Before donors are accepted into our program, they must undergo various screening and psychological evaluations. We screen all egg donors according to guidelines recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Potential donors must be between the ages of 21 and 32 and be non-smokers. Candidates fill out a questionnaire reviewing their medical and family history and social habits, all of which are reviewed by one of The Center’s physicians to determine the donor’s acceptability and ascertain potential risk for significant medical or genetic disorders.
The potential donor and her partner are then invited to one of our informational sessions to learn about all kinds of topics related to egg donation, including any associated risks. The next step is to then undergo various tests for transmitted diseases and genetic disorders.
Following the medical tests, potential donors are evaluated with psychological tests and counseled by our psychologist. During this session, she will discuss the emotional, psychosocial, ethical and legal issues that pertain to egg donation and evaluate the donor’s psychological well-being and preparedness to cope with the stress of being a donor. Counseling allows the donor to explore the effect her donation may have not only on herself but on the recipient and the potential child that is conceived. The psychologist also meets briefly with the potential donor’s partner to ensure the partner understands and supports the process.
Steps To Become an Egg Donor
To become a potential donor, you will go through the following steps:
- The First Step
To begin the process of becoming an egg donor, click here to complete our short on-line form or please call us at 860-321-7082 x8022. You will undergo a 15-minute telephone screening to determine if you are eligible to participate in the program.
- Consultation and medical screening
Based on the information collected in your initial phone interview, you may be mailed a questionnaire. If the returned questionnaire shows that you would be a good candidate for egg donation, you will be asked to come to The Center for consultations with our medical and psychological staff, who will explain the process in greater detail. Consultations are scheduled visits and usually take up to two hours to complete. Screening includes a physical exam, psychological testing, blood tests and an instructional session with our Nurse Coordinator.
- Follicular development
To help increase the success of egg donation, we work to obtain multiple eggs for fertilization. Donors are treated with fertility medications that stimulate the development of multiple egg follicles within the ovary. These medications have been used for over 2 decades and are the same medications used by women undergoing their own IVF cycle. You will be given detailed information and instructions about this medication.
- Monitoring your cycle
An egg donation cycle usually takes about 2-3 weeks. During this time, you will need to make regular visits to The Center for blood tests and ultrasounds. These visits usually last less than 30 minutes and are scheduled between 7:30 AM and 10:00 AM. This monitoring tells us when the follicles are mature, informing your physician when it is the right time to retrieve the eggs and complete the cycle.
- Egg retrieval
The egg retrieval process is performed at The Center on an outpatient basis. IV sedation is performed by one of our anesthesiologists. You will sleep during the retrieval, and you will feel no pain. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. It is done using vaginal ultrasound to help locate the eggs for retrieval and requires no incision. You will rest after the procedure for about 45-60 minutes in our recovery area.
- Following the procedure
Most donors feel a great deal of satisfaction from this act of giving. However, occasionally, donors experience uncertainty about their decision. Our psychologist is available to help you at any time during and after the cycle to offer emotional support. Some women experience side effects including tenderness in the breasts or ovaries, fluid retention, and moodiness. These symptoms can take up to two weeks after the cycle to disappear completely. There are risks to this procedure that will be discussed with you in detail by your physician.
We assure you that our team preserves the confidentiality of both the donor and recipient. We protect both your identities and both must also agree not to seek identifying information concerning each other.