1 – Paperwork
You will receive a consent form to carefully read over, sign and send back to us. This form covers ; consent to altruistically donating your eggs, the procedure, compensation, complication insurance as well as your and the intended parents’ rights. If you have any questions about this form a Lane Fertility Institute Egg Donor team member is always there to assist. It is important you understand and are comfortable with this consent form.
2 – Pre Screening
Before you start the process you will be required to do some pre-screening tests. This may include; blood work, a transvaginal ultrasound with your gynecologist (costs covered by your Intended Parents) and a psychological evaluation. The requirements are determined by the clinic, the fertility specialist or the intended parents. We will guide you each step of the way.
3 – Pill Plan
You will receive your birth control pill plan, carefully compiled by our Fertility Specialist, indicating when to stop your active pills, when you will expect your period as well as when you will start the injectable stimulation medications.
4 – Medication
You will receive your stimulation medication instructions and dosages that have been determined by our Fertility Specialist using the results from your blood tests. The stimulation medication used is a self-administered injection that is injected directly under the skin with a very thin needle into the abdominal wall. The stimulation medication is a combination of Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH). This protocol may be adjusted by the Fertility Specialist during the cycle depending on the response of the ovaries. Do not stress, we carefully explain and guide you step by step on how to administer the injectable stimulation medications.
5 – Side Effects
Firstly it is important to note the no long term side effects have been reported. Every donor and every cycle is different. The symptoms are very similar to your premenstrual symptoms. The most common symptoms include: Headaches / Mood Swings / Bloating / Hot Flushes / Breast Tenderness. A much more serious side effect is Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS). The incidence of OHSS is 1-2% of all IVF Cases. OHSS essentially means that the body ‘over-responded’ to the FSH. Our donors are carefully monitored by the medical team with frequent blood draws and scans which greatly decreases this risk. In addition we use a medication (Lupron) that generally prevents this side effect from occurring. Nonetheless, if this is identified as a problem our Fertility Specialist will decrease the medication or stop the cycle all together.
6 – Day 7-8 Bloods
On day 7 or 8 of medication, just before you leave for your destination, you will be required to go for a E2 + LH test. This is an easy blood tests and an important step used to monitor your response to the stimulation. From here your medication dosages may increase or decrease.
7 – Ovulation Prevention
You may be instructed to start Cetrotide medication. This additional medication blocks the hormone (gonadotropin-releasing hormone-GnRH) that causes eggs to be released from the ovaries and is used to prevent premature ovulation.
8 – Ultrasound monitoring
Once at the destination you will have ultrasound scans by our Fertility Specialist every 1 to 3 days to monitor the development of the follicles. Because the ultrasound is vaginal, you will be required to remove your underwear and put on a robe. An ultrasound probe about the size of a tampon application will be inserted vaginally to view the ovaries.
9 – Trigger
When our Fertility Specialist has noted that the follicles have matured and are optimally stimulated you will be read for the GnRH agonist (Lupron) better known as the ‘trigger shot’. The Fertility Specialist will give instruction on the exact time when to take the trigger shot. Timing of this final injection is a crucial part of the process. Your egg retrieval will occur 34-36 hours after this injection.
10 – Retrieval
You will be given sedatives and/or anesthesia. This will be administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist. The eggs will be removed from your ovaries in a minor surgical procedure called transvaginal ovarian aspiration (or eg retrieval). The ultrasound probe, the same as or similar to the one used to do monitoring ultrasound scans, will be inserted into your vagina. A thin needle attached to the probe will be inserted into each follicle and using suction, the egg and liquid inside each follicle are removed. This process lasts about 15-20 minutes.
11 – Recovery
After the procedure you will be taken to the clinic recovery where you will spend about 1-2 hours sleeping off the anesthesia, receiving intravenous fluid, being checked on by the medical staff and receiving tea/coffee and a light meal. Thereafter you will be safely transported back to the hotel for further recovery. It is recommended you spend the day of retrieval in bed.
12 – Post Op Scan
1 to 2 days after retrieval you will go for a post op scan in the form of an abdominal ultrasound. This is used to measure the ovaries, scan for any free fluid and generally insure a good recovery. Once the Fertility Specialist has cleared you you will be done with the process. You will then travel back home. Congratulations!
Note: Not all egg donors are required to travel for their stimulation cycle.