Below is a general outline of what you can expect for your donation
cycle. It is important to keep in mind that all clinics are different
and as such each will have different protocols tailored to the
Disclaimer – This page is for informational purposes only to give you
a general idea of what the procedure entails. It is imperative that
you follow the exact instructions given to you by your doctor, not by
An intended parent considers several different attributes when
choosing an egg donor and to each couple what is important to one may
not be as important to another. While one set of prospective parents
may be searching for a donor with the closest physical resemblance to
the intended mother, another couple may care less about her physical
appearance and more about educational accomplishments or heritage.
Once the prospective parents have made their final decision to use
you as their donor we will contact you. If you agree to proceed, you
are considered matched.
You will sign a contract with AAG known as the agency-donor contract.
In addition you will sign a contract with your intended parents known
as the direct contract which establishes an agreed upon compensation
amount and outlines duties, relationships and rights between the egg
donor and the intended parents. This contract will be drafted by your
intended parent's attorney. You will schedule an appointment with your
lawyer (which will be assigned to you by the agency) to go over the
direct contract in depth and he or she will answer any questions you
may have. You may also request changes. After you feel comfortable
with your contract you will sign it and your attorney will send the
signed contract with any requested changes back to the drafting
attorney. You will not be given clearance by your physician to begin
any medications until this contract has been signed by all parties.
After matching has taken place you will visit a clinic local to you or
the intended parents cycling clinic (which may require you to travel
if you reside in a state other than that of your intended parent's
clinic). This first appointment will take place on day 2, 3, or 4 of
your menstrual cycle so it is essential that you contact AAG on the
first day of your menses so we can schedule your initial screening.
You will have to be off of any hormone based birth control for at
least one month prior to your preliminary screening so that your
hormone levels can be tested. The purpose of this screening is to
ensure you are an eligible candidate for egg donation. This screening
will take three to four hours so it is important you set aside half
your day for this appointment.
During this initial screening you can expect a urine analysis to test
for substance abuse, blood draws to test for blood type, hormone
levels, and FDA required screening for
infectious diseases, as well as a complete physical and a baseline
vaginal ultrasound to check the overall health and condition of your
ovaries as well as the number of Antral, or resting follicles.
You are also expected to undergo a mental evaluation as a part of this
initial screening which will be administered at the clinic or by an
independent psychologist appointed by this agency. During this mental
evaluation you will be administered an MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic
personality Inventory) and will then meet with the psychologist to
discuss your feelings about egg donation and possible resultant offspring.
Provided the results from your initial screening negate infectious
disease and confirm your positive candidacy for egg donation, you will
be given the green light to begin a series of medications which will
cause your body to mature more eggs than what it normally would. You
will be placed on a monophasic birth control regimen to regulate your
cycle with that of the recipients. In most cases you will take oral
contraceptives for a minimum of three weeks.
Depending on your day 3 FSH levels and Antral Follicle Count the
cycling clinic will draw up a prospective calendar outlining your
medication protocol and a projected retrieval date. This earmarks a
period of approximately 10 - 20 days where you will undergo several
monitoring appointments and will give yourself daily subcutaneous
injections in the privacy of your own home. You will receive a portion
of your compensation once you start your injectible medications. There
are three stages in your cycle:
Ovulation Suppression is done to allow the doctor to control
ovulation and is eventually used in conjunction with follicle
stimulating drugs. There are two classes of drugs. The most
commonly prescribed ovulation suppression medications are
Lupron, Zoladex, or Synarel and are known as GnRH Agonists.
Another class of ovulation suppression medications are
Ganirelix or Cetrotide and are known as GnRH Antagonists. Both
work in different ways to suppress LH surges. Ovulation
Suppression medication will be given by self administered
injections, subcutaneously, meaning into the fatty tissue of
During Follicle Stimulation (also known as controlled ovarian
hyperstimulation) more follicles are caused to mature than the
one or two that normally would during a girl’s menstrual
cycle. The most commonly prescribed Follicle Stimulating
Hormone products are Follistem, Menopure, Bravelle, or
Gonal-F. FSH products will overlap with Lupron. Your dose of
Lupron or similar agent may be reduced at this time. The
monitoring clinic will continue to monitor your hormone levels
and follicular growth and will adjust your dosage as
necessary. During this time you can expect to have monitoring
visits at the IVF clinic bi-daily during the first part of
your follicle stimulation phase, and daily during the last few
days of this stage.
It is imperative that you do not take Ibuprofen or other
anti-inflammatory drugs and that you abstain from sexual
intercourse for the remainder of your cycle. Similar to your
ovulation suppression medication, your follicle stimulation
medication will be self administered subcutaneous injections.
When your estrogen levels and follicle measurements look best
for a positive IVF outcome the cycling clinic will instruct
you to take an HCG (Human Chronic Gonadotropin) shot. This is
a one time injection, commonly referred to as the "trigger
shot" which will give your eggs their final maturation. This
injection may be administered subcutaneously but is more
commonly administered intramuscular, meaning in the muscle
(into your thigh or buttocks). Your doctor will advise you if
your trigger shot will be administered subcutaneously or
intramuscular, it is not a preference. Your retrieval
procedure will be scheduled exactly 34-36 hours later so it is
very important that you take your shot at the exact hour and
minute that your doctor instructs you to.
The day following your trigger shot is usually an injection free day.
Your doctor will instruct you not to eat or drink anything for a
minimum of twelve hours before your procedure. It is important to
stay hydrated during the day in preparation for the procedure, being
careful not to drink anything more after the time your doctor advises.
You will arrive at the clinic at the time your doctor instructs you
to. It is very important that you are on time. In most cases, your
doctor will ask that you arrive about an hour before your scheduled
procedure. Ideally, you should wear loose fitting clothing such as
sweat pants and a T-shirt. In addition, you will need to have someone
take you to the clinic and remain there so they can drive you home
after the procedure. You will not be admitted to, or released from the
clinic without a designated driver.
You will be placed under anesthesia by I.V. and will be comfortably
sleeping during the procedure, but will be breathing on your own. The
doctor will then use an ultrasound guided needle to aspirate your
eggs. To do this s/he will puncture each follicle and aspirate all of
the fluid which will contain a single egg (per follicle). Once all of
the follicles have been emptied the procedure is complete. Most
procedures last around 15-25 minutes.
After you wake up the doctor will monitor you for a little while to
see how you are feeling. In many cases the donor is released as soon
as an hour after her procedure.
The day of, and after the procedure you should stay off your feet as
much as possible. It is important that you stay well hydrated with
electrolytes or water and eat plenty of proteins. You will feel
bloated and will experience pains comparable to period cramps. You
can take Tylenol to relieve your pain, or in some cases your doctor
may have prescribed you pain medication to take as needed. In
addition, you may be placed on an antibiotic regimen to avoid
infection from the procedure.
On the second and third day after retrieval you will be advised to
continue to take it easy, but can return to most of your normal
activities. You can return to work as soon as you feel comfortable,
which can be as early as two to three days after the retrieval procedure.
Call your doctor if you experience any of the following:
You can expect to receive your period 2 to 4 weeks after the retrieval
procedure. You must abstain from sexual intercourse until you have had
your period! In addition, you are advised to avoid swimming in
swimming pools, natural bodies of water, or taking a bath (especially
with bubble bath) to avoid infection.
As is with all medical procedures there are medical
risks involved which should be
discussed in detail with your physician.
Congratulations! The hard part is over! Your selfless gift, dedication,
and effort will forever affect the lives of a family. For most parents
they may never feel like ‘thank you’ is enough, however, a small token
of their appreciation is to offer you compensation for your time and
discomfort exuded to provide them with this priceless gift. After your
retrieval An Angel's Gift will mail the remainder of your compensation
check to your address on file with this agency within 72 hours.