Monday, 6 August 2018

Can I Donate My Eggs?


The decision to donate eggs isn’t one to be taken lightly, but this selfless act has the potential to transform infertile women’s and couples lives. With more women choosing to start families in their late 30s and 40s, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) using donated eggs may be the only chance for these women to conceive. Fortunately, egg donors give them the opportunity to realize their dream of having a baby.
You may be wondering, “Can I donate my eggs?” and “What’s involved in donating eggs?” To answer these questions and others you may have, let’s explore the process below.
Egg Donor Networks
The egg donation process starts with selecting a reputable egg donor network or program which can answer your questions and support you if you become an egg donor. Highly regarded donor egg networks have a rigorous screening process to ensure donors meet the strictest quality standards, with less than 10% of applicants accepted for egg donation.
The Egg Donor Screening Process
The egg donor screening process is designed to identify candidates who can provide high quality eggs with the best chance of resulting in pregnancy. Several factors are taken into consideration to determine your suitability. While each egg donor program has its’ own criteria, you may be screened for the following: 
·         Age – First time donors must be between 21 and 28
·         Whether you smoke or drink alcohol
·         Sexually transmitted diseases
·         Good health – both physically and emotionally
·         A willingness to undergo expanded genetic screening
·         Ability to self-administer injectable medications
As part of the screening process, you’ll also need to meet with a psychologist and undergo other medical procedures such as ultrasounds and blood tests. If selected, you’ll need flexible availability to attend medical appointments and undergo treatment for approximately three months.
The Stimulation Process
After your preliminary screening has been completed, you’ll be given a series of medications to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs. You’ll be advised on how to best self-administer these injections. While the idea of giving yourself injections may seem scary, they’re relatively pain-free and quickly become much easier to handle.
During this stimulation phase, you’ll need to visit your clinic for monitoring via bloodwork and transvaginal ultrasounds. The stimulation process often results in little to no side effects, but it’s not completely without risk. Your doctor will monitor you closely to ensure you remain in good health and that the stimulation is proceeding as expected.
The Egg Retrieval
Based on the monitoring of your progress, your specialist will identify the best window for egg retrieval. You’ll be given a “trigger shot” to self-administer at a specific time. This injection will stimulate your ovaries to release the mature eggs for retrieval.
On your scheduled retrieval day, you’ll go to your clinic’s surgery site and will be given a light anesthesia. In this short procedure, a needle is passed through the vagina with the guidance of ultrasound to your ovaries. The eggs are retrieved from your ovary follicles via the needle. If undergoing frozen egg donation, your donated eggs will then be cryopreserved and stored until ready for use.
Recovery differs from woman to woman, but in most cases you can go back to your day-to-day business as soon as you wish. The most common side effects experienced include light bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and constipation. Your clinic will be available to monitor your health and support you with any further treatment, if required.
Your Emotions
The egg donation experience can elicit a wide range of emotions, especially when you sign the formal paperwork explaining how you no longer have legal claim to your eggs. You may have conflicting feelings over not having any rights to what happens to the eggs, or how any children conceived using them are raised. However, it can help to remember throughout the process that you are giving a beautiful gift to someone who desperately wants a child.
Final Thoughts

Deciding to donate your eggs can be an intimidating decision at first, but knowledgeable staff from your egg bank and clinic are always available to answer any questions or concerns. They’ll also check on your well-being throughout the process. If you feel you’re a suitable candidate to donate eggs, feel free to reach out to a donor egg bank network or program near you.

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