Egg Donation

Egg donation is a process in which a woman donates her eggs for the purpose of assisted reproduction. This is a great option for couples where the intended mother is infertile either due to problems associated with ovulation and/or the fertility of her eggs. It involves retrieving eggs from third party donors who can be anonymous, semi-known or known. An anonymous donor is one you will never meet. A semi-known donor will share limited information. A known donor can be a friend or a relative of the intended parents.

This process also involves an IVF, as eggs are fertilized with the sperm of the intended father and then transplanted into the intended mother (or possibly a gestational carrier). The child will have one-half of their parent’s genetics. The egg donor enters into a confidential egg donation agreement with the intended parents in which she gives up all right to her eggs or any child that may be born as a result of the donation. This procedure is more expensive and complex than a traditional surrogacy.

Information for Donors:

Egg donation is a medical procedure that consists of two stages. In the first stage a hormonal drug regimen utilizes a class of drugs to suppress the release of hormone which normally trigger eggs to mature within the body and creates an "artificial menopause". These drugs are generally administered through daily subcutaneous injections over the span of the stimulation cycles.The physicians can then control the timing of egg maturation and ovulation through the administration of other medications.

In the second stage the donors begins daily fertility injections to encourage the development of multiple egg follicles, allowing the physician to retrieve several mature eggs at one time. Because of the elevated fertility, donors are required to abstain from sexual intercourse to protect against unwanted pregnancy. The eggs are retrieved through transvaginal ultrasound aspiration and do not require an incision. This procedure is performed under conscious sedation to keep the donor comfortable. The donor can experience mild to moderate discomfort and may be prescribed pain medication following the procedure. A donor generally donates between 2 to 6 times depending upon the standards set by the infertility physician. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that a donor donate no more than 6 times.

Egg donors are generally between 21 and 33 years of age, based upon the guidelines of the infertility physicians for anonymous donation. However, the intended parents can be matched with a donor less than 21 years old if the infertility physician permits them to do so. The costs of egg donation are borne by the recipients. This includes medical treatment, medications, transportation, lodging and meals. In some cases the donor may also be compensated for lost wages and childcare.