MyDonor works with healthy women between the ages of 19 to 29, who have been screened for health history and psychological stability. Egg donation is always combined with in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is the process of putting together eggs and sperm in a laboratory to encourage fertilization. When there are no suitable eggs available for successful IVF, donor eggs may be a solution.
Normally, a woman produces one mature egg each month and loses several immature eggs. Through the use of medications, several follicles, or egg sacs, can be induced to develop mature eggs for retrieval. The process of IVF and egg donation requires that the donor take a series of injectable medications which induce the growth of multiple ovarian follicles. These follicles, which contain eggs (oocytes), are removed and the eggs can then be donated to a known or an anonymous recipient.
Screening for Egg Donor Candidates
By your interest and commitment, as well as meeting a series of strict medical and psychological standards, you may qualify and participate in an egg donation program.
Your health insurance information will be placed on file at the fertility clinic for use in case of emergency along with specific donor insurance provided by the clinic for your care during the donation process. No out-of-pocket costs, associated with this program, are charged to the egg donor.
Preliminary fertility clinic screening includes filling out a detailed medical history form, which covers information about your general health, surgeries, gynecological history and family medical history. Potential donors are also required to have an interview with the donor egg nurse coordinator and a comprehensive gynecological exam with a physician. Psychological and genetic prescreening is also provided, consisting of an interview and testing.
Preparing to Donate
Once selected, you will meet with the Donor Coordinator or physician at the fertility clinic that your recipient is working with, to discuss pertinent issues for your donation treatment ‘cycle’. You will be advised about the fertility medication injections that you will administer at home for a series of up to 21 days. The entire process encompasses between one to three months of planning, followed by about three weeks of cycling time. During the actual treatment phase you will be seen in the fertility office for monitoring, including blood work and vaginal sonograms to gauge your egg production.
Retrieving the Donated Eggs
The egg retrieval is generally done in the morning and you will be sedated using medication administered through an IV. With the ultrasound as guidance, the ovary follicles (hopefully containing eggs) are retrieved. The doctor will use a long, thin needle to take the mature follicles, which will later be fertilized and transfered to the recipient. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, in addition to a short recovery period in the office. You must have someone there to escort you upon leaving the clinic. We recommend that you spend the rest of the day quietly at home. Women are given detailed discharge instructions. Most women feel fine the next day, and normal periods generally return in about 2 weeks.
Your decision to be an egg donor is a wonderful gift. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) does not allow participants to be ‘paid’ for their eggs, though it is clearly recognized that a donor should be compensated for their time and commitment to the program. This will generally be handled through your recipient’s fertility clinic.
MyDonor is licensed by the New York State Department of Health, a member of ASRM, and abides by SART Guidelines.