The Donation Process

Stages of Egg Donation

Egg donation, also known as oocyte or ovum donation, is a process that enables a woman to donate her eggs to aspiring parents who are not able to produce viable eggs on their own, including infertile women, gay male couples, single men, and others. Egg donation involves a process called in vitro fertilization (IVF), in which donor eggs are fertilized in the laboratory and the resulting embryos are transferred into the recipient’s uterus. With the benefit of advanced reproductive technology, egg donation offers one of the most successful treatments for any type of infertility.

Donors who choose Pacific Fertility Center's egg donation agency are supported throughout the screening and treatment process. Our physicians, nurses, and counselors are committed to making this process as comfortable and manageable as possible for our egg donors. Thank you for considering egg donation.

Start an Application

How do I become an egg donor?

Step 1. Apply Online:

To start, fill out this quick initial application. Potential egg donors must meet with following requirements:

  • Women between the ages of 21 and 31 (can donate up to age 34)
  • Body mass index (BMI) under 30
  • Has a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, college preferred
  • No nicotine or drug use
  • Have regular menstrual cycles

If approved, you will then complete a more detailed questionnaire including information about your personal & family medical history, your interests and hobbies, and photos. This is your opportunity to share with us and future parents what is unique and special about you!

Step 2. Screening:

Upon completion of the online questionnaire and initial phone interview, eligible applicants will be scheduled to start the screening process which includes a vaginal ultrasound & bloodwork to evaluate ovarian reserve (or “egg count”), genetic testing, infectious disease testing, physical examination and psychological evaluation and testing.

Step 3. Stimulation

If eligibility requirements are met and you are approved to become an egg donor, you will be scheduled for a stimulation cycle and egg retrieval. The stimulation cycle takes approximately two weeks during which you will self-administer fertility medication to stimulate egg production.

Step 4. Egg Retrieval

Once your body is ready, you will be scheduled for egg retrieval.  The egg retrieval is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation that takes roughly 20 minutes. 

Egg Donor Medications

To control the donor's cycle and promote the growth of multiple eggs in their ovaries, they will receive the following medications:

Medication Starting Point Duration
A low-dose birth control pill to help time the donor’s cycle and keep follicles small before starting other medications Typically starts on the 2nd or 3rd day of one's menstrual cycle. If someone does not get their period (such as with an IUD) an ultrasound or bloodwork may be done to decide when to star 12-21 days
Daily self-administered of two different injections known as gonadotropin medications. These medications stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs* 4 days after stopping birth control pills 10-14 days
Daily self-administered injection of an antagonist medication, known as Ganirelix. This medication works by blocking the release of luteinizing hormone, which prevents the egg from ovulating too early and gives the egg time to properly grow 5-7 days after starting daily gonadotropin medications 5-9 days
Two injections are given your final night, known as your "trigger meds." This includes a single injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and a single injection of Lupron. These meds will trigger ovulation approximately 34-42 hours injection, so your egg retrieval with occur approximately two days after your trigger injections. When monitoring indicates that the donor’s follicles have reached the desired level of development 1 day

*Side effects from gonadotropins are rare. Most patients experience minimal, if any, side effects from gonadotropins, such as breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, headache, and/or mood swings. In very rare cases (1-2% of patients), a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) may occur. This causes enlargement of the ovaries accompanied by abdominal discomfort and/or pain. With careful monitoring, OHSS is commonly avoided altogether. All side effects commonly cease 2-4 weeks following the treatment cycle.

Increased fertility

Because fertility medication is still present in the donor's system, they will be more fertile in the days prior to and for several days following the egg retrieval procedure. We advise that donors avoid sexual relations seven days before the egg retrieval and for two weeks after the retrieval (until they get their next menstrual period).

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