The Egg Donor Process: What to Expect

The Egg Donor Process: What to Expect

Becoming an egg donor is both a thrilling experience and big responsibility for many women. It’s a great opportunity to help someone create a happy family and receive a nice compensation for time and effort. Those who are considering an egg donation for the first time often have a lot of questions about the procedure: what are the risks, who is eligible, will there be any side effects from the medication?

Those who meet the main criteria are added to the donor database. Don’t worry — the database is protected, and your information remains confidential. Your profile can be viewed only by authorized people — intended parents in the process of matching an egg donor for them.

To make sure you’ll be able to donate a healthy and fertile egg, you’ll have to be screened first. The screening process includes a physical examination, mental evaluation and some laboratory tests. Also, you’ll have to undergo a vaginal ultrasound screening to make sure you don’t have PCOS and other pathologies that’ll exclude you from the list of donation candidates. After all medical examinations procedures and genetic tests, if passed successfully, you can become a donor and plan your first visit to the clinic as one — to learn how to inject yourself with ovarian stimulation medication.

Main requirements for egg donors in Ukraine

While some countries claim egg donation to be illegal, or non-anonymous and altruistic, Ukrainian law allows donating eggs on the commercial base without obligatory donor identity reveal.

The main requirements for egg donors remain the same around countries where egg donation is legal. Ukraine has a few differences: women are eligible to become egg donors at the age of 18 and up to 30. Also, national law requires donation candidates to be mothers of at least one healthy child.

Ukrainian fertility clinics are obliged to perform a series of medical examinations before adding the donor to the database. Said examinations have to be done to ensure donor’s fertility and stable health — both physical and mental. Overall, the list of requirements to the egg donor in Ukraine looks like the following:

  • age of 18-30;
  • at least one own and healthy child;
  • absence of hereditary diseases;
  • absence of gynecological pathologies affecting ovaries;
  • stable menstrual cycle with regular periods;
  • no history of drug use or alcohol misuse.

Smokers also aren’t allowed to become egg donors as nicotine directly and continuously affects health. Candidates for egg donation should quit smoking at least 6 months prior to the first screenings.

What to expect from medical screening and the donation?

If you want to become an egg donor, you’ll have to go through a full medical examination. This one can be divided into a few parts: medical screening, fertility screening, genetic screening and psychological evaluation.

Medical and fertility screening include interviews with a gynecologist and your doctor to check if you’re eligible to become a donor according to your medical history, some laboratory and instrumental examinations. You’ll have to pass a drug test, have your blood taken for a number of tests including HIV, TORCH, STD infections, and hormone levels. Fertility screening also includes ovary examination via abdominal and vaginal ultrasound, and abdominal examination to exclude other pathologic processes in the pelvic area.

Your appointment for genetic screening also can’t be missed: this is an important procedure to exclude any hereditary diseases like diabetes, chromosome aberrations and some mental diseases that can be passed from one generation to another.

A psychological evaluation has to be done to make sure your mental health is stable enough to go through a long period of hormone medication injections. Also, a psychologist evaluates your responsibility levels and motivation — it’s important that you fully understand that after the eggs retrieval you have no legal rights for them. It’s written in the legal agreement that you sign.

If medical contraindications check off, you can ask any question concerning the procedure and receive educational material that covers the topic. After that, the donor is added to the database, waiting to be chosen by intended parents. That’s when every medication appointment is planned, along with the retrieval procedure. By that point in time, all the screening had been conducted including hormone levels monitoring.

The medication cycle that includes follicle stimulating treatment starts with your next menstrual period. Daily injections of hormones stimulate fertility — you may need a few additional visits to the clinic to make sure that the hormone level increases at the right pace. After this cycle, your eggs are ready for retrieval.

The egg retrieval procedure is an important process that can be stressful. To ensure your comfort, the doctor guides you through every step of the manipulation, answering every question before the procedure.

For your comfort, you receive twilight anesthesia — no pain, no fear, no stress. The doctor will use the aid of ultrasound visualization to carefully guide a small needle towards the follicle in the ovary. A few eggs will be retrieved through this needle. This minimally invasive procedure lasts only for 30 minutes.

What happens after the retrieval?

As a donor, you’ll need a proper recovery period after the egg retrieval. It has to be done to make sure there are no side effects of the procedure and that your body is fully restored. During the recovery, doctors recommend avoiding sexual and exhausting physical activities until allowed otherwise.

For your comfort and depending on the circumstances, you can spend the recovery period either in the clinic or at home, paying only a few regular visits to check on your health and fertility.

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