Understanding the Egg Donation Process
With a high success rate, egg donation can be an excellent solution for many of our patients, including heterosexual couples, same-sex couples, and single men. The egg donation process begins with typical preparation for the IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle followed by the selection of a egg donor and gestational surrogate for single men and same-sex couples. Once the donor has been selected, the female partner or gestational surrogate will synchronize cycles, then the egg retrieval, fertilization, IVF, and embryo transfer can take place. Each step of the process will be carefully overseen by Dr. Nurit Winkler and Dr. Marc Kalan at Los Angeles Reproductive Center to ensure the best experience. You can learn more about whether this treatment option is right for you, including legal considerations, at one of our offices serving Encino, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles, CA.
The first step of the egg donation process is scheduling a consultation with your doctor to ensure that egg donation is the best option for you. At this time, you can sit down with one of our compassionate, highly trained doctors to discuss your expectations.
For heterosexual couples, the next step is preparing for your cycle with screenings to identify and correct any abnormalities that may interfere with fertilization or implantation. These screenings could include:
- Detailed semen analysis
- Saline sonogram of the uterus
- Blood tests
- A pap smear
- A mammogram for women over 40
If you are over 45, you may require additional testing, as the risks of pregnancy increase as women approach 50. Your doctor will likely screen for diabetes and perform an EKG of your heart. You may also need to visit a perinatologist, an obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, for clearance.
For same-sex couples or single men, you will need to select a gestational surrogate, and she will undergo similar procedures to prepare for the cycle.
The next step is selecting an egg donor. This process is uniquely personal and often an emotional decision. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we understand what you are going through and are prepared to guide you through the entire process. While choosing a donor, you will need to make several decisions, including deciding between an anonymous or known donor, and settling on which characteristics are most important to you.
Once you have chosen a donor, the donor coordinator will confirm that she is prepared to donate during the time period you have requested. At this point, you or your gestational surrogate will need to prepare for IVF and synchronize your cycle with that of the donor. This step is typically achieved with birth control. Hormone therapy is also necessary to mimic the body’s natural ovulation cycle and prepare the uterus for implantation.
Donor Egg Retrieval and Fertilization
When your donor’s eggs have reached maturity, we will schedule an egg retrieval. A careful examination will help us select the most viable eggs. On the same day, you, your partner, or your sperm donor will provide a sperm sample for insemination of the eggs.
With a high success rate, egg donation can be an excellent solution for many of our patients.
The final step in the process is in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer. Typically, two to four embryos are transferred in order to increase the probability of successful implantation.
After Embryo Transfer
It generally takes about 11 to 16 days for pregnancy to be confirmed. Couples could experience issues during the weeks following embryo transfer. A woman may experience minor vaginal bleeding and infection directly after the procedure. During this time, you or your surrogate should avoid alcohol, limit caffeine, avoid strenuous activities, and abstain from sexual intercourse.
In the middle of the second week, we will perform a pregnancy test. If the test is negative, you typically have the option of trying again during the next menstrual cycle, using frozen eggs or embryos. If the test is positive, we will perform a second test to confirm.
The egg donation process can be an emotional journey for couples. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we have successfully helped many couples fulfill their dream of parenthood. We understand the process and are here to support you and your family every step of the way. If you are interested in learning more about how egg donation can help you, call our office at (818) 946-8051 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.