Donor’s Medical Assessment
To determine health and conditions to donate, donors have a very criterial and detailed assessment.
All of them do a psychology consultation. In this, they can confidentially analyze and discuss personal, psychological or social aspects related to the donation process. The aim is the understanding of every detail so that an informed consent is signed. In this interview subjects like motivation, social, ethical and legal implications associated to donation are considered. On the other hand, all general information about the donation process is given.
In this interview the donors fill in a clinical detailed inquiry, concerning legal principles under honor compromise. The inquiry shall be later discussed and thoroughly seen in the medical consultation. Neither psychometric tests, nor selection of donors according to their personality characteristics is done. These factors do much depend on the donors’ personal history, having therefore no risk of genetic transmission.
To determine their healthy state, egg donors need to undergo a complete gynecological examination checking thus the normal function of their reproductive system.
Several blood tests are done to check the existence of some diseases, namely Hepatitis B and C, HIV (AIDS), syphilis and others.
In this consultation, the doctor also inquires if the donor or her closest family has any genetic or hereditary diseases. A karyotype (analysis to chromosomes) is also done to detect genetic diseases (such as Fragile X). There are no tests that can detect all possible genetic diseases.
These tests not only check for the donor’s health, but also her potential to become pregnant later on.
Donation – Costless to the donor
Economical aspects shall not be the main reason for donation. It is common to find women who are blood or bone marrow donors already. The donor receives compensation, regardless the number or quality of the eggs. This amount covers time expenses, disturbances associated to the administration of injections and the treatment itself, dislocation expenses and possible absences from work during the whole process.
Whatever the reasons to donate eggs, hundreds of couples shall be eternally grateful for such decision. Nevertheless, AVA Clinic intends its donors to see the donation project as personal worth and altruistic attitude. It is important for them to understand the whole treatment, its risks and the human dimension of a donation program. What the donors remember most is the fact that they can help infertile couples. Therefore, many of them repeat the program for several times.
Egg donor’s treatment
Egg donation medical procedure is similar to the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) one. Since eggs are more difficult to freeze (rather than sperm) its fertilisation must happen after their collection.
In a donation cycle, the ovaries stimulation is intended to produce more eggs than in a normal cycle. Medication is similar to that in IVF. Before beginning, the cycles of both egg donor and egg recipient must be synchronized through contraceptive pills or other hormones. The donor’s treatment endures about 17 days, which corresponds to the taking of medication. After menstruation the treatment begins, being the ovaries stimulated with injectable hormones (gonadotrophins). This allows the development of a larger number of follicles (little bags of liquid in the middle of which eggs are found).
The subcutaneous injections are daily administrated by the donor for 9 to 12 days, in a simple way, resorting to a device similar to the one used by diabetics when taking insulin. During this period, ultrasound scans are done to check the ovaries’ response.
After the follicles mature, a subcutaneous injection is administrated so that eggs are released into the follicular liquid. About 36 hours after, eggs are collected. This procedure takes about 30 minutes and is done with the help of an ultrasound scan and under sedative drugs or analgesics to avoid pain and discomfort. After the procedure the donor stays under surveillance for the necessary time. She can proceed with her routine, being unnecessary to remain at the clinic.
The process of fertilisation proceeds in the laboratory, where eggs are fertilised with the recipient husband sperm. As for the remaining embryos, one or two shall be implanted in the egg recipient uterus some days after.
The donor shall menstruate within a week and both her hormonal system and menstrual cycle shall go rapidly back to normal. One month after donation, the donor makes a follow-up consultation so that comments on the process can be taken.
Egg Donation Risks
Since its beginning in 1983 egg donation is a process in which risks are minimum and tolerable. This led to such an increase that thousands of donation cycles occur annually all over the world. Donation has no influence on the donor’s fertility, since the number of eggs extracted is reduced.
In some women the hormonal treatment may cause tiredness, headaches and the injections may cause temporary burning on the administration local. By the end of the treatment some swelling and abdominal pain may occur. Some donors may have an ovarian hyperreaction caused by medication (hyperstimulation). Nevertheless, this risk is reduced through ultrasound scans that control the ovarian response. During egg collection the risk of infection or hemorrhage is minimized (less than 1 in 1000 cases). The use of pill or IUD (Intrauterine device) is not contraindicative for the treatment, although the pill is stopped while in treatment.
Some women refer some anxiety during the treatment. This is related to their responsibility in doing the correct procedures, expectations on their eggs quality and the wish for a successful treatment.
All researches on women who made egg donation reveal no psychological disturbance in the near future even in women who never had children.
Positive Aspects of Egg Donation
Donors refer that donation brought them great personal satisfaction since they can be helpful and generous to those couples that need something they can provide them for. This feeling often leads them to repeat donation some time after.
On the other hand, doing a thorough gynecological examination might help to diagnose and treat changes that in long term may endanger their own fertility.
Being an egg Donor in AVA Clinic’s Donation Program.
If you wish to donate or receive further detailed information, please contact our clinic. All information on the process is given and all your doubts cleared up.