In the journey of becoming an egg donor certain medical requisites are required of you in a typical egg donor cycle.
Female ovaries contain one to two million undeveloped eggs, or follicles, at birth. Throughout a woman’s life, the immense majority of follicles expire through a process defined as atresia. When a woman reaches puberty and starts to menstruate; nearly 400,000 follicles remain.
Each month after a menstrual cycle, an average of 10-20 eggs are created indifferent with each female. What is defined as the dominant egg selected by the body will encounter ovulation; the other eggs absorbed by the body.
During the egg donation cycle, the fertility drugs that a donor intakes will “highlight” the developed the eggs that would normally be rejected during the woman’s monthly menstrual cycle.
What is the Egg Donor IVF Protocol?
The egg donor will work with an IVF doctor to reach a protocol for the cycle. Once the donor is medically cleared through pre-testing and medical/genetic exams the doctor will impede a medication schedule for the egg donor to follow. .
Donors typically take medications for 3 weeks leading up to the egg retrieval. While on medications, egg donors will be observed every few days to ensure the medications and dosages are precise for the best possible retrieval.
The medical monitoring consists of blood work and an ultrasound. The protocol may change depending on the egg donor’s reaction to the drugs.
The medications involved help develop the eggs produced during the donor’s menstrual cycle. The fertility doctor has your safety and well-being as a priority and ensures that you are well educated you about the medications you will be taking, the exact medical procedures and any possible side effects or risks associated.
The first prescription will be birth control pills to coordinate your monthly menstrual cycle with the carrier, who could be the Intended Mother or the Surrogate Mother.
The second treatment is daily injections of hormones (typically Lupron) to shut down your ovulation, putting you in a short-term menopausal condition. The daily IVF injections are self-administered near the thigh or lower abdominal area with a small needle.
Once you start Lupron treatments, a series of injections using gonadotropin hormones (Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur) follows, which contributes the increase in the amount of follicles developing in the ovaries.
Follicle development is crucial as they encompass the precise eggs that are being prepared for retrieval. The timing of the egg retrieval bringing the development of the eggs to the maximum level, the egg donor is given an HCG injection to stimulate ovulation. HCG is safely prescribed and is a safe natural hormone.
It is essential that you speak with the IVF doctor to understand everything required of you prior to starting any medications.