Egg donation has become a heartfelt way to contribute to families going through infertility treatment. There are a variety of reasons an individual may need to use an egg donor and for this reason, Utah Fertility Center provides options. While egg donation can create immense hope and gratitude for a family who may have spent years prior trying to conceive, there is additional fulfillment that can come to the egg donor herself.
How Does Egg Donation Work?
As a woman, you can donate your own eggs, or oocytes, to another woman or family trying to conceive. Egg donation is one aspect of assisted reproductive technology. When our reproductive specialists retrieve eggs to later be fertilized in a laboratory, healthy embryos are implanted into the recipient’s uterus using the technology of in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
At the Utah Fertility Center, we maintain specific requirements for young women interested in egg donation. You must fall between the age of 19 and 32, and your Body Mass Index (BMI) will need to be < 30. You must also be a non-smoker, have a general healthy family history, and not be a carrier of any major genetic diseases. We also need to know if you have both of your ovaries and if you are currently breastfeeding.
The rewards of egg donation are emotional, financial, and of course physical through providing the gift of life. As an egg donor, you will be asked to research your basic family medical history. Our in-office screening process gives you the insight about your own fertility that you might otherwise not learn. Egg donation will not affect your own fertility and ability to have children as we are only taking the eggs you naturally discard every month when you ovulate. Many of our egg donors have gone on to have children of their own after going through this process. We will also provide you with quality medical care by covering the financial costs of all your office visits, blood draws, and procedures. You will be compensated financially at the time of your egg retrieval.
1 – Applying for Egg Donation
The initial screening to become an egg donor can take anywhere between 4-8 weeks to complete once an application has been filled out. If you are considering becoming a donor, you can start by clicking on this Become a Donor button and filling out the form.
After you finish the application, we will bring you to the clinic for an initial donor interview, physical exam, transvaginal ultrasound, psychological evaluation, and all necessary blood work. We want to ensure you have healthy follicle growth on your ovaries along with a high egg reserve. Within two weeks you will hear back on whether you qualify for our program. We will then add you onto our database where families can view your anonymous profile. The only information the recipient family will have access to is what you put on your application. No personal contact will be shared at any time. Be aware that once you are added onto this database it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months to match you with a family. The matching process is different for every donor.
2 – Entering the Stimulation Cycle
Once you are approved as an egg donor and matched with a recipient family, our reproductive team will begin the stimulation cycle. With the help of injectable fertility medications for 10-12 days, your ovaries will be stimulated to release multiple eggs at the time of egg retrieval. We will be there every step along the way to guide you through how to do these medications and answer any questions you may have. You will complete regular blood tests and ultrasounds at our office to monitor your response to the medications. These morning appointments will be short, around 15-20 minutes. The times we schedule are very important so we will need you to be somewhat flexible. Because many of our donors are going to school, working full-time, or staying busy as mommy’s, we are willing to make accommodations as needed, however, we need to know you can make appointments a priority once the time comes to donate.
3 – Completing your Egg Retrieval
After your final injections are done and once your eggs (oocytes) are ready, they will be extracted via a transvaginal ovarian aspiration to remove the mature eggs from your ovaries. Your comfort is a priority during this vaginal procedure where sedation, anesthesia, or painkillers are utilized as needed. Post retrieval symptoms may include bloating, cramping, and abdominal soreness, however, due to this only being a procedure you can plan for a quick recovery of a few days. Many of the women we work with continue donating multiple times due to the positive experience they have in this process. Even though emotional and physical side effects are possible, egg donation is a common, safe, and well-tolerated fertility treatment. There are no major long-term side effects to be concerned about as long as you follow given instructions throughout the donating process.
If you would like to apply to become an egg donor, Utah Fertility Center invites you to reach out. You can contact Jill Parker 801-785-5100 ext. 3767 or [email protected] to learn more and find out if you are a good candidate for egg donation. In the end, the recipient family you donate for will be forever grateful. You will always know that you helped someone realize their dreams of building a family while also supporting your own.