Egg donation is a part of assisted reproductive technology, whereby a woman (donor) gives her eggs to another woman (recipient) to have a baby. For the procedure, the donor is given medications that cause her to develop multiple eggs over a single cycle. The doctor removes the egg or eggs from the donor and fertilizes them in a laboratory before transferring the resulting embryo into the recipient’s uterus. This is done using an implantation procedure called in vitro fertilization. You may benefit from San Diego egg donation if you can’t use your eggs for reasons such as ovarian failure or advanced age. Read on to learn more about the process.

What does the egg donation process entail?

At the fertility facility, specialists conduct an intensive selection process to find a suitable donor and carefully run through the legal procedures. Before the start of the procedure, the donor will take medication that stops their menstrual cycle. The medicine causes side effects such as hot flashes, headaches, body aches, and fatigue. The donor also takes a series of fertility drugs to stimulate the production of multiple eggs by the ovaries. Donors self-administer this medication by injecting it under their skin or into a muscle.

Some women experience side effects such as mood swings, breast tenderness, and bruising at the injection site. Although rare, some women develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome – a condition whereby too many eggs develop in the ovaries. The fertility drugs make it more likely for donors to get pregnant. Therefore it is a good idea to avoid sexual intercourse or use a barrier contraceptive like a condom. A donor undergoes frequent blood tests and ultrasound exams to monitor their reactions to the medications throughout the donation cycle.

What to expect during an extraction

The donor will receive a final injection shortly before egg retrieval to mature the follicles. Before extraction, the doctor might give the donor painkillers, sedatives, or an anesthetic. During egg extraction, the doctor performs a transvaginal ovarian aspiration to remove eggs from the donor’s ovaries. The doctor will insert an ultrasound probe into the vagina and use a needle to extract the egg from each follicle. The procedure lasts about 30 minutes; it is a minor procedure, so donors don’t need to stay overnight at the fertility facility or hospital.

After extraction

Some women return to normal activities the following day, while others need several days of rest to recover from transvaginal aspiration. The egg donation process can have a psychological impact, so some women work with a counselor or psychotherapist after the procedure.

How safe is the egg donation process?

Egg donation is associated with minimal risks. The medications and procedures for egg donors are similar to those of women using their eggs in the IVF process. Therefore, egg donation and IVF carry the same level of risk.

Using anesthesia during egg retrieval carries a small risk, but serious problems are rare. There may be some bleeding as the doctor inserts the needle into the ovary. The extraction procedure also risks damage to the bladder, bowel, or surrounding blood vessels. Serious injury or severe bleeding is unlikely.

If you are struggling with infertility, book an appointment with your specialist at YourEggs to learn how you can benefit from egg donation.