Donor Questions Answered by our Egg Donation Centers

Because of the emotional and physical commitment required to become an egg donor, the doctors at our egg donation centers want to make sure that prospective donors understand the risks, benefits, and details involved in becoming a donor. Your eggs will potentially help a couple to start a family and change their lives; this decision is very important and should not be taken lightly. The Center for Assisted Reproduction has provided some of the questions often asked by prospective egg donors in an effort to alleviate some of the most common concerns.

What qualifications are needed to be an egg donor?

An ideal egg donor should be a woman under the age of 32 who is a nonsmoker, has no history of prior infertility, is of normal weight, and has no other health concerns that might negatively affect the genetic composition or health of her donor eggs. If the recipient couple would like to use donor eggs from an existing friend or relative, the donor may be as old as 35.

If your health records indicate that you might be a good donor, you will be scheduled for an in-person consultation and possibly other tests such as a hormonal blood test, physical exam, and ultrasound.

How is an egg donor matched to a couple?

The couple makes the initial selection from the egg donor database, which gives an overview of all the available egg donors. More detailed information is available from the individual donor profiles that are provided to the couple when they narrow their selection. Many of the donors have provided childhood photographs to share with the recipient couple. We do not share any adult photographs as this may potentially interfere with the anonymity of the process.

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What medications are used during the donor egg process?

An egg donor will need to receive medication to ensure that her fertility cycle is synchronized with that of the recipient. First, the donor will be put on oral contraceptives (birth control pills) or a vaginal contraceptive ring that works similarly to oral contraceptives to adjust her menstrual cycle. Then, her ovaries will be stimulated with daily injections of hormones called gonadotropins. These hormones tell the ovaries to prepare far more eggs than normal and allow the doctor at one of our egg donation centers to harvest several eggs at once. Because these injections need to be given daily at the same time, we will ask you to make daily appointments at one of CAR's two locations during your cycle.

Donors are monitored at frequent intervals to ensure that the body is not reacting negatively to any of the drugs administered and that the ovaries are responding normally. Monitoring is accomplished through estradiol blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds.

Are egg donation cycles ever cancelled?

Cancellation of an egg donation cycle is unlikely but may occur if the donor:

  • Fails to respond to the medication
  • Responds too strongly to the medication
  • Changes her mind regarding the donation cycle

These events occur very infrequently. From 1992 through 2005, the Center for Assisted Reproduction initiated 480 egg donation cycles and had but four cancellations. Of these cycles, we have had 333 positive pregnancies.

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How does the egg retrieval process work?

You will be given intravenous anesthesia and the doctor will use a vaginal ultrasound to guide a thin needle into the ovarian follicles. Fluid containing eggs is removed with gentle suction and examined at the Center's IVF laboratory. Mature eggs are removed from the fluid. Following exposure to the husband's/partner's sperm, the egg(s) is/are fertilized. The resulting embryo(s) is/are monitored in the laboratory for five days before one or two of the resulting embryos are placed into the recipient’s uterus.

After retrieval of the donor's eggs is complete, you will likely experience some cramps and minor discomfort. Our patients typically do not report any serious pain during or after the egg retrieval process. Occasionally egg donors will report ovarian enlargement and discomfort, symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This may require additional monitoring.

How long does the egg retrieval process take?
The procedure itself lasts only 15 to 20 minutes. To ensure your safety and well being, you will recover at our office 45 minutes to two hours following the procedure. Because you will have been sedated, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home and possibly stay with you for the day. You will probably be able to resume your normal activities the next day.

How many cycles may a donor take part in?
Our egg donation centers will allow a donor to participate in up to six donor egg cycles.

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If you have been thinking about giving donor eggs to an infertile couple, you probably have many more questions than can be covered on this website. To learn more, contact one of our egg donation centers today to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly staff members.

To learn more about becoming a donor, contact the egg donation centers at the Center for Assisted Reproduction.

Donor Interest Form

How did you find our website?

Center for Assisted Reproduction
1701 Park Place Avenue
Bedford, Texas 76022

1250 8th Ave Ste. 365
Fort Worth, Texas 76104