Egg Donation Cycle Process

Donors The basic outline of an egg donation cycle can be found in my Egg Donation E-Book, or any of the following links:
ASRM: Egg Donation
NYS Dept. of Health: Becoming an Egg Donor

For your convenience, we have provided a summary of the process on this page. This may seem overwhelming at first glance but remember, when you are a Stork Lawyer® Connection Donor, you have us behind you every step of the way!

The overall time it takes to undergo all of the following steps is dependent on numerous factors, including your own schedule. For example, if you have school exams or work commitments that you cannot work around, your cycle will be scheduled to avoid those commitments. Depending on where your school or work commitments fall within the timetable and outline provided below, the process could take longer simply because you need to put the cycle on a temporary hold until your exams are done.

1. You received your approved status from us and meet with Liz.

2. We prepare your Donor Presentation Package and gather all pertinent medical records.

3. We match you with intended parents.

Please note that while we will work aggressively and quickly at all times to assist you in making a match with intended parents, we cannot control how long it will take for steps (1)-(3) to take place as some of this is dependent on how quickly you can get us information and some of it is dependent on when an intended parent chooses you from our pool of donors.

4. We prepare your legal agreement (known as an anonymous egg donation agreement) together with you and review any changes sent to us by the intended parents and their attorney. The contract should make you feel safe and secure that your compensation will be paid for your time and effort, and that when your donation is done, you are free to live your life knowing that you gave a family a wonderful gift, not worrying about whether a child might come knocking on your door one day out of the blue (unless you are comfortable having something like that happen). You won’t have any parental rights to the child who is born as a result of your donation and no one can ever come back and ask you for child support payments. Our contracts are designed to protect your privacy, your anonymity (if you want to be anonymous as most donor’s do), and make sure you get compensated for your time and effort for donating eggs to a loving wanna-be family. The process of negotiating your egg donation agreement takes about two (2) weeks but we can do it much faster if there are scheduling issues that need to be considered (like making sure your cycle is finished before your exams or some other work or personal obligation must take place).

Medical Team

5. We schedule medical and psychological screening with the fertility clinic which will be performing the egg donation process. The scheduling is usually done in two parts. The first part is a blood test that is conducted on the third day of your menstrual cycle (considering the first day that you get your full period “cycle day 1”). The second part is a full day at the fertility clinic where you will undergo an examination with a fertility doctor and you will meet with a psychologist to discuss your reasons for wanting to be an egg donor. You will also be asked to fill out medical history forms and provide information to the fertility clinic so that they can access medical records pertaining to any past egg donation cycles you may have conducted and/or any medical records relevant to your suitability to be an egg donor. The results of these tests are usually available to us within one (1) – two (2) weeks.

Please note that sometimes steps 4 and 5 are reversed at the request of the fertility clinic or the intended parents. However, as your advocate and to ensure that you are fully protected, we prefer that your egg donation agreement be signed prior to your undergoing the screening process outlined in step 5.

6. After you are approved by the fertility clinic to be an egg donor (unfortunately not everyone is approved and this can be due to any number of reasons which are beyond our control) your menstrual cycle will be synchronized with the intended mother’s, or a gestational carrier’s menstrual cycle. This is done using oral birth control pills.

7. Once your menstrual cycles are synchronized, you will start taking a medication to suppress your menstrual cycle so that the doctors can control your menstrual cycle and the production of eggs using medication. This medication (Lupron®) is usually injected, but some fertility clinics use a version of it that comes as a nasal spray (Synarel®). Once you start your Lupron® or Synarel®, you will receive the first payment of your compensation. This is a set amount all of our donors receive regardless of the amount of total compensation you receive for your donation. This compensation usually is sent to you by check, by federal express to your residence or another location you designate for purposes of receiving your compensation checks.

8. Approximately 7-10 days after starting your Lupron® or Synarel® you will get your period. On day two (2) of your period, you will have a blood test to determine whether or not your menstrual cycle has been sufficiently suppressed so that you can begin taking the medication to make the eggs grow.

9. Once the fertility clinic has determined that your menstrual cycle is suppressed, you will start taking any one of a number of medications known as follicle stimulating hormones (FSH). These medications – which are injected using a tiny insulin needle – cause your ovaries to start producing lots of eggs.

10. A few days after starting the FSH medication(s), you will have a blood test to check your hormone levels and an ultrasound to see how many follicles you have and how big they are. The follicles are like little balloons on the outside of your ovaries in which the eggs grow. Depending on the results of those tests, your dosage of FSH medication(s) may or may not be adjusted for your next injection that evening (most injections are given at night, but sometimes a doctor will want you to do them in the morning). This is called the “monitoring” phase of your egg donation cycle. And remember, if you don’t want to do your injections yourself, we will provide a nurse to do this for you. And regardless of whether you will do them yourself, you will recieve training in how to inject the medication (Liz’s book, The Infertility Survival Handbook, also is a handy reference with a detailed description of how to give yourself a shot).

Pharmacist

11. You may be asked to come in the next day to repeat the blood test and ultrasound or they may ask you to come back in two days. However, eventually you will be going in for blood work and ultrasounds every day. They are always done first thing in the morning (usually between 7-9 am, but every fertility clinic has different hours) and the monitoring tests usually take less than an hour.

12. Approximately nine (9) – thirteen (13) days after you started taking your FSH medication(s), the nurse at the fertility clinic who is in charge of your cycle, will call you and tell you that you are ready to have your egg retrieval procedure. That night you (or a friend or nurse) will give you an injection of a medication (called HcG, short for human chorionic gonadatropin) that tells the eggs to finish ripening in preparation for their removal from your ovaries.

13. Exactly thirty-six (36) hours after taking your HcG medication, you will go to the fertility clinic to undergo the retrieval procedure. In this procedure you will be anesthetized and the eggs will be removed from your follicles. The ideal number of eggs produced by a donor is approximately ten (10) – twelve (12) eggs. Some donors will produce many more eggs than that and some will produce far fewer. You will need to bring a friend or family member to the retrieval procedure to help you get home. If you need us to arrange for a companion on the day of the retrieval procedure, we can take care of that for you.

14. After your retrieval procedure, you will have a short stay in a recovery area where nurses will make sure you are not experiencing any complications and then you will be discharged to go home.

15. You likely will need to rest for one (1) – (2) days, but many donors are able to resume a completely normal routine the day after the retrieval procedure. If you have traveled for your retrieval procedure from your home to the fertility clinic, you likely will be discharged to go home the day following the retrieval.

16. So from beginning to end, if everything goes smoothly and there are no scheduling issues, from the time you sign contracts until the time you complete the retrieval procedure it usually takes approximately 8 weeks. To be safe, we usually advise donors to expect the entire process to take about three or four months from the time you are matched as we want you to have a realistic set of expectations and there are many factors beyond our control (like your work or school schedule!).

Girl Shopping

17. After the retrieval procedure you will receive the balance of your compensation, usually by check sent via FedEx to your residence or another location you designate for purposes of receiving your compensation checks.

18. You go back to your normal life, and if you want to and all went well with your cycle, you can choose to donate again!

Please note that we are not medical professionals, and the description provided above is provided for informational purposes only.

It is not intended to serve as medical advice or medical instruction.

More detailed information on this process will be provided to you when you start your own egg donation cycle Please remember that we can provide injection training by registered nurses as well as nurse-assisted injections during your cycle.

You might also take a look at our Donor Resource page, and/or contact our donor specialist, Kelly, at Kelly.K@thestorklawyerconnection.com, or Liz at Liz@thestorklawyerconnection.com, or call toll-free at 1-800-880-0088.