Beginning Your Egg Donor Cycle

Important facts to keep in mind as you start the egg donor process

Beginning your egg donor cycle is an exciting time with a lot of complex details! And while we go over the egg donor experience thoroughly during the application interview, it’s easy to forget things along the way. So, whether you’re a repeat donor or donating for the first time, here are some important facts to remember before beginning your egg donor cycle.

No Two Donor Cycles Are Exactly Alike

You may have noticed that we use a lot of language like “typically” or “in most donation cycles.” That’s because each donation cycle is different. Even repeat donors sometimes find that their experience changes between donation cycles. Your body might respond a little differently to the medications, or it might take a bit longer for the eggs to mature, or you might have more or fewer eggs than the average amount. So when you are beginning your egg donor cycle, try to go into it with an open mind, rather than expecting an exact timeline or experience. The most important thing is knowing that your medical team will make sure you are taken care of. Everything else is just part of your unique donor journey.

You Can’t Force the Timeline

Ovulation is part of a natural cycle, and each donor’s cycle has its own schedule. Typically, a donor takes hormonal medications for about two weeks, then receives a trigger shot to release the eggs once they are mature. The trigger shot happens 36 hours before the retrieval.

But like we said, “typically” doesn’t mean “always”! Your eggs may take longer to develop, or they may be ready to go right at two weeks. There’s no real way to predict the timeline; instead, doctors monitor you regularly to see how the eggs are developing, and when they’re ready, they’re ready.

For this reason, if you have to travel to the intended parents’ clinic for the egg retrieval, we schedule a five-to-eight-day window for you and your travel companion. You may be able to get the trigger shot on the first day and have the retrieval two days later. On the other hand, you may need to wait a day or two before getting the trigger show. Each body responds differently, and the retrieval time can’t be forced or predicted exactly.

It’s important that your travel companion plans to stay with you during the entire visit. You must have a companion with you for the egg retrieval, because of the sedation involved. Before beginning your egg donor cycle, make sure your companion knows they are expected to stay the entire time. On the plus side, the intended parents pay for travel expenses for you and your companion, so think of it as a little get-away!

There Are Things to Think About After Donating

Let’s be crystal clear: as a donor, you don’t have any legal or parental rights or responsibilities to any children conceived with your donated eggs. However, there are still ways that egg donation can affect the rest of your life. It’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about this before beginning your egg donor cycle.

First, it’s helpful and responsible to stay in touch with your egg donation agency and let them know if any unexpected health issues show up in you or your family after you have donated. That way they can pass on any discoveries of inheritable conditions to the recipients and their child.

Second, if you plan to have your own children in the future, it’s important to think about how or if you will tell your children about donating your eggs. Since DNA testing is very common now, it’s possible your kids might discover their genetic relatives, or vice versa.

And finally, remember that the availability of at-home DNA testing also means that there’s no such thing as truly “anonymous” egg donation anymore. Even if you don’t ever use a test, if one of your close relatives and the donor-conceived child both use one, they may show up as related and be able to identify you. That’s why it’s important to think about your boundaries and be clear about them in the egg donation agreement process. We can help you figure out your wishes regarding future communication and safeguard your information accordingly.

Eggceptional Fertility Has Everything You Need to Know Before Beginning Your Egg Donor Cycle

We hope this information has been helpful in reviewing some of the less-familiar details of the egg donation process. While there are a lot of different pieces involved, we’re here to make the process smooth and simple for you.

What are some other things you’d like to know before beginning your egg donor cycle? Reach out to us today.