Process & Requirements of Donating Eggs
Labs Required for Egg Donors Prior to Beginning a Cycle
Upon agreeing to be an egg donor, the following labs are drawn:
- Blood testing for ABO blood type
- HIV 1 and 2
- hepatitis B core antibody and surface antigen
- hepatitis C
- RPR (syphilis)
This is a guideline mandated by the FDA and must be completed with negative results received, within a specific time frame prior to the actual donation. We are now also requiring, additional screening for CF (Cystic Fibrosis), SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), and sickle cell genes if indicated.
Ultrasounds Before & During Cycle Medication
Prior to starting the stimulation medications you will come to Carolina Conceptions for a BASELINE ULTRASOUND. This ultrasound is performed with a vaginal probe and allows us to visualize your ovaries and uterus. During the course of the stimulation cycle you will return to the office several times for MONITORING. A monitoring visit consists of a trans-vaginal ultrasound and blood estrogen level. This enables us to determine how you are responding to the medication and whether or not we need to adjust your dosage. We will discuss your progress with you and make arrangements for your next visit. Monitoring visits are scheduled beginning at 7:30 through 11:30am, Monday through Friday, and as needed on Saturdays and Sundays. You should expect to see us every 2-3 days for 3 or 4 visits. Monitoring visits generally take less than 30 minutes and while we make every attempt to make this process as convenient for our donors as possible, patient load can vary and sometimes waiting cannot be avoided.
Medications Involved In An Egg Donation Cycle
During a donation cycle you will be required to give yourself several injectable medications. All of the medications are crucial to the success of the cycle and it is critical that they be administered as directed.
Once matched, if you are not currently using a hormonal form of birth control, you will be instructed to do so at this time. Please contact the coordinator MICHELE MEDLIN with the start of your period. You will remain on the active oral contraceptives for approximately 14-21 days. The start and stop dates will be outlined and specified for you.
Stimulation Medications (Gonadotropins):
Follistim and Menopur will be used to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs in a cycle. They are simply a lab created version of a hormone that occurs naturally in your body. These need to be given every evening at the same time for 7-14 days (the average time is 10 days). They are administered subcutaneously (an injection into the tissue just under the skin)
Once your follicles (cysts containing eggs) on your ovaries have reached a specific size you will be asked to administer an additional medication called Ganirelix. Ganirelix is an injection that is also administered subcutaneously. It is given in conjunction with your gonadotropin in an attempt to prevent premature ovulation. Once you begin taking this medication you will take it every day until instructed otherwise. You will typically take this medication between 1-4 days.
We will instruct you to take Lupron when your ovaries have matured several follicles. This medication is also given subcutaneously. Lupron will cause the eggs to complete the maturation process and release from the sides of the follicle wall. It is very important that you take this injection at the EXACT time instructed as we will plan the procedure to retrieve as many eggs as possible 36 hours later during your egg retrieval. Lupron is the last injection.
Again, all of these medications will be provided to you (AT NO CHARGE) and you will be instructed on how and when to administer and how to store them appropriately. Your dose will be very specific to you and will be provided to you at the time of your education session with the nurse.
For more information about becoming an egg donor:
- Watch a video from a former egg donor sharing her experience with Carolina Conceptions
- Learn more about the medications involved in an egg donation cycle
- Learn more about egg retrieval day and the light anesthesia used in this procedure