WHO NEEDS DONATED EGGS?
The donor egg program was established to assist patients who cannot have a child. This includes cis women who are unable to produce good quality eggs, cancer survivors who underwent chemotherapy, carriers for heritable diseases, cis men without a partner, cis men in a a same-sex relationship, trans women, trans men, non-binary individuals, and other members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
In an in vitro fertilization procedure, the donated eggs are fertilized with sperm from either a legal parent or donor, and the resulting embryos are then transferred into the legal parent's or gestational surrogate's uterus.
HOW DO I BECOME A DONOR?
To be considered for the application process, you must complete the full application with detailed medical and psychological history about yourself and your close blood relatives.
Your application is reviewed, and if accepted, you will be invited to complete the screening process which includes a full physical, bloodwork, and a counseling appointment. These results will be reviewed by our providers, and once approved you will be eligible to donate.
HOW DOES EGG DONATION WORK?
Every month, your ovaries recruit many possible eggs. In a normal cycle, one becomes the mature egg you would ovulate and the rest are reabsorbed by the body. In a donation cycle, we use daily medications to prevent ovulation and allow more of those possible eggs from that month's set to grow to maturity. Once they're mature, those eggs are retrieved via a minimally invasive procedure (transvaginal oocyte aspiration) for which you will be fully sedated. Because of the anesthesia, you won't be able to go back to work and will need a ride home that day, but you should be able to return to non-strenuous activities the following day.
IS EGG DONATION SAFE?
Your well-being is our top priority and we work to make this process as safe as possible. Your nursing team will discuss the specific medications you will be prescribed, possible side effects, and any questions you may have about them.
Symptoms vary during your cycle while taking the stimulation medications. Many donors experience little to no discomfort, and those who do most commonly describe PMS-like symptoms, abdominal bloating, and/or fatigue (anything more serious is very rare). These symptoms typically resolve with your period, usually about a week after your retrieval.
WILL DONATION AFFECT MY EVERYDAY LIFE?
Egg donation can be time consuming, but only for a couple weeks. During the donation cycle, you will be injecting medications daily for approximately 10 to 13 days, and you are required to attend 5-7 short visits to the clinic for blood tests and ultrasounds. We will be as flexible as we can with scheduling, but you will be responsible for arranging your work or school schedule to accommodate these requirements. (Think of it as a really well paid part-time job!)
There are also some restrictions to ensure your health and safety during the 2 week donation cycle:
No drugs (smoking, vaping, marijuana, illicit, etc.)
Limited physical activity and no high impact exercise
No sexual intercourse for approximately 3-4 weeks
DO YOU ACCEPT DONORS WITH TESTOSTERONE EXPOSURE?
As much as we'd love to work with you, at this time there isn't sufficient data on the effects of testosterone on egg quality and using these exposed eggs specifically for the purpose of donation for other intended parents.
If you are interested in freezing your eggs/gametes for personal use to have a biological child later (that you, a partner, or a surrogate could carry) and have any questions about the process, please schedule a Free Phone Consult with one of our nurse practitioners by calling our front desk at 206-515-0000.
HOW ARE DONORS SELECTED?
An individual or couple who chooses to use donated eggs picks a
donor who fits their family. Many recipients choose donors who
look like them or are of the same ethnic background. Others choose donors
based on their education, interests and personality. Some select a
donor because their essay questions resonated with them.
This is a very personal and individual selection process, that is
unique to each recipient. This is why we ask such a variety of questions on your application. We want you to shine through!
CAN I DONATE MORE THAN ONCE?
There are no laws about how many times a person can donate their eggs. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that a person donate no more than 6 times. If our embryologists and providers approve you to donate again, we would discuss your interest on a case by case basis. It is important to know how the medications affect you and how difficult the procedure and recovery are for you.
CAN I BE ON BIRTH CONTROL & DONATE?
Donors may utilize oral contraception, a vaginal ring, the patch, a copper IUD, or tubal ligation as birth control and be approved to move forward with a donation cycle. Donors with hormonal IUDs may also be approved to keep their IUD for donation, though this depends on individual test results. Arm implants and injections are not approved for donation. We welcome you to apply regardless of your birth control method - our team is more than happy to discuss your options and next steps!
WILL I HAVE TO PAY FOR ANYTHING?
Egg donors are not responsible for any costs of donation. We cover the cost of testing and medication, and validate parking at our clinics.
Out of town donor? We will arrange your flights and lodging!
WHAT IS OHSS?
One of the most worrisome risks of egg donation procedure is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which is an exaggerated response to the hormonal medications. The abdomen might become very bloated and painful. When mild, symptoms improve on their own; when severe, additional treatment and even hospitalization might be required. Severe OHSS is now rare with new medication protocols.
QUESTIONS? WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
We want you to feel well informed and comfortable about this process and are happy to answer any questions you may have.