Once you are approved a an egg donor and matched with a recipient, you will undergo a medical evaluation with either a fertility specialist near you or with the recipient's endocrinologist. The evaluation will entail some blood tests, a pelvic exam and a trans-vaginal ultrasound as well as a short psychological evaluation. Assuming the evaluation indicates satisfactory clinical ranges, your next menstrual period will usually become the starting date of your egg donor cycle.
On day 21 of your cycle, you will begin a series of oral and injectable medication, which you will take for approximately three weeks. The injections are small (subcutaneous) shots used to stimulate egg maturation within your ovaries. A nurse will demonstrate how to administer the shots to yourself.
During this time, you will also be scheduled for 30-minute regular appointments with an IVF specialist to monitor your progress on the medication and to ensure that your ovaries are being stimulated properly. You must reliably communicate with the IVF nursing staff to ensure that you have instructions on how much medication to take.
Depending on your recipient's decision, you travel (with a spouse or companion) to the recipient's fertility clinic several days before your scheduled retrieval. (Sometimes the recipient will travel to the IVF clinic nearest you). The actual egg retrieval procedure requires sedation administered through an IV. A vaginal probe guides a small needle through the vaginal wall to reach the ovaries and retrieve mature eggs. The IVF physician will retrieve between 10-20 mature eggs, which are donated to your recipient. The procedure takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Because of the sedation, you will need a ride home or to your hotel after the egg retrieval.
After the donated eggs are collected, they are combined with sperm in the IVF laboratory which will result in viable embryos. An appropriate number of the viable embryos will be transferred to the recipient's uterus. Any remaining embryos may be frozen for a future transfer, donated for research or destroyed, depending on the recipient's decision.