Learn about the egg donor recipient process
1. Consultation and Intake
The process begins with a free consultation, with no obligation to use our services. We’ll discuss what your fertility journey has been like so far, where you are in the process emotionally, and what you’re looking for in an egg donor. If you decide to use Donor Concierge to find a donor, you’ll fill out our online Intended Parent Intake, submit photographs, and make a secure payment. We operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and generally book clients about a week in advance.
2. The Egg Donor Search Process
We understand that deciding to work with an egg donor can be an emotionally complicated journey. You may have already been through multiple in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, or may be frustrated by the money and time spent on unsuccessful treatments. Add to that the hundreds of donor agencies with thousands of donor profiles to sift through, and the process can seem extremely stressful. That’s where we come in.
Once you’ve decided to partner with Donor Concierge, you’ll have a more in-depth conversation with your assigned case manager to review your egg donor criteria and overall family-building goals. The donor search then takes approximately two weeks to complete. Throughout this time, we’ll be working closely with your dedicated case manager to continuously refine your search results. We’ll send you prospective donor profiles every day or two, and we encourage all clients to review them within 24 hours, as donors are often matched very quickly.
While your case manager is searching for your egg donor, they will also:
- Follow up with donor agencies about your favorite candidates.
- Confirm donors’ availability and willingness to travel.
- Help place holds on donors while you finalize your decision.
- Arrange for the donor to undergo initial testing and screenings locally before you’ve fully committed. (This will depend on the specific agency, but most are cooperative.)
- Arrange for medical records to be sent to your clinic.
- Maintain your privacy and release your name only when you give us permission.
3. Reserving Your Egg Donor
Once we’ve helped you find the right candidate, we’ll introduce you to the egg donor agency. You’ll sign an agreement to work with this agency and they will take over the cycle coordination with your clinic to have the donor complete her thorough medical screening, including genetic testing and FDA testing. You’ll also need to engage a fertility attorney who will prepare legal documents for you and the donor to sign. We’ll help you with all of this, providing introductions to specialist attorneys or fertility clinics.
We provide ongoing support and will serve as a dedicated resource for all of your questions and concerns, even after the match is made, to ensure you get the personalized assistance you deserve. Whether you require legal, psychological, physical, or emotional guidance, we can refer you to specialists who meet your exact needs.
4. The Egg Donor Cycle
First, your donor will be given medication to suppress her menstrual cycle so that your doctor can monitor her egg production. This is often done with birth control pils and/or Lupron injections. If you’re doing a fresh transfer, your menstrual cycle will be synchronized with the donor’s in order to prepare for a transfer after egg retrieval.
Next, the egg donor will undergo hormone injections over the course of 10 to 12 days. This stimulates the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. She will be monitored regularly, usually by ultrasound, to assess how she is responding to the medication. If she doesn’t live near your clinic, the beginning of this process can be done at a local monitoring clinic, with the donor traveling to your clinic on or around day 7 of her cycle.
When your doctor determines she’s ready, your donor will be given an injection of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This last injection is administered intramuscularly, 36 hours prior to retrieval. hCG signals the eggs to mature so that they may be retrieved.
The day of the egg retrieval, your donor will be given a mild sedative, and the mature eggs will be extracted vaginally with an ultrasound-guided needle and placed in a petri dish.
Your egg donor will rest for 45 to 90 minutes after the retrieval. She will need to be driven home by someone after the procedure and have someone stay with her for the next 24 to 48 hours to monitor her recovery. If she has traveled by plane, your clinic will provide guidelines as to when it is safe for her to fly back home.
Within a few hours, sperm will be introduced into the dish, and either natural fertilization will occur or your reproductive endocrinologist (RE) may recommend intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a process in which sperm is injected directly into the eggs to help increase the chances of fertilization.
In most cases, your RE will create embryos that are frozen, in order to complete embryo testing and prepare for a frozen embryo transfer to your uterus, or that of your gestational carrier. If you’re doing a fresh embryo transfer, your doctor will be preparing your body to receive the embryos, sychronizing your cycle with the donor’s in preparation for a fresh embryo transfer. Either way, this can be a stressful time, but also one of great hope—you’re on your way to building a family!
The embryos are allowed to grow and develop for five days. On day five, one or two embryos (now called blastocysts) will be graded for quality and transferred into your uterus, or your that of your gestational carrier to grow.
Egg Donation FAQ
Typically, using an egg donor cycle costs between $30,000 and $65,000. Price is dependent upon where you find your egg donor (clinic vs. agency), her requested compensation, and the drug costs for each woman involved.
Live birth rates are about the same among younger and older women using donor eggs. Women in their late 20s through mid-40s average about a 55% birth rate using fresh (not frozen) embryos created through egg donation. A woman whose own ovarian reserve has diminished is five to ten times more likely to conceive using donor eggs than she would be using her own eggs.
When choosing a clinic, take the time to compare donor egg success rates, and be sure to work with a clinic that handles a lot of third-party reproduction cycles.
For the recipient of donor eggs, there is a higher likelihood of a multiple pregnancy (meaning twins or triplets or more). For the egg donor herself, potential risks include ovarian hyperstimulation.
If you give birth to your baby—even if you are using an egg donor—you are the legal parent. If you are using a surrogate, the legal situation can be a little more complicated, depending on your marital status and the state in which you live. We advise consulting with an attorney who specializes in third-party reproduction matters.
Learn More about the Egg Donor Recipient Process
Our compassionate case managers can answer all of your questions about the egg donor recipient process. We are your advocates in this journey, and we work only for you.
We invite you to find out more about the egg donation process, explore our success rates, and receive a free Orientation Guide.
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