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Egg Donation 101

In its most basic, simplest form, egg donation is simply the transfer of eggs from a fertile woman to an infertile woman as part of an assisted reproductive technology procedure like IVF.

Hundreds and thousands of egg donors around the world donate their eggs to couples aspiring for parenthood as a selfless act of kindness and compassion. And because of this service, many individuals who are otherwise deprived of birthing a child naturally have a hope of meeting their very own biological offspring.


Egg donors are typically young, healthy women between the ages of 21-30 and with a BMI ideally under 25. For donors to be considered for the egg donation process, it is imperative for them to go through a thorough medical and psychological evaluation. Donor candidates are also normally tested for infections and undergo a series of blood hormone tests.

Prep for Egg Retrieval

Prior to the egg retrieval process, the donor typically receives a range of hormone injections (which can be easily self-administered) for ovarian hyperstimulation, including Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin resulting in a higher number of eggs produced by the ovaries, and thereby increasing the probability rate pregnancy for the recipient. These fertility drugs are typically taken by the donor for an average of 10-11 days before the egg retrieval. Some mild side effects may include:

- Mild bruising at the injection site

- Rarely a mild form of Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome lasting a week or so

- Escalated estrogen levels

- Bloating

- Sore/tender breasts

- Nausea/Vomiting

- Headaches

- Fatigue

- Mood-swings

As a result of the donor’s hyper-stimulated ovaries and a large number of eggs produced, there’s a greater chance of accidental pregnancy occurring during this time frame, one reason why donors are cautioned against intercourse during this period leading up to the retrieval.

Day of the Surgery

In preparation for the procedure, you may be advised by your fertility team to refrain from eating or drinking the night before (around 8-10 hours of fasting) as a necessary protocol followed for most surgical procedures.

Egg Retrieval

The process of removing mature eggs from your ovaries is a routinely carried out, out-patient procedure commonly administered under some form of mild sedation known as ‘twilight anesthesia’, not general anesthesia, meaning you would still be able to breathe on your own and may be semi-awake. The process lasts for less than 30 minutes on an average with less than 1% complication rates. No incisions are made. The egg retrieval is done through a transvaginal probe accompanied by a gentle suction for removing the fluid in your ovarian follicles and thereby pulling out mature eggs contained in it. The eggs removed from the ovaries are then tested for viability by an embryologist.

Once the procedure is done, the donor is then taken to a recovery room for an hour or so and are mostly discharged right after that. You’re advised to take at least a day’s rest following the procedure and have someone drive you back home safely.

At Patriot Conceptions we are proud to have a robust and well-trusted egg donor program based on the guidelines established by ASRM. Starting from submitting an application, up till the final step of successful egg retrieval, our program spans roughly 4-6 months. To apply to be an egg donor with Patriot Conceptions, contact us today.


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