Egg donation is one of the assisted reproductive technology treatments that entails a fertile woman donating an egg to a woman who is unable to conceive. The egg or oocyte is removed from the donor and fertilized in the laboratory before implantation into the recipient through in vitro fertilization. Some of the embryos can be frozen for later use.
Fertility Match, a fertility clinic will carry out thorough investigations to identify potential donors. Additionally, all applicable legal procedures must be adhered to during this process. A suitable donor is between 21 and 35 years old and free of infections such as HIV and hepatitis C.
Eligibility to be an egg donor will be determined through some or all of these steps.
- Application to be an egg donor
- Interview carried out by telephone or in-person
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
- Drug tests
- Ultrasound scans to examine reproductive organs
- Medical and psychological history to rule out genetic conditions.
- Infectious disease screening
In preparation for the removal of eggs, the donor takes medication to stop their normal menstrual cycle. As well, the donor will self-administer fertility drugs by injecting into muscle or under the skin to bring about hyperstimulation of the ovaries producing several eggs at once. Lastly, donors are advised to use barrier contraceptives or avoid intercourse to avoid the risk of pregnancy before the retrieval of eggs. Doctors will constantly monitor the health of a donor to prevent adverse reactions to medication.
In preparation for egg extraction through a procedure called transvaginal ovarian aspiration, the patient will be injected with anesthetic and sedatives. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and involves the insertion of an ultrasound probe through the vagina and the use of a needle to remove an egg from each follicle. The donor will stay at the hospital for overnight observation before being discharged. Fertility Match provides aftercare and recommends sessions with a counselor or psychotherapist to help donors deal with the psychological impact of egg donation.
Egg donation is a low-risk procedure. Some women may suffer minimal bleeding when the needle is inserted into the ovary. Bleeding may be caused by damage to the bladder, bowels, and associated blood vessels. Anesthetic use may also carry a small risk.
There is a risk of infection after the retrieval of eggs. The doctor will prescribe a dose of antibiotics to prevent infection after the procedure.