How does it work?
A donor over the course of approximately 3 weeks will self-inject hormones to stimulate her ovarian production. She will be closely monitored by Dr. Branigan throughout the process with office visits and ultrasounds. Once her eggs are “ready”, she is scheduled for an egg retrieval under ultrasound guidance. This procedure is done while the donor is under light sedation in an outpatient setting. Most of our donors will be able to return to work/school the following day.
Does it hurt?
During the stimulation phase, a donor might experience mild PMS like symptoms and some mild bloating. The egg retrieval us done under light sedation so a donor will not experience any discomfort during the procedure. After the retrieval is completed, a donor will generally feel groggy from the sedation and may experience some mild cramping and some spotty bleeding. This usually ceases after a few hours of rest.
What are the risks?
The primary risk is a condition called Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome (OHSS). This is relatively rare (1-3% of IVF cases). Careful monitoring is done by Dr. Branigan to avoid this possibility. It is also important for a donor to keep up fluid intake (such as Gatorade) for a solid 7 days after the procedure. Some symptoms may include weight gain and a feeling of extreme bloating and as with any procedure, a risk of infection exists.
How long will it take?
Once a donor is in cycle, the process is quite short, approximately 1 to 1 ½ months from the selection to the retrieval procedure. However, before beginning this process, a donor must be “selected” by a recipient couple or individual and this can sometimes take several months.
Will my future fertility be affected?
No. Women are born with all the eggs they are ever going to need in their lifetime, and the donation process only utilizes a donor’s “reserve”. Neither the medications nor the procedure will compromise the possibility of becoming pregnant in the future. This is a proven process and Dr. Branigan and our staff will take every precaution to ensure your health and safety throughout the donation process.
Will I meet the parents or the baby?
No. Egg donation is completely confidential and is considered a tissue donation at state and federal levels. All information regarding all parties is kept in strict confidentiality.
Will I miss a lot of school/work?
No. Because you will be donating locally, travel is limited and you will be seen in our office approximately 5-6 times throughout the process, and most of the visits will be only 15 minutes long. The egg retrieval will require an entire free day, and 1 or 2 appointments may run long to ensure that you are familiar with the injections and to draw blood.