What happens in the lead up to egg donor treatment may vary from place to place, but on the whole, treatment centres usually follow the same format. We will let you know how it all works and what to expect, and will give you specific written information about the centre you will go to.
Sometimes you will be offered a second appointment (convenient to you) with a doctor about six to eight weeks after the first. The purpose of this appointment is:
- For the doctor to talk you through the results of the tests.
- To go through the consent forms for donating eggs which you will sign.
- To give you a prescription for the drugs that you will need to take.
- To see a nurse who will explain the egg donation process and start you off on the egg donation treatment cycle. It will be your decision as to when it is convenient for you to start.
The egg donation process
Here’s a bit of biology that you might not know: during a natural menstrual (monthly) cycle, you produce a hormone called FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). This hormone usually stimulates a group of about 10 eggs to develop every month, one of which then matures and goes on to ovulate; the others simply disintegrate and are reabsorbed.
During the egg donation process, egg donors undergo a very quick IVF treatment cycle in which the ovaries are stimulated with the same hormone (FSH), to encourage this naturally-developing group of eggs all to reach the same level of maturity, rather than just the one.
The eggs are then removed, placed into a small dish in an incubator and fertilised by sperm from the male recipient; as a result, embryos usually develop. One (or possibly two) of these fresh embryos will then be placed into the recipient (the woman receiving the eggs), giving her a good chance of becoming pregnant.
While the drugs, dosages and regimes can vary in an egg donation process, they all aim for the same end result – to get this group of eggs ready for fertilisation so that the best embryos can be selected for replacement. Any spare embryos can, with your consent, sometimes be frozen for the recipient’s use in the future.
We will tell you how many eggs you have produced, how many embryos have been created from the process of your egg donation, and whether or not they resulted in a pregnancy.