What is the Egg Donor Process?
For many couples, the process of conceiving a child may not be possible for one reason or another. In certain cases, a female is unable to produce healthy eggs, and it may be necessary to use an egg donor.
Those who become egg donors may decide to do so for a number of reasons. However, regardless of their underlying motivation, those who donate their eggs can help a couple who is struggling to have a child achieve their dream - and this can be quite a rewarding experience for all who are involved.
The Process of Egg Donation
In order to become an egg donor, an individual must be both physically and psychologically in good health. Typically, egg donors must meet a number of important criteria as well as undergo an intense screening process. Such screening includes:
● Medical - In addition to testing for general health, the medical screening process for an egg donor will involve testing to determine the donor's blood type, as well as for any type of infectious diseases that she may be carrying. In addition, such tests will also determine the donor's use of both legal and illegal drugs. If the egg donor is sexually active, her partner may also be asked to undergo screening to determine if he or she has any sexually transmitted infectious conditions that could bring about complications.
● Genetic - The genetic screening process involves evaluation of the egg donor's family history. This can help in determining whether the donor has the possibility of passing on hereditary diseases or genetic disorders. There are a number of conditions that the egg donor will be tested for.
● Fertility - In the fertility screening process, the ovaries of the egg donor will be examined for their ability to produce eggs. This is typically conducted via a physical and pelvic examination, as well as through various blood tests. In addition, a vaginal sonogram may also be done for determining the egg donor's ovarian function and reserve.
● Psychological - Because there can be psychological issues involved with donating one's eggs, the donor will also be required to undergo certain psychological screening. This usually involves meeting with a psychologist in order to determine that the donor fully understands both the potential risks and the benefits of donating her eggs. In addition, she will also be asked about her motivations for becoming an egg donor.
Once all of the screening has been completed, the egg donor will be required to take birth control pills in order to help coordinate both her and the egg recipient's menstrual cycles. After three weeks, the egg donor will be required to begin daily injections of hormones to help grow her egg follicles.
After the follicles have matured enough to be retrieved, the egg donor will be given an HCG injection for the purpose of preparing her ovaries for releasing the eggs. Retrieval will typically take place 36 hours following this injection.
The actual egg retrieval is a short procedure that usually lasts approximately 30 minutes. Once the anesthesia wears off, the egg donor is encouraged to rest for the next 24 hours, after which she may return to her normal daily activities.