For many women, becoming an egg donor is a fulfilling experience and an incredible gift to those who are struggling to conceive. It’s an amazing opportunity to help someone create their family, and can be truly life-changing.
If you are considering becoming an egg donor, it’s important to know what to expect throughout the process. Having a better understanding of the egg donor experience and what to expect will help you make an informed decision about whether or not it is the right choice for you.
What is it like to be an egg donor?
In general, being an egg donor is a positive and rewarding experience for most women. However, it’s important to remember that each woman’s experience is unique.
Some women may feel more emotional during the process than others, and some may have more physical side effects. It’s important to be prepared for all possible outcomes before you begin the egg donation process.
You should also know that not everyone who applies to be an egg donor will be accepted. The screening process is very selective, and only the most qualified candidates will be chosen. If you do qualify, you must understand that the donation process can take upwards of two months.
Although we have made our donation process at KindEos as streamlined as possible, egg donation does require a big commitment on your part. You’ll have to abstain from certain activities to ensure the health of your eggs during the egg donation process, such as alcohol, smoking, drug use, sexual intercourse, unhealthy foods, and high-impact activities.
The journey to becoming an egg donor
There are a lot of steps involved in becoming an egg donor, so we’ve made the process as easy and efficient as possible. The following are the different phases of the egg donation process here at KindEos Conception:
Application And Screening
Our application and screening process is very thorough. This is because we want to make sure the eggs being donated are of the highest quality (thereby giving intended parents the best chance at conceiving). Additionally, we also want to ensure that our donors are physically and psychologically healthy so that their wellbeing isn’t at risk at any point during the process.
The first thing you’ll need to do is fill out a basic pre-screening application to determine if you qualify based on our minimum requirements. Filling out this application shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes. If you meet these requirements, you’ll be asked to fill out a more comprehensive donor application, which will take between 60 and 90 minutes.
Once you complete the application, you will be directed to watch a webinar about the process and then one of our specialists will schedule a 15-20 minute phone consultation with you.
If you qualify, we will offer free legal consultation before you sign any documents. You will then undergo a thorough screening process that takes between two and three weeks. During this process, you will undergo genetic screenings, hormonal level testing, infectious disease testing, toxicology screenings, and a transvaginal ultrasound.
Finally, you’ll need to take a physical exam as well as undergo genetic and psychological counseling and screening.
Once you’ve passed the screening process, you will begin fertility treatment. You will need to go through an ovarian stimulation process, which involves a series of fertility hormone injections.
These injections will help increase the number of eggs that reach maturation. This process typically takes between one and two weeks to complete. You may feel some bloating and discomfort during this time because of the increase in hormones in your system.
The fertility medication will be administered using a standard needle and syringe. These injections are no different than the needles used to administer vaccinations. However, if you are sensitive to needles, the injections may cause a bit of irritation or swelling to the surrounding skin. This will generally resolve on its own.
It’s important to note that although it’s rare, one of the risks of ovarian stimulation is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which occurs when too many eggs are stimulated in the ovaries.
OHSS can cause abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, it can lead to serious health complications, such as kidney failure or blood clots, requiring hospitalization.
However, not only is OHSS rare but the risk of developing severe symptoms is even rarer. Generally speaking, OHSS symptoms are mild and tend to resolve on their own under medical supervision.
Here at KindEos, we monitor our donors carefully to make sure that they remain healthy throughout the entire ovarian stimulation process.
Once the eggs have reached maturity, we will schedule a retrieval operation. This will be done 36 hours after your final “trigger shot” (the last hormone shot, which triggers the ovary to release the egg).
Egg retrieval is a minimally invasive procedure that takes place under anesthesia. Prior to the retrieval, we offer our donors a complimentary acupuncture session to help relieve anxiety and promote healing after the retrieval.
During the retrieval, our fertility specialist will remove the eggs from your ovaries. The entire process takes about 20 minutes and you will be able to go home around 30 to 60 minutes after you wake up from anesthesia.
The retrieval itself is not painful since you’ll be sedated, but you may experience some cramping and discomfort afterward. This normally resolves within a few hours.
You may experience some cramping and bloating for the first day or two after the retrieval. This is normal and will generally resolve on its own. You may also notice some bruising around the injection site (generally in the fatty tissue of the belly or the front of the thigh).
This is also normal and should fade within a few days. It’s important to take it easy during your recovery and avoid strenuous activities.
In most cases, donors are able to return to their normal activities within a few days. However, some may experience more discomfort and take longer to recover. If you donate, be sure to listen to your body and take things at your own pace.
We will provide a post-donation wellness screening one to two weeks following the retrieval so we can continue to monitor your overall health.
What happens years later?
Remember that as an egg donor, you are not the legal parent of any child born as a result of your donation – you will have no parental rights or responsibilities. The intended parents will be the legal parents of the child and will make all decisions regarding their upbringing.
According to a study participated by 80 egg donors, the majority of these women reported post-donation satisfaction, although a minority reported long-term physical and psychological concerns that they attribute to having donated eggs. Negative emotions can be limited with proper education prior to the process.
Here at KindEos, we schedule an after-care appointment with our donors to monitor their well-being. Additionally, being informed about these potential effects can make it easier to address them should they occur.
It’s important to remember that as an egg donor, you are giving a very generous gift that can change the lives of others. It’s also important to be sure that you’re ready for the commitment of the process and the long term realities of donation before you begin.
Can you be a repeat donor?
If you’ve already donated and want to donate again, you can. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most of the time, you’ll need to wait around three to four months before you can donate again. This allows your body sufficient time to recover from the ovarian stimulation process.
Secondly, you can only donate up to six times in your lifetime. Although there’s no law in place limiting how often you can donate your eggs, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that women limit themselves to six donations.
This is to minimize the risks associated with ovarian stimulation for the egg donor and to be respectful of the recipient and donor- conceived individuals.
Most fertility clinics (including our own) abide by the ASRM recommendations.
Why a support system matters
Egg donors are incredibly generous and selfless individuals. They submit to a rigorous process in order to help others achieve their dream of starting a family. The decision to become an egg donor is not one to be taken lightly. It’s important to be sure that you’re physically, psychologically, and emotionally prepared for the commitment before making any decisions.
As such, it’s important to have a strong support system in place. It helps to be able to turn to family and friends for emotional support. If your support system is opposed to your donating, the process is less easeful.
You are doing much more than just donating
Egg donation is an incredible act of generosity that can change the lives of others. When you donate eggs, you’re not just giving intended parents your eggs – you’re giving them the chance to create their own family.
You are a vital part of the egg donation process and your contribution can have a profound impact. By donating eggs, you are giving someone the chance to experience the joys of parenthood.
Ready to start your life-changing journey now?