The Process of Egg Donation

Sperm donation has been widely discussed as a way for men to preserve their fertility or to make a little extra income. However, there is a also a less-discussed need for women to donate eggs for women who are unable to produce viable eggs on their own.

Egg donation is a much longer and more involved process than sperm donation, but the financial compensation and personal rewards are much higher. The typical egg donor can be paid an amount up to $8,000 for their first donation, but the amount varies from facility to facility. Egg donation requires that the woman be within a certain age range and that she is mentally and physically fit for the process.

Each clinic has different protocols and guidelines, but all of them follow the same general path. The donation process usually begins with an application in which the prospective donor provides personal and family health history. Once the woman has passed the pre-screeing process, she’ll come in for a personal interview, along with physical and psychological testing. If everything is satisfactory, the next step will be preparation for the donation itself.

The entire process can take up to 4 months to complete, depending on whether the donor is selected by a specific couple or she’s donating anonymously. The first procedure will be injections of a drug to suppress the release of luteinizing by the pituitary gland. That will force the donor into a temporary state of menopause and allow a higher number of eggs the chance to mature to acceptable levels. This can be achieved by daily injections at home for the duration of the phase.

Once the level and production of luteinizing in the body has been suppressed, the donor will begin a regimen of therapy to stimulate the follicles and produce a number of mature eggs all at once. A woman is extremely fertile at this time, so abstinence is essential.

After this phase, which can last 3-4 weeks, a test will be performed to determine the presence of mature eggs. Once that is established, ovulation is triggered with a single injection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. The eggs are then retrieved via a simple outpatient procedure under general sedation.

Side effects of egg donation include mood swings, abdominal swelling and tenderness and bruising at the site of the daily injections.

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