How are donors screened and selected?
Do I have to be a certain weight or size?
BMI, or body mass index, is a measure of body fat based on the height and weight of an individual. A BMI over 29.9 may affect egg quality. We must provide our donors and recipients with the best opportunities for success.
How old do I have to be to donate my eggs?
I’m a smoker. Can I still be a donor?
Do you consider vaping the same as smoking?
I know you have to be nicotine-free for at least three months, but how long is it for marijuana use?
I’ve had my tubes tied or a partial hysterectomy. Can I still donate?
I am a cancer survivor, or I have a family history of cancer and/or other illnesses. Can I still donate?
Do you have to have given birth before you can donate?
When getting tested to see if I qualify as an egg donor, do I have to go to your Raleigh office, or can I go to a doctor closer to home and have the results sent to you?
I currently have an IUD (PARAGARD), will this disqualify me?
Your pre-screen email requests photographs of me from ages 1-10. Do you need one from every year?
What’s the process?
Screening – Screening is free and includes a consultation with one of our endocrinologists, as well as a physical exam, infectious disease screening, genetic testing, and a psychological evaluation.
Matching – If you’re designated as an eligible egg donor, you’ll be matched with a waiting recipient. Next, we’ll synchronize your cycle with your recipient’s cycle using birth control pills.
Preparation – Once your cycle is synchronized with your recipient’s, you’ll transition from birth control pills to injected fertility medications. You’ll then be monitored with ultrasounds and blood work approximately four times over the following week or two, and your medications will be adjusted accordingly if necessary. When your eggs are finally ready for retrieval, you’ll self-administer one final injection that will determine the arrival time for your procedure.
Retrieval – The actual donation procedure takes less than twenty minutes. You’ll be sedated and monitored in our Raleigh fertility center. Altogether, this visit will take approximately two hours and you’ll need someone else to drive you home.
Once we are matched with a recipient, what are the next steps?
First, you’ll have an appointment with a nurse to review the monitoring procedures and medications involved.
After taking birth control pills for a short time, you’ll be given medication to stimulate your ovaries.
Ovary stimulation happens with natural hormones given by daily injection. As a result, you will have multiple eggs available at the same time. The process of stimulating the ovaries and harvesting eggs takes about 11-16 days.
A second medication is started when the follicles reach 13-14 mm, to prevent the premature release of the eggs. Progress is monitored by ultrasound and blood estrogen levels.
When the lead follicles reach 15-20 mm in size, you’ll receive one last shot of a medication called Lupron (GnRH agonist) 36 hours before your scheduled egg retrieval. The Lupron prepares the eggs for fertilization and loosens their attachments to the follicle.
The morning after taking Lupron, you’ll come to the clinic and have your blood drawn to see whether the trigger shot worked.
The night before your egg retrieval procedure, you will be asked to stop all food or drink after midnight.
How long does the process normally take?
How safe is the procedure?
Are there side effects or damage from the birth control and fertility injections? Is it mandatory to use the birth control?
Does it hurt to have my eggs retrieved?
Are there any possible health complications regarding the retrieval stage that I should be aware of?
How many eggs are donated in one cycle?
Can I still have intercourse during a donation cycle?
How much is donor compensation?
What is a completed egg retrieval?
After your egg retrieval, before you head home, you will receive your check.
How will I be paid?
What is required of me to receive the compensation?
Taking good care of yourself
Giving blood samples
Giving yourself subcutaneous injections
Coming in for multiple pelvic ultrasounds
Coming in for a final egg harvesting procedure.
Do I have to spend any money to get ready to donate my eggs?
Is there any chance that I won't receive my full compensation?
Is donor compensation taxable?
Will I need to fill out a W-9 or a W-2? Is the compensation taxable?
What if I have to take time off from work to meet my obligations as an egg donor? Am I reimbursed for lost wages?
Do you like to bring helping others?
Why would someone need my eggs?
Why are donor eggs needed?
The most common issues are natural aging; premature ovarian failure; chemotherapy, or surgical removal of an ovary.
Less commonly, a woman may choose not to use her own oocytes to prevent passing a genetic disorder on to her child.
Occasionally, same-sex male partners achieve parenthood through the combined use of egg donation and a gestational carrier.
What are the requirements to become an egg donor?
Excellent ovarian reserve – We’ll test your ovarian reserve during the screening process to determine if you have a good supply of eggs available for harvesting each month. Removing extra eggs will not cause you to reach menopause sooner, as all the eggs available each month either ovulate or die naturally. In essence, the fertility center is rescuing eggs that would otherwise die.
A flexible schedule – Donors must be able to come to the clinic for frequent blood draws and ultrasounds at critical times for testing and monitoring.
Willingness to receive subcutaneous injections – Medications used in oocyte donation are often administered by injection using a very small needle just under the skin.