Egg donation starts with stimulating egg production to produce multiple eggs.
In a normal menstrual cycle, one egg matures each month, and at ovulation, is released from an egg-containing sac (called a follicle) on your ovary. During egg donation the goal is to obtain several mature eggs. You will be given follicle stimulating medication that produces the growth and maturation of multiple eggs. This medication is similar to the hormone your body produces normally each month. It has been used for over twenty years with women who do not ovulate regularly. You will be thoroughly instructed on administering the medication by injection and to begin on a specific day of your cycle for approximately 9-12 days.
You will have 4-8 monitoring appointments, approximately 4 days after you start the stimulation medication.
As we feel no two donors are the same, monitoring provides the necessary information to customize the stimulation protocol. The appointments are generally scheduled in the early morning (as early as 6:30am) and take approximately 15 -30 minutes. As a donor, your appointments are scheduled at your convenience and given priority over regular patients.
Monitoring is done two ways: by ultrasound and blood hormone levels. Through ultrasound, the physician obtains an actual image of your ovaries, identifies, counts and measures the follicles as they develop. This provides information necessary to adjust the dosage of the stimulating medication, if necessary. The ultrasound is painless and has no known risks.
IMPORTANT: In addition to what is written above, you receive very specific instructions on all of the steps required of this process from EFS as well as the medical office. You must take all the medication at the appropriate times and be punctual for all appointments. You will be given priority when scheduling appointments to help accommodate school and/or work schedules. The monitoring appointments are mandatory and cannot be missed or rescheduled.
When the majority of the follicles reach a mature size, a final injection is administered to complete the maturation of the eggs. This occurs approximately 35 hours prior to retrieval. The treating physician will provide you with specific instructions.