What egg donors can expect at OHSU Fertility in Portland, Oregon
Egg donor screening and qualification process
We are seeking healthy, young women for our Egg Donor Program. After filling out our initial screening questionnaire, egg donors who qualify will be asked to:
Complete and submit detailed egg donor application form
If you initially qualify to participate as a donor, we will ask you to complete a more detailed application that will ask for information about your physical characteristics, you and your families' medical and educational backgrounds, and your interests and personality. Many of our recipient parents (the people who use donor eggs) choose donors who have characteristics similar to their own, so this information is very helpful to them.
Attend an orientation meeting
Our physician will review your detailed application and if we are able to accept it, we will invite you to an orientation meeting. During this informational session we will review all of the steps and details involved with being an egg donor and answer any questions you may have. You are welcome to bring your partner or a friend to this meeting, which lasts about 45 minutes to one hour.
After the egg donor orientation meeting, we will help you make an appointment to come in to meet with our physician for a physical exam, which will include a pelvic ultrasound and possibly a blood draw. There is no cost for the appointment or any screenings and no insurance information is required.
We want you to feel comfortable with your decision to become an egg donor. A confidential consultation with our mental health counselor is required for all prospective egg donors. There is no cost for this evaluation and it is done at a private practice counseling office with a counselor who specializes in infertility information about biological family members’ medical histories and educational backgrounds.
Our egg donor coordinator is help you through the entire process and answer any questions you have.
Once you have completed your screening and application, your description and photo will go into a confidential database viewable only by patients seeking an egg donor. Any identifiable information (such as your name) will never be available for our patients.
Patients choose their egg donor for many reasons - often because they have similar physical characteristics and interests. The information you have given during your application process will help our patients know if you are the right donor for their family.
Egg donation process and compensation
Once you have been matched with a recipient couple, you will go through the following steps for egg donation and compensation.
A blood test will screen you for blood genetic and infectious diseases. These tests are required by the FDA to be performed within a small window of time according to when your eggs are actually used.
To help synchronize your cycle with the recipient and temporarily stop you from ovulating, you will start taking birth control pills with your next period. You may also take a medication called Lupron at this time, which is injected by you or someone close to you. You will have an opportunity to meet with our nurse to review detailed instructions for how to give yourself these injections.
Side effects of the medications may include bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, hot flashes, and mood swings/irritability. Any side effects you might experience will go away after you stop taking the medications, both of which are taken daily for 2-3 weeks. At this point, you will come in to the office for a brief ultrasound and blood draw appointment.
After we have confirmed that your cycle has been suppressed, you will begin taking medication with hormones similar to what your body produces during ovulation to stimulate egg production. This medication needs to be injected by you or someone close to you twice a day for 1-2 weeks. During this time, you will come in for 4-6 brief morning appointments for ultrasounds and blood draws to monitor your response to the medications and make adjustments if necessary. It is important that you abstain from intercourse during this time as you can become pregnant.
Most people do very well with the medications and blood draws, though some may experience some redness, soreness, or bruising at the injection or needle site. Side effects of the medications may include abdominal fullness and discomfort, breast tenderness, headaches, visual changes, irritability and insomnia. Any side effects you might experience will go away after you stop taking the medications. A very rare, but potentially serious side effect of these medications is hyper stimulation of the ovaries (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome, or OHSS) in which the ovaries swell and retain fluid. While a severe form of OHSS is serious, it is treatable and usually lasts less than a week.
Egg donation procedure
After you finish the medications, we will perform an ultrasound-guided procedure in our office to retrieve the eggs from your ovaries. The procedure itself generally lasts 30 minutes and is performed using moderate sedation by an anesthesiologist. You will be awake, but will need someone to drive you home and will need to take the rest of the day off from work and school. You are also welcome to have someone accompany you during the procedure. Potential risks of the procedure may include discomfort, bleeding, or infection, or more rarely, possible damage to the intestines or other abdominal organs
After the procedure, we will ask you to refrain from strenuous activities and heavy lifting for two weeks, but otherwise are able to return to your normal activities the next day. We also like to see you back for a follow-up visit about two weeks later to ensure that you are recovering well.
To acknowledge your time and effort associated with egg donation, our egg donors are compensated $7,000 on the day of the egg collection, which is taxable income. In addition, many egg donors find it very rewarding to know they have helped a couple achieve their dreams of having a baby.