Egg donation is a selfless decision that can change the lives of couples or individuals struggling with infertility. Choosing to become an egg donor allows someone else to experience the joys of parenthood. You will also enable someone to experience the gift of pregnancy and childbirth. Those considering donating their eggs might find it helpful to know how long the process takes. The full duration from start to finish largely depends on if you choose to donate fresh or frozen eggs.
The Initial Screening Process
Both fresh egg donation and frozen egg donation start the same way. Female egg donors between the ages of 19 and 29 must undergo a complete medical history and physical assessment, as well as STI testing, chromosome analysis, screening for inheritable diseases, and a psychological evaluation. All medical testing will be completed to determine whether or not you are eligible for egg donation. The medical screening you will receive before egg donation is free of charge, and you may request the results of all your medical tests for your records or to give them to your doctor. This process usually takes a few weeks to complete.
Frozen Egg Donation
Once you are accepted into the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility’s egg donation program, you can begin the process at any time and opt not to wait to get matched with a recipient. This is a great option because the egg donation process can be a better fit for your schedule.
To begin, you will first be required to take oral contraceptive pills to prevent your hormones and ovaries from ovulating while you wait to start stimulation. After 2-3 weeks, you will come in for bloodwork and an ultrasound. If everything is in order, you can start to take the fertilization medication, which will stimulate multiple eggs to grow and mature in your ovaries. You will take fertility medication for about 10-14 days. During this time, you will also come in for daily monitoring appointments to check on your ovaries. When the time is right, you will receive the HCG trigger shot, which will get your body to release multiple mature eggs from your ovaries. Egg retrieval will begin 34-36 hours after you receive this shot.
For those opting to donate frozen eggs, the egg retrieval process takes around 2 weeks. However, the full process, including screening, can take up to a month and a half.
Fresh Egg Donation
Many donors prefer to meet or have an idea of which couple will be receiving their donated egg. The matching process will require additional medical screening to go over your menstrual cycle, lab and blood work, and medications. You will also need to review a legal contract with the receiving couple. The time this process takes depends on how quickly appointments can be made, the time it takes for the lab work to be processed, and how long it takes to get legal contracts drawn and signed. The egg retrieval process can begin once all the necessary work is completed. The egg retrieval process is largely the same as the retrieval process for donating frozen eggs. The full process from start to finish can take anywhere from 3-4 months.
If you elect to wait to begin the process until you’ve been matched with a recipient, keep in mind that retrieval can take longer. This process requires that the menstrual cycles of both donor and recipient be in sync before the retrieval can begin. Ensuring the cycles of both the donor and the recipient are matched up can be quite challenging, which is where our fertility specialists at The Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility can help.
While donating eggs may seem like a lengthy and involved process, a good portion of that time is spent waiting between tests and appointments. Becoming an egg donor can be a rewarding and even empowering process for many women. You can feel proud knowing that you are offering a couple another chance at having a child when they when they may not have other options. To see if you qualify for our egg donation program, please submit an online application. If you are interested in learning more about egg donation, visit our website.
At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we are committed to helping couples looking for assistance in getting pregnant and pride ourselves on guiding them every step of the way. We are happy to discuss your unique situation at length and help you discover the most suitable solution to meet your individual needs. We’ve tailored our services to cater to women regardless of what phase of life they are currently in. Learn how we can help you.