Once the couple seeking an egg donor selects a candidate, and the legal and financial formalities are done, the process of egg donation starts. In this case, both the donor and the recipient go through a complex medical procedure for the transfer of eggs.
The first step that the doctors follow is to synchronize the menstrual cycles of the donor and the recipient. For this process, both the women are administered medication, delivered both through injections and pills. The doctors analyze the donor’s functioning of the ovaries on the first day of menses. This is done by conduction blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds. After this, the donor is prescribed birth control medication.
In the second step, the doctors work to suppress the process of ovulation in the donor’s body. For this, the donor is usually prescribed daily injections of gonadotropin (GnRH) agonists that stop the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland. This takes about four weeks, during which the donor continues to take birth control pills and the GnRH agonist injections. The doctors continue to conduct blood tests and vaginal ultrasound on the donor. The cycle ends when the donor stops taking birth control pills and her periods coincide with that of the recipient.
The next step is called the ovarian stimulation process, wherein hormones that stimulate the release of multiple mature eggs in the donor, are injected in her body. Doctors keep a track of the development of the egg follicles inside the donor’s body with the help of blood tests and ultrasounds. Once the follicles develop fully, the donor is given Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) that separates her egg from the follicle walls. Meanwhile, the doctors administer progesterone injections to the recipient in order to prepare her body for the transfer of the embryo.
The eggs are collected from the donor 34-36 hours after she has been administered the hCG injection. These eggs are then fertilized using the sperm. The sperm could either belong to the recipient’s partner or a sperm donor. Once the eggs incubate, embryos are placed inside the recipient’s uterus using the in vitro fertilization method. From here on, the recipient experiences a pregnancy like any other woman.
The donor is then compensated financially for her services rendered. According to the recommendations of the American Society for Reproductive Medicines (ASRM), donors should not be paid more than $ 50,000 for this process.