qualifications 

To become an egg donor, you must complete an initial screening questionnaire and then have a thorough examination to determine if you are a good candidate. Egg donors must take birth control pills and hormone injections, so you must be willing to take medications as directed. You must also be willing to give yourself injections. If there is some reason you can’t administer your own injections, then you need to have a friend or family member available to do it for you. If we feel you are a good candidate based on your questionnaire answers, we will invite you to continue with the screening process.

Physical and Psychological Screening 

During your first appointment at our clinic, you will review your questionnaire answers with one of our staff members. If you have a family history of genetic disorders, chronic medical problems, or a history of mental health issues, it is important to be truthful with the nurse or doctor. Once we review your medical and social history, you will have a thorough physical examination.

The next part of the screening process includes blood tests and an ultrasound. The blood tests are used to find out if you have any infectious diseases such as hepatitis or HIV, or carry genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis. Ultrasound helps determine the number of eggs you have in your ovaries, which is also known as your ovarian reserve. If you meet all of the medical requirements for egg donation, you will meet with a psychologist to discuss your mental health history, and currents thoughts and feelings regarding egg donation.

If you meet all of the medical and psychological requirements for donation, you will move onto the recipient matching phase of the process.

Recipient Matching 

It may take some time to match you with a recipient, but someone from our clinic will call you once a match is found. You will prepare for the egg retrieval process by taking birth control pills to prevent ovulation and prepare your ovary for stimulation.   Staff member will let you know when it is time to stop pills and start taking hormone injections. Most egg donors take these injections for nine to 14 days. We will let you know when to start and stop taking the hormones.

Retrieving Eggs 

You will not be awake during the egg retrieval process, so you will not feel any pain. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the entire procedure. One of our experienced medical professionals will retrieve your eggs by guiding a needle through the vaginal wall and into the follicles in your ovary. The fluid collected from your follicles should contain eggs that have not yet been released.

After the sedation for the procedure, you will be sleepy and will need someone to drive you home to rest for the day.  Do not hesitate to call ARMS if you have any questions or concerns after the egg retrieval procedure.

Considering Egg Donation 

If you want to help someone conceive a baby, contact our clinic to see if you are a good candidate for egg donation. We will work with you to determine if egg donation is right for you.

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