BECOME AN EGG DONOR, STEP BY STEP PROCESS
1. Fill out the initial questionnaire
You may be interviewed over the telephone, or be sent an application which you must complete. Based on your responses, the program will decide whether you are likely or unlikely to be chosen. The chosen egg donor candidates may be invited to proceed with the selection process.
2. Complete the entire donor profile. You will be given a user name and password to complete an online questionnaire.
3. General medical screening: You will have a physical examination, including a pelvic exam. Blood tests will be performed to check your hormone levels. Ultrasound (which uses sound waves, not X rays) will be used to examine your uterus, ovaries and other pelvic organs. You will complete a detailed medical and psychological history about yourself and close blood relatives. It will include questions about your use of cigarettes, alcohol, and both prescription and illegal drugs.
4. Infectious disease screening: When blood or tissue is transferred from one person to another, it may carry viruses or bacteria. To minimize the risk that a donor egg could transmit an illness to the recipient, donors are tested for a variety of infections. During your pelvic exam, a cervical culture will be taken to test for gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Your blood will be obtained to test for syphilis, hepatitis B and C, and HTLV-1 (a rare virus that is associated with certain cancers) an a blood test to see if you have been exposed to HIV.
5. Screening for inherited disease: Our program tries to learn all we can about a donor’s genetic history in order to minimize the chance that a baby will have a birth defect or serious inherited disease. You will be asked to provide your complete medical history along with information about your biological parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. We will work with you to identify:
- Any birth defects that required surgery or resulted in medical problems (such as a cleft lip, spina bifida or a heart defect).
- Certain genetic disorders (such as Huntington’s disease, hemophilia, Tay Sachs disease or sickle cell anemia).
- Inherited diseases that are of special interest to a recipient because of her own family history.
- Any major medical problems, surgeries, mental retardation, or psychiatric problems.
If any of your first or second degree relatives who have died, you will need to know their age and the cause of death. Some common diseases (such as cancer or heart disease) that strike when people are middle-aged or younger may be influenced in part by genetics.
If you do not have access to the necessary information, either because you are adopted or there is no informed person to ask, you should not become an egg donor.
PLEASE NOTE: If any of the screening tests are reactive (positive), you may not be eligible to donate eggs and you will be advised to seek medical care from your personal physician.
- Psychological screening: Donating eggs requires you to confront ethical, emotional and social issues. The screening process will help you evaluate your desire to donate and to think through these issues.
In our program, you will meet with a mental health professional to discuss your life circumstances, your support system, your feelings about the donation, and related issues.
Another goal of psychological screening is to make sure that you will fulfill the complex requirements of egg donation. Failure to follow instructions can endanger your health and jeopardize the procedure.
- The Frozen Egg Bank, Inc committee will meet for the second time and review the results of the steps outlined above. Following FDA criteria for eligibility, the committee will decide if you are eligible to proceed.
- Ovarian Stimulation: Ovarian stimulation will begin on a specific schedule. To produce several eggs for donation, you will need to take injectable medications to increase your egg production. All donors receive instruction on the use, delivery and side effects of these medications. All risks will be explained and questions answered before donors begin any ovarian stimulation medications.
- Egg Retrieval: At the appropriate time in the stimulation cycle, egg retrieval will be performed utilizing a vaginal ultrasound probe and attached needle guide to allow insertion of the needle through the vagina and into the ovary/ovaries. This procedure usually last approximately 45 minutes and is performed under anesthesia. You must bring a friend or family member who can drive you home after the egg retrieval procedure. We will make a post-procedure phone call approximately one to two weeks after your retrieval to discuss how you are feeling.
- Follow-up visits: two months after your egg retrieval you will come back to the Frozen Egg Bank, Inc for a follow-up visit. At this time you may give us a testimonial of your experience about being an egg donor. Four months after your egg retrieval, you will have a second physical examination and blood tests. At your final visit, 6 months after your egg retrieval, we will perform the remainder of the infectious diseases screening as required by the FDA, and we will celebrate the completion of your egg donation!
The whole process takes from 10 to 12 visits to our office during a span of about 8 months.
Ready to take the first step? Contact our office and become an egg donor!