Thank you for visiting our website to learn about becoming an Egg Donor. Only through the generous gift of egg donation will couples have the chance to carry and deliver a child and complete their families.As an egg donor, rest assured that we will take care of you very well and consider you part of our family. We look forward meeting you!
Egg Donor Requirements
You must be between the ages of 21-28, in excellent health, be a non-smoker, and have a minimum of a High School Diploma or GED. A college degree, or working toward a degree is not required, but is highly desirable. Also, for your health and safety, we require that height and weight are proportional, as listed below.
Weight Chart (Egg Donor must weigh less than stated weight)
|Height||4’ 10”||4’ 11”||5’ 0”||5’ 1”||5’ 2”||5’ 3”||5’ 4”||5’5”|
|Height||5’6”||5’7”||5’ 8”||5’ 9’’||5’ 10”||5’ 11”||6’ 0”|
The process to become an Egg Donor takes approximately 1-2 months. Once you are selected as a donor, the donation cycle involves approximately 2 weeks. During these 2 weeks you will have 3-4 brief office visits, usually in the mornings. You can return to work or school as needed. The only full day of work or school missed is the day of the egg retrieval since anesthesia is used. The day following the egg retrieval you may return to work or school and most normal activities.
While TFC works with known donors, the vast majority of our donors are anonymous. The Intended Parents will know only of your characteristics, relevant details of your medical and family history, donor number, year of your birth, and see a picture of you that you provide. Your name and other identifying information will remain strictly confidential. Because of privacy laws, we do not inform you if a pregnancy results from your donation.
Benefits for the Egg Donors
One of the main reasons our Donors give for donating eggs is the Donor’s desire to help another person experience the joys of having and raising children. This “gift of life and love” is a strong motivating factor for a woman to donate eggs for the benefit of another woman.
Because you will take daily hormonal injections during the cycle, and undergo a non-surgical egg retrieval, the dedication and effort involved is substantial. Financial compensation starting at $3500 is paid for your time, commitment, and responsibility involved in the donation cycle and is not dependant upon the number of eggs retrieved.
There is no cost to you for the medications, labs, monitoring, or egg retrieval. Any child (or children) born from your donation is the legal and financial responsibility of the Intended Parents.
Egg Donation was first used successfully in women in 1984 and was considered a major breakthrough in modern reproductive treatment. Initially used for women whose ovaries didn’t function, egg donation has expanded to women: whose eggs carry a genetic defect, are experiencing premature menopause, or who have poor egg quality.
Stimulating egg growth or ovarian stimulation is the first step in the IVF donation cycle. You will administer hormonal medications to stimulate the growth and development of several eggs. The medications are injected just beneath the skin (subcutaneous)-similar to an insulin injection. At the medication class we’ll teach you how to self-administer the medications and most donors find they can easily do the injections themselves. We can also instruct another person of your choice if you prefer. Usually the medications are taken for 10-12 days depending on how fast the eggs grow.
The second step of the donation cycle is to monitor the eggs' growth. We monitor the growth in 2 ways: by ultrasound and blood tests. After taking the hormonal medication for 5 days, we perform a vaginal ultrasound to count and measure the number and size of the follicles (a balloon-like sac in which the eggs grow). Subsequent ultrasounds (2-3) are performed as needed over the next few days until the follicles are the correct size. The ultrasound procedure is essentially painless. When you come for the vaginal ultrasounds we will also draw blood to measure the amount of hormone the follicles are making. By combining the information from the ultrasounds and blood test results we gain a complete picture of how the eggs are developing.
The third step is the Egg Retrieval. It is accomplished non-surgically using a vaginal ultrasound probe (just like the monitoring) to guide the needle into the ovaries. Dr. Troché will visualize a follicle with the ultrasound probe and then pass the needle through the upper part of the vagina to puncture the follicle and aspirate (suck out) its fluid and egg. Dr. Troché will get all eggs from the follicles that he can safely retrieve. For your comfort and safety, an anesthesiologist administers sedating medication so that you sleep through the 20-30 minute procedure. This is twilight sleep, not general anesthesia, and after recovering for an hour in our office, you can go home to rest for the remainder of the day. You can resume regular activities (driving, work, school) the next day. We will give you the compensation check the day of the retrieval and will call you a few days after the retrieval to ensure everything is well.
The medications the donor administers to stimulate growth and development of the eggs are synthetic versions of the natural hormone released each month - Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). These medications, Follistim and Gonal –F, are made using recombinant technology and are very pure and reliably consistent in their potency. A second medication called Ganarelix or Cetratide is added to prevent the premature release (ovulation) of the eggs before they are mature and ready for retrieval. The last medication is used to fully mature the developed eggs and prepare them for retrieval. One of two medications is used for this purpose, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or the GnRH agonist Lupron. All these medications are administered as subcutaneous injections (like the insulin injection).
Side effects of the Medications
Some women have questions about the medications used in the cycle. The hormonal medications used to stimulate the ovaries have been used for over 20 years to treat women who do not ovulate regularly. As with any medication there are possible side effects and these will be thoroughly discussed with you. The most common side effects are pain, redness and/or bruising at the injection site.
Occasionally, the ovaries respond better than expected to the medication and the ovaries become over stimulated. Ovarian Hyperstimulation generally causes enlarged ovaries accompanied by abdominal discomfort and/or pain. This condition is self-limiting (only lasts until your next period) and can be reduced with the administration of an anti-estrogen medication. Rarely, in severe cases, additional symptoms may require careful monitoring of the donor and possibly hospitalization.
Studies show no increased incidence, now or in the future, of birth defects, congenital abnormalities, spontaneous miscarriages, or ovarian cancer associated with the use of these medications. The medications won’t interfere with your ability to become pregnant and menopause won’t occur sooner.
Troché Fertility Centers prides itself on informing donors and patients alike about all aspects of any procedure performed. More information will be provided and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have during the interview with our Program Coordinator.
2. COMPLETE THE DONOR PROFILE
You can complete the Donor Profile (fill-in PDF form can be emailed) or you can request one by calling the office at 602 993-8636. This Profile is shared with Intended Parents so they can “get to know you” without you ever meeting. It asks questions about physical characteristics, education, personal and family history, and interests. There is also a Communicable Disease questionnaire required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (fill-in PDF form can be emailed). We ask that you return (mail, email or fax) these completed forms to Ann Collins, our Third Party Coordinator. Recent pictures of yourself, close up and full-length pictures are required and can be mailed, emailed or brought to the personal interview appointment.
3. PERSONAL INTERVIEW
The third step is a personal interview with Ann Collins. During the interview a more in-depth explanation of the donation process is provided including risks, side effects of the medications and procedure, benefits, screening and testing performed, and compensation. All your questions will be answered at this time as well. We, at TFC, take great pride in knowing we have fully informed donors and patients.
The final step in becoming an Egg Donor is the evaluation process. Unlike other programs, we have donors complete a thorough social and psychological screening before they are available for matching with Intended Parents-this allows the donation cycle to begin sooner. Additional medical, genetic, and infectious disease testing is completed before the donation cycle and ensures the donor has a healthy experience and maintains the high standard of care our Donors and Intended Parents expect.
Does it hurt?
Many Donors will feel some discomfort or feelings of fullness around the time of the egg retrieval and possibly for a short time after the retrieval. We prescribe for our Donors a medication (in pill form) to decrease some of these symptoms. Any discomfort is usually fully resolved with the next period. A mild pain medication (also a pill) is ordered for your comfort.
Women may donate if they have had an abortion in the past.
Donors are expected to abstain from sexual intercourse once the fertility medications are started and until the following menstrual period. The Donor is very fertile during this time and abstaining from intercourse will prevent the Donor from inadvertently becoming pregnant herself. It will also decrease the risk of complications and discomfort.
Except for known Donors brought by the Intended Parents, all Donor information except birth year and pertinent family and health information is kept confidential and not released to the Intended Parents. Any contact between the Donor and Intended Parents will be conducted through Troché Fertility Centers until such time as the present laws are changed.
Bilateral Tubal Ligation (“Tubal or tied tubes”)
Women may donate if they have had a tubal ligation.
Birth Control Pills
Many Donors use Birth Control Pills as a routine contraceptive method. We ask Donors to briefly discontinue use of the Pill two times: one is during the evaluation period so that we can accurately determine the amount of fertility medication each individual Donor will need, and the second is when the fertility medications are started for the donation cycle. The Pill may be used between the evaluation period and the donation cycle, and can resume with the period following the donation cycle.
Compensation for the Donor is paid immediately following the egg retrieval procedure. The $3500 - $4500 fee compensates the Donor for her time, missed work time, commitment to administer the medication in the appropriate manner and to attend all appointments, for any discomfort and potential risk (low) of injury from the egg retrieval. The IRS does not consider this compensation a gift, and must be reported. A Form 1099 will be sent to each Donor in January following the egg donation.
Depo-Provera and Norplant
Donors must have the Norplant removed and be off the Depo-Provera medication for several months before initiating the screening process or donating.
We encourage all of our Donors to be physically fit and active. However, once the fertility medications are started and until the following menstrual period, we recommend they refrain from strenuous or excessive exercise for their comfort and to decrease the risk of medical complications. Mild to Moderate exercise (walking, biking, yoga, etc) is encouraged. Once the menstrual period following the donation cycle occurs the Donor is free to resume a more strenuous exercise program if desired.
How often can I donate?
Present guidelines recommend that a Donor may donate up to 6 times in her lifetime.
How long must I wait before donating again?
We recommend you wait at least 1 month between donations. A back-to-back donation puts the Donor at higher risk for complications.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Donors with an IUD may donate eggs without having the IUD removed if it is a non-hormone releasing type. Hormone releasing IUDs such as the Mirena will interfere with the screening tests and the donation cycle and must be removed prior to the screening and donation cycle.
Troché Fertility Centers tries to minimize the Donor’s time away from work or school and will try to schedule appointments at a convenient time for the Donor. All appointments for monitoring follicle development usually occur in the morning and last less than 30 min. Only the day of egg retrieval requires a full day off from work or school. Discretely worded notes from the physician are available if necessary.
Some Donors use Nuva-rings as a routine contraceptive method. We ask Donors to briefly discontinue use of the Nuva-ring two times: one is during the evaluation period so that we can accurately determine the amount of fertility medication each individual Donor will need, and the second is the month before the donation cycle (we use birth control pills immediately before the donation cycle). Use of the Ring may resume with the period following the donation cycle.
I’ve never been pregnant, can I still donate?
It is not necessary to have been pregnant to donate your eggs.
Do I have any responsibility for any child born from my donation?
The Donor has no parental, custodial, emotional, legal or financial obligations to any embryos, fetuses, or child (ren) created or born from an egg donation.
Tattoo and Piercings
Donors must wait 8 weeks after receiving a body piercing (if sterile technique used) before donating and it must be fully healed. Tattoos placed using sterile technique do not have a waiting period. Because of the risk of infectious disease, if the Donor is unsure whether sterile technique was used, she must wait for 1 year after receiving the tattoo or body piercing before donating.
Many vaccinations require a short waiting period (2-4 weeks) after the vaccination. We recommend a Donor schedule routine immunizations for the month following a donation cycle. Vaccinations with wait periods include: Chicken Pox, Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Tetanus, and Smallpox.
If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Ann Collins, our Third Party Coordinator. If interested in becoming a donor, please request an information packet from our Center at (602) 993-8636 or download the fill-in PDF Donor Profile. Completed forms can be emailed, mailed, or faxed (602) 993-2528 to Ann.
Thank you for your interest in becoming an Egg Donor and helping an infertile couple complete their family. It is truly a precious gift you are considering giving to another.
Meet Dr. Troché
He is one of the country's highly-respected fertility experts in the medical community.
Our office in Glendale is conveniently located for improved access to our fertility treatment serivces.
Meet our Fertility Family
We consider all our patients part of our family. Connect with others for information and support.