Donors and recipients naturally have many questions about the egg donation process. Here are a few commonly asked questions and their answers.
Q: Who can donate her eggs?
A: Criteria varies from program to program. We set strict guidelines for egg donors to maximize the chances of a pregnancy resulting and to ensure that the entire process will be safe for both the recipient and the donor. Approved donors must meet specific age and health requirements.
Q: What does egg donation involve?
A: In short, egg donation includes:
- Filling out an application
- Signing agreements
- Medical screening tests
- Injecting fertility drugs
- Minor surgery to remove eggs from the ovaries
- Mixing of the eggs with the intended father’s sperm
- Transferring the eggs into the intended mother’s uterus
Q: What if I am not accepted?
A: Feelings of rejection are natural, but know that there are sound medical reasons for being selective about donors. If you are not selected, it may be to protect you from medical harm, or it may be apparent that you will find the process too emotionally difficult or time-consuming. It might even mean only that the right match hasn’t been found.
Q: Who will use my eggs?
A: Recipients of donated eggs are women who are unable to produce healthy eggs but have no other medical reason for being unable to fall pregnant. These women may have malfunctioning ovaries, they may have begun menopause at an unusually early age, or they may be at an advanced age when they naturally produce fewer eggs. Some women are aware of an increased risk for inherited diseases in their offspring and so choose to use donor eggs.
Q: Will the recipient know who I am?
A: Most programs (including ours) keep the identity of the donors confidential. The recipient will know relevant information about you but not your name; nor will she ever meet you.
Q: How will egg donation affect my daily life?
A: Egg donation is a time-consuming process. You will take medications daily for several weeks as well as undergo regular blood tests and ultrasounds. You will also be required to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs. Also, you will have to refrain from unprotected sexual intercourse during certain weeks of the treatment cycle.
Q: What happens to the donated eggs?
A: There are several possibilities for your donated eggs. It’s possible that no embryos will be formed, or that pregnancy may not occur (or may end in miscarriage). The recipient may become pregnant with multiple fetuses. More embryos might develop than can be safely transferred into the recipient’s uterus. The eggs may go to more than one recipient or be frozen and kept in storage.