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How Long is the Egg Donation Process?

There are many reasons why some women have difficulty getting pregnant and may benefit from the help of an egg donor. One of the most common reasons is the aging process. As women age, the number of eggs that still remain in the ovaries decreases along with the health and quality of these eggs. 

Egg donors make it possible for some women who have health problems or don’t have healthy eggs of their own to successfully achieve pregnancy. Among women who are interested in donated eggs, one of the most common questions we hear at the Center for Reproductive Health is “How long is the egg donation process?” Typically the egg donation process takes approximately four weeks.

Screening of Potential Donors

Several screening tests are done on women who are interested in being egg donors. Donors must be in good health and between the ages of 20 and 31. Tests that are done to screen candidates include:

  • A genetic screening and a family medical history are done to check for genetic diseases and hereditary conditions.
  • A health screening is done to evaluate overall health and to check for drug use and sexually transmitted diseases. 
  • Ovarian function and reserve are evaluated.
  • A psychological exam is done.

Donors are required to be nonsmokers and to have a healthy BMI. At the Center for Reproductive Health, egg donations require a legal contact, so donors are also required to not be contractually obligated to donate eggs to another agency.

Steps Involved in Egg Donation

On the second or third day of a donor’s period, an ultrasound and blood test are done. As long as no unexpected problems are discovered, birth control pills are prescribed for two to three weeks, which helps to schedule egg donation. 

After the birth control cycle is completed, the donor returns to the clinic. The next step is to begin daily injections of fertility hormones, which stimulate multiple follicles to grow. The donor is taught how to administer injections at home. This can also be done by a family member. Injections are given for around ten to twelve days and don’t usually cause significant discomfort. During this time, the donor visits the clinic several times for continued monitoring and evaluation.

Egg retrieval surgery is the final step. The procedure is painless and takes approximately 30 minutes. The donor is sedated during the procedure and needs a ride home after spending an hour or so in recovery. The donor should get her next period in approximately ten days.

Donated eggs can be fertilized in a lab setting and transferred into a recipient’s uterus. Embryos can also be frozen and transferred at a later time.

Women who donate their eggs provide a priceless gift to women who are struggling to conceive and donors are well compensated for this gift. For more information on egg donation, in vitro fertilization or other types of assisted reproductive technology, reach out to the fertility experts at the Center for Reproductive Health today.