Do you have any more questions? Our FAQ section is extensive, and it may even answer questions you didn’t realize you had!
Duration: as much time as you require to make the life-changing decision to become an egg donor.
Where: there is a multitude of information available on the internet, but not all of it is accurate! If you feel comfortable talk to your friends, family members, coworkers, fellow students, etc. You’d be surprised who has been or knows someone who has been an egg donor.
Please do not apply to be an egg donor unless you are completely comfortable and confident in your decision.
Points to consider:
We love informed egg donors! It is important to not only read, but understand the process of egg donation and the associated risks, to make an informed and voluntary decision. Let us know if you ever need to chat to our Emerald coordinators, Brittany and Kezia, or our medical director, Dr. Markus.
Our social media is used as an educational tool where we share information and articles about your body, mind and well-being. To stay up to date, please follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
As they say, do not believe everything you read on the internet, especially when it comes to medical information. We have thus gathered helpful links and resources that are reliable, honest and from experienced viewpoints.
We Are Egg Donors is a women’s health organization co-founded by three egg donors who envisioned a resource for egg donors to receive support, form community, and collectively advocate for issues that matter most to egg donors.
Why we love it? We Are Egg Donors provides an honest platform for egg donors around the world to connect. On their blog, you can find stories written by egg donors about their donations.
Defining Mum is a blog by Becky (mum to three girls thanks to egg donation) where she shares her stories, experience and offers support.
Why we love it? You can read an honest blog on topics related to infertility, having children through egg donation, emotions associated with this journey, what motherhood really means, and more.
Egg Donation Friends will take you by the hand and guide you through the egg donation journey. Additionally, it has teamed up with several IVF bloggers, fertility specialists, and infertility counselors to ensure reliable and helpful information for egg donors.
Why we love it? On their blog, you can find reliable information about IVF, egg donation and IVF news from around the world.
Resolve is a USA based organization that was established in 1974 and is dedicated to ensuring that all people embarking on a family building journey reach resolution through being empowered by knowledge, supported by community, united by advocacy, and inspired to act.
Why we love it? The educational resources are amazing, honest and reliable.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is an organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. ASRM has a wealth of multidisciplinary information, education, advocacy, and standards in reproductive medicine and science, with the goal of ensuring accessible, ethical, and quality reproductive care for every person.
Why we love it? As an international leader, you can expect the most up to date and reliable information and articles.
Modern Fertility is an easy-to-use and affordable hormone test to give women a look into their general health and fertility, which is really amazing. Their blog is a collection of personal essays that celebrate and make space for the many ways we navigate our careers, relationships, and finances in relation to our reproductive health.
Why we love it? It is a blog with a difference that really speaks to young and modern women!
Go to our FAQs page to get detailed answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our egg donors.
The best way to have constant education while you scroll instagram is to follow informative accounts. Here are some we love!:
Fill out our application with as much detail and attention as possible. The importance of first impressions cannot be overstated. Don’t forget to include as many pictures and supporting documents to really make your profile stand out!
Once you’ve submitted your application, we will review it and either accept or reject your application. We look at several factors when determining if you are a good fit for our program, including your health and/or social background, FDA regulations, and/or the individual needs of our program.
If you meet the egg donor requirements and your application was accepted your de-identified donor profile will be shared with our partner clinics, networks and families in need. We will contact you if someone is interested in your profile. Be patient as this may take some time.
There is always a concern that you may feel rejected or inferior if your profile is not accepted or chosen. It can be a huge blow to your self-esteem as it can leave you wondering why you are not being chosen.
Duration: varies applicant to applicant.
Where: via email and phone.
You will be contacted by an Emerald team member to confirm your availability and any special requests should there be interest in your profile. This is, however, just a serious inquiry, not a match.
An Emerald Team member will contact you to confirm your match, the necessary screening to proceed, and the anticipated dates of your donor cycle.
Pre-screening documentation will also be emailed to you.
Congratulations, you are officially matched to be an egg donor!
The possibility of the egg donation falling through owing to financial, time, or genetic issues, among other factors, is always present. Being so excited for the journey and then having it canceled can be extremely disheartening.
Duration: spread over 4-12 weeks depending on the type of screening required
Where: locally, unless an international service where an online meeting platform will be organized
Cost: please note, you will not be required to pay for any screening. This has been covered by your intended parents / recipients / egg bank and will be handled by Emerald Donors
This will usually include a combination of the following; physical exam, urine and blood tests (mainly for hormonal and infectious diseases), a pelvic exam, an ultrasound and a pap test.
You will explore a variety of issues with our friendly psychologist during this session, including your childhood, present job or study situation, current relationships, mental health history, and how you cope with conflict and stress. The consultation will also guarantee that you are well prepared for this exciting adventure.
This is done either via a blood test at a local depot or a saliva test in the form of a kit. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out genetic conditions or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. You will have access to this report for reference should you ever wish to have children of your own one day.
In this consultation a genetic counselor will assess at least three generations of your family’s health history in combination with your relevant medical records. A report and a diagram is drawn up which is shared with Emerald Donors and the Medical Staff.
You will have an online meeting with your Fertility Specialist.
You’ll go through basic health information (such as your age, medical history, reproductive health, and so forth), the procedure in detail, and any potential side effects. You will be able to ask questions, express concerns, and get to know your Fertility Specialist.
You will sign a contract, which covers; consent to altruistically donating your eggs, the procedure, compensation, complication insurance as well as your and the intended parents’ / recipients’ rights. You will be guided through the legal process which varies for each destination. Once your clinic has been confirmed you will receive detailed information on their regulatory body’s requirements.
If you’ve ever had a blood test you’ll know that it can be a little uncomfortable and there is a risk of redness, bruising and tenderness after.
Another potential risk is the possibility of uncovering something in the medical screening that you didn’t know, particularly something that could affect your future fertility.
Duration: 10-14 days
Where: You start the stimulation and monitoring locally. On around day 4 to 8 (depending on your Fertility Specialist’s request) you travel internationally to complete stimulation and monitoring at your destination.
Don’t worry, we carefully explain and guide you step by step on how to administer the medication and follow your stimulation plan. Your donor coordinator will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will keep in touch with you on a regular basis. She will accompany you to the destination and take you to your scans, introduce you to the medical team, show you around, assist with any questions or concerns, and most importantly, ensure your safety during the process.
You will be required to go for stimulation monitoring which involves a combination of bloods and scans (on average 2 at the local IVF center & 3 at the international IVF center) to monitor your progress and the response of your ovaries. The medication protocol may be adjusted by your fertility specialist during the cycle depending on the stimulation monitoring results.
The medication used in this process is a combination of:
Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH or Gonadotropins)
Brand Names: Gonal-F®, Menopur®, Follistim®
Purpose: Stimulates, develops and matures follicles (the structures in the ovaries which contain eggs).
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH Antagonist)
Brand Names: Ganirelix® or Cetrotide®
Purpose: Prevents premature ovulation during the stimulation.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH Agonist or “Trigger Shot”)
Brand Names: Decapeptyl®
Purpose: Induces a natural-like ovulation surge.
You will receive a stimulation calendar which details your medication, dosages and times. All these are worked out by your committed medical team.
Each donor and every cycle are unique. The side effects are very similar to your premenstrual symptoms. The most common side effects include:
When your fertility specialist has noted that your follicles have matured and are optimally stimulated you will be ready for the GnRH agonist better known as the ‘trigger shot’.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH Agonist or “Trigger Shot”)
Brand Names: Decapeptyl®
Purpose: Induces a natural-like ovulation surge
Your fertility specialist will give your donor coordinator instructions on the exact time of the trigger shot. The egg retrieval takes place 36 hours after the trigger shot, which stimulates the final maturation of the eggs and triggers ovulation. Ovulation is the process where the egg’s protective casing, the follicle, raptures and expels the egg. The egg is then directed into the nearby fallopian tube, which serves as a passageway to the uterus. The egg retrieval is timed to catch the eggs shortly before they would start this journey.
Although serious risks are rare, complications from egg donations are not unheard of.
OVARIAN HYPER STIMULATION SYNDROME (OHSS)
The incidence of severe OHSS is 1-2% of all IVF Cases. Many cases are mild, while others may result in severe illness. OHSS essentially means that the body ‘over-responded’ to the FSH.
Mild to Moderate OHSS Symptoms:
Severe OHSS Symptoms:
Treatment (Mild to Moderate OHSS):
Treatment (Severe OHSS Symptoms)
Our donors are carefully monitored by the medical team with frequent blood draws and scans which greatly decreases this risk. If this is identified as a problem your fertility specialist will decrease the medication or stop the cycle all together.
In rare instances, an ovary can become twisted around its supportive tissues. Known as ovarian torsion, this painful condition is considered a medical emergency and must be treated quickly. When properly treated, ovarian torsion does not have an impact on the ability to conceive. If treatment is delayed and lack of blood flow has caused tissue death, the doctor will need to remove the ovary.
It is usually treated with laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive procedure, where:
Our donors are carefully monitored by the medical team with frequent blood draws and scans which greatly decreases this risk. If this is identified as a problem the fertility specialist will decrease the medication or stop the cycle all together.
Duration: 3 hours total (1 hour pre retrieval, 15 mins retrieval and 1 to 2 hour recovery)
Where: At the international clinic.
You will arrive at the the IVF clinic one hour before your retrieval. You will be checked in, prepped and made comfortable while you await your retrieval time.
The first step is an intravenous catheter is inserted for sedation and pain medication during the procedure. Your anesthesiologist will administer intravenous sedation that will put you in a deep sedation where you breathe on your own. General anesthesia requires the patient to be intubated to aid with breathing during anesthesia, whereas deep sedation requires no tubes and a much faster recovery time.
Once you are asleep (aka sedated) your fertility specialist will use the ultrasound probe to find the follicles. A tiny hollow needle with suction capabilities attached to the ultrasound probe is guided, by your physician, through your vagina wall, and into the ovary. Each follicle in the ovary is punctured and the follicular fluid, which contains the egg, is collected using suction. After completing one ovary, the same procedure is repeated for the other ovary.
The follicular fluid is collected in test tubes labeled with your donor code. The eggs inside this fluid will be located, collected, isolated and placed in a media by the embryologist where they will continue to develop and prepared for freezing or fertilization.
Once the procedure is completed you will gently be brought out of sedation by your anesthesiologist and transferred to the clinic’s recovery room where you will continue to be monitored by the nursing staff. Once the medical team is happy with your recovery, usually after 1 to 2 hours, you may go home.
Before you are discharged the medical team will assist with any additional questions, concerns or pain medication.
Once your fertility specialist, donor coordinator and medical staff are happy with your recovery and well-being you will be discharged from the day clinic and safely transported by your donor coordinator back to the accommodation for further rest. It is recommended you spend the day of retrieval in bed.
You may experience mild to moderate discomfort after the procedure. Potentially serious complications of the egg retrieval include:
Congratulations! You are officially an egg donor. Through this beautiful and altruistic act, you have added sparkle to an infertile families’ dream and left an indelible mark in the world. Hopefully, this process has brightened up your life too and left you feeling empowered, educated about your remarkable body and reproductive system, with new lifelong connections and an experience you will never forget.
Since egg donation is a relatively new (first child born from egg donation was reported in Australia in 1983) procedure, our experts hope to learn more about the long-term effects of donor eggs in the future when additional research becomes available.
To date, there have been no studies conducted that suggest any link between egg donation and an increased probability of the development of cancer in egg donors. However, it doesn’t mean that such a risk does not exist.
While donors undergo psychological screening before the process begins, it is impossible to predict with certainty the emotional impact of this procedure. In international studies, egg donors have reported feeling worried about future fertility and concerns about children conceived from their eggs while others have reported extreme joy and gratitude for the experience even years later.
A study in 2019 has revealed that Egg Donors Report Good Long-Term Physical Health Status and Satisfaction with their Experience
A 2012 study in Belgium found that egg donation does not reduce your chances of future pregnancy. It was found that of the 60 women who tried to conceive after donating eggs, 57 were able to conceive without external help. Of the remaining three who required fertility treatment, two sought treatment due to their partner’s infertility.
Curious to see who we are and what we are made of before you sign up? Setup your Zoom Meetup to meet the team, ask any questions and ensure we are your perfect match!