Become an Egg Donor

 

Helping a couple achieve the baby of their dreams can be an infinitely rewarding experience. And donating your healthy eggs is just one of the many ways to do that.

  • Egg donation in recent years has become a very successful option for couples that would otherwise be unable to have children. Dr. Nichols/Payne and the staff of PREG want to guide you through a very fulfilling experience of helping someone's dreams of having a family become a reality.
  • Egg donors are usually anonymous unless the recipient has a family member or friend who chooses to be a donor. Potential donors can come forward on a voluntary basis for many different reasons. All anonymous donors must undergo extensive screening to assure they are suitable candidates. Donors must be healthy women between the ages of 21 and 32, but PREG uses age 26 as the upper cutoff age to begin an evaluation of a potential egg donor.
  • They are asked to complete a thorough questionnaire that is reviewed by our staff. If they are potentially good candidates then a very detailed personal medical history as well as past and present family medical history is reviewed. Please provide two baby pictures as well as two preschool pictures (age 3-5 years) of yourself which will be viewed by potential recipients. We also need a full length recent picture of yourself which will NOT be made available to potential recipients but will be used by PREG to help us to "match" you with a recipient.
  • An interview with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist as well as an MMPI (a personality profile) is administered to ensure there are no underlying psychological issues present. They are also counseled on the psychological and physical effects of donating eggs to make sure they are able to adjust well. In addition, all donors are screened for sexually transmitted diseases and any other infectious disease.
  • The egg donors are anonymous and the potential recipient's information is not given to the donor or the outcome of the donor egg cycle itself. The recipient does have available to them parts of the donor's profile and psychological evaluation but no specific identifying information. This allows the recipient to make the best decision regarding potential donors.
  • Recipients and donors are matched using a list of specific requirements or characteristics that they want from their donor such as physical attributes, education, or ethnicity. Dr. Nichols/Payne and the PREG staff work very closely with donors and recipients in helping make appropriate matches.
  • While going through an egg donor cycle, the donor and the recipient's menstrual cycle will be synchronized together usually with medications. When both the donor and recipient are regulated, the donor starts fertility medications (daily injections) to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The recipient during this time will be monitored by using ultrasound and blood tests to make sure the lining (endometrium) of her uterus is optimal for receiving embryos.
  • When the eggs are matured, they are harvested by way of an ultrasound guided retrieval in which the donor is sedated and will feel no discomfort. After the eggs are retrieved, the egg donor participation is over. The retrieved eggs will then be fertilized in the lab with the recipient's partner's sperm by procedures that offer the best fertilization results. The embryologist in the IVF lab will determine the choice of fertilization method (IVF - in vitro fertilization versus ICSI - intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
  • Three to five days after retrieval of the eggs the resultant embryo(s) will be transferred to the recipient's uterus. After the embryo transfer the recipient will continue being monitored with blood work and a pregnancy test will be done in about two weeks.  If there is an excess of embryos the recipient will be given the choice of freezing (cryopreservation). This will give the recipient additional attempts to conceive.
  • Split Donor Cycles are also offered to appropriate patients to help share the expenses of a donor cycle with another couple. A primary recipient will be matched for donation and then a secondary recipient candidate will be found. The eggs retrieved from the donor are split so that half of the eggs go to one recipient and half to the other. A potential risk of a split donor cycle is that an insufficient number of eggs are produced not allowing a split between the two recipients. In this case, all the eggs would go to the primary recipient and the secondary recipient would be dropped from the cycle and would be moved to a primary slot in another cycle.

Egg Donor Recipient and Information

A Letter with Love: First Time Egg Donor Writes to Recipient

To the New Family,

Maybe writing you a letter is not typical of this experience, but then, Iíve never been one to follow the norm. ☺ I want you to know that I am SO excited that I get to be a small part of your lives for this one moment. Although I think of both of you all the time, I have found that through this process I feel the most connection with the future (or maybe already!) mom. So, it is to you that I write now, grateful that you trusted me to give you this incredible gift. I promise I did everything in my power to make sure these little baby eggs were as perfect as they could possibly be for you, and I know you canít wait to see the fruit of that effort turn into your perfect little baby girl or boy!

In just a few days now you are going to be a mother, and I will have the lifelong honor of knowing that I was able to be a part of making that happen for you. That thought has been on my mind ever since I first received the phone call telling me that somewhere out there a couple had chosen me to help them fulfill their dream of becoming parents. In some ways, I still canít fully believe that I get to do this, that I get to be the reason you are able to be a mom!

Years ago, I had friends who found difficulty in conceiving a child together. As I read her words in her blog, seeing the struggle of her heart as she so desperately wanted to be able to bring a child into her world, my own world was changed. At the time, I had no idea that one day life would bring me to the other side of her struggle, but when I think about this entire process I picture her struggle when I think of you. Though you likely have not taken every step she did and you are a very different person, I know in my heart that you, like her, are meant to be a mother. This child is meant to be yours. I donít believe in fate, but I do believe that this small piece of me was always meant to be a piece of you. Next week I wonít be losing anything, but finally giving you what was rightfully yours.

When I think of the future this beautiful baby will have with your family, I can only feel that he is so lucky to have parents who wanted him so much. To know what you did, what you sacrificed, how hard you prayed for her, will only be the tip of the iceberg in realizing just how much she is loved. If there is just one thing I would tell him, one thing I want her to know, itís that you, his mother, could never love him more and that no other person on this earth besides you will ever love her the same. To have you in his life means that he already has the best gift the world could possibly bring to her. That little baby is so blessed.

I know that you have my entire medical history. Youíve seen pictures of me as a small child. You know the color of my hair and eyes and skin. Maybe any more information about who I am doesnít really matter, but I do want to share just a little bit of me with you. I am a bookworm. I love to read and I love to learn. I excel in science and English, but find little interest in math or history, though I still always manage to get that all-important A! ☺ I adore music and I listen to everything from classic rock to electronic to folksy acoustic music. I like to stay active. I run and hike and twist myself into knots during yoga classes. I love to laugh and find so much happiness and joy in the simple things in my life. Most importantly, I cherish the people I love and would do anything for them.

I wish for you and your new family a lifetime of laughter, of cuddles and kisses and happiness. I know you look forward to so many firsts for this sweet baby that youíre going to have soon, and I know that you will cherish every one of those moments more because of what youíve been through to bring your child into the world. I hope you know that whenever you cross my mind, I will think of each of you with so much love and excitement for the future that you have together. Your family is such a beautiful one and I am eternally grateful to be able to help you make these moments a reality.

With so much love, Me