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Becoming an Egg Donor

BECOMING A DONOR

Our Fairy Godmother is currently accepting applications from potential egg donors throughout the world.

Thank you for considering the gift of becoming an egg donor in our program. For some, egg donation is the last hope for a baby. Many intended parents considering egg donation have tried everything else to conceive – exhaustive testing, countless appointments with fertility specialists, strained relationships. It is only this genuine act of irreplaceable kindness that offers them a breath of hope. Others may have children from a previous relationship and are over the age where her eggs can be used to create a healthy pregnancy yet wants to share the joys of parenting with her current partner. Some intended parents are in a same sex gay relationship and the only way they can have a biological child is through egg donation and surrogacy. Some are single women who never gave up on their dreams of having a child even if they did not “meet the right guy” in time to have their own biological child. Some never had a chance because they may have gone through premature ovarian failure – early menopause in their teens, twenties or thirties or may have been born without ovaries and/or a uterus.

Our Fairy Godmother is looking for special women who are interested in becoming egg donors. If you are a healthy and attractive woman between the ages of 21 and 30, and wish to become an egg donor, please fill out this online application.

If you are age of 30, you must recently have been pregnant in the past 2 years.

Our intended parents are extremely diverse, and are looking for potential egg donors who in some way reflect themselves: down to earth, healthy, successful, progressive, creative, goal-oriented, sophisticated and well educated. Egg donation is not for everyone. But for those responsible, loving, healthy, and mature women who wish to be considered as possible donors. Egg donors must be willing to complete medical and psychological testing, take a series of injectable medications, and undergo an ultrasound guided transvaginal egg retrieval. The typical timeline from selection by an intended parent to completion of your egg donation is 6 – 9 weeks. You will be asked to fill out an extensive medical and personal profile and to send photos of yourself and your children if you have any.

All candidates are treated with the utmost care, respect, and confidentiality.
To find out more information, please read on:

Becoming an egg donor is not something to enter into lightly. It requires a high level of maturity and responsibility, and involves taking a regimen of fertility medications and undergoing an invasive medical procedure to remove the eggs . As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks – it is the sole responsibility of the donor to investigate all risks and discuss all medical issues with your physician.

The following outlines an overview of the egg donation process:

• Complete the initial Egg Donor Questionnaire.

• Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will be contacted by email confirming that we received your application, if you meet our preliminary criteria we will contact you to set up a telephone interview. All forms must be completed online as they are part of our confidential database. We cannot send a form to you by regular mail. You must have access to the internet and an email address to become a donor.

• We will review your completed application and screen it for acceptance. Upon acceptance, we will add your profile and picture to our database. No identifying or contact information will be displayed on your online profile except for your photos.

Our database will assign a number to your profile for identification purposes. Often times a donor is willing to have the potential parents know her first name only if you allow us to tell them. Please notify our office if you do not want your first name used. At no time will any identifying information be given to a recipient without your permission.

Most recipients and donors want complete anonymity. However, some recipients and donors would like to have an opportunity to speak with each other and a phone conference will be arranged by our office when it is desired by all parties involved. A personal meeting is rare, though we can facilitate that as well if mutually agreed upon by all parties and legal documents are drafted to protect all parties involved of any future repercussions. Personal meetings are only arranged and conducted by our President who must be present for the introduction and meeting. You cannot meet on your own unless you’ve have one initial meeting facilitated by our President.

Once you are chosen by the intended parents, you will be asked to have further genetic, physical, psychological and infectious disease screening performed. There will be no cost to you for these screenings or any part of the process of being an egg donor. Reasonable out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed to you. Our donors are located throughout North America and recipients may be American or international clients living in Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, South America or elsewhere in the world. You may be requested to travel to the location of the clinic chosen by the intended parents however you will not be required to travel outside of North America as all egg retrievals will be performed in the continental United States, Canada or the Caribbean. If you are required to travel outside of your home area, all expenses as per our will be paid for by the recipient through our agency. These expenses will include flights, hotel, meals, etc. Many of the screenings can be performed in your home area and the results will be forwarded to the physician who will be performing the retrieval as well as to our agency for your file.

SCREENING

Please do not get any tattoos, or body piercing from the time you agree to donation. The law requires a donor to wait 6 months after having any body piercing or receiving a tattoo before she can donate. This is due to the increased risk of infectious diseases.

Genetic Screening is usually performed to identify individuals who are carriers of genetically transmitted diseases such as: Cystic, Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Anemia and Tay-Sachs disease. A donor may be screened for other diseases based on the findings of the Geneticist/Medical Director, or the desires of the intended parents.

Psychological Screening is performed to ensure that a donor fully understands the emotional ramifications of donation and has no psychological issues that would preclude her from donating. PAI Psychological testing  will be conducted on all donors. An MMPI and/or other type of personality assessment such as the Myers-Briggs personality test may be administered if requested by the intended parents.

Medical Screening is performed to ensure that the donor is physically capable of undergoing the ovum donation process. She will also be tested for sexually transmitted or other transmissible diseases which will include: HIV 1 & 2, HTLV-1 & 2, Hepatitis B & C, Syphilis, CMV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and others. A detailed list of the tests will be explained to you. An ultrasound and vaginal cultures will also be required. *The sexual partner of the donor may be screened for sexually transmitted diseases at the discretion of the intended parents physician. *Donors may be randomly screened for drugs.

All medical professionals are chosen by the prospective parents. We encourage our donors to investigate the medical service provider chosen by the intended parents and satisfy themselves as to their professionalism and expertise. We will give you the contact information for that center so you may speak with the doctor or the nurse directly. If you are uncomfortable with that center for any reason, we ask that you notify us immediately.

THERE ARE POTENTIAL RISKS INHERENT WITH ALL ASPECTS OF THE EGG DONATION MEDICAL PROCESS AND PROCEDURES, INCLUDING TAKING ANY MEDICATION. IT IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DONOR TO INVESTIGATE ALL SUCH RISKS AND TO DISCUSS ALL MEDICAL ISSUES WITH THE PRIMARY PHYSICIAN.

LEGAL CONTRACT

You and the intended parents will receive a contract entitled Egg Donor Termination of Parental Rights Agreement that was written by an attorney who specializes in Egg Donation and/or Family Law . You will enter into a contract with the recipient and this legally binding contract should not be entered into lightly. The contract will cover issues such as reimbursement, legal obligations of the donor, conduct, who the eggs and resulting embryos belong to, etc.

Once you have read the contract you will be asked if you have any changes you may want. Once the terms of the contract are finalized, then all parties will be required to sign the contract. Medications cannot begin until all parties have signed the contract.

MEDICATION

If you not already taking oral contraceptives, you may receive a prescription for birth control pills. These are given to help regulate your cycle and will allow the physician to coordinate your cycle with that of the recipient or surrogate. You may be asked to start birth control prior to having the contract signed.

Donors must refrain from sexual intercourse once medications begin. You will be extremely fertile during this time! You will be asked to either abstain from sexual relations, or to use a combination of effective barriers prior to starting any of the medications and to completely abstain from the beginning of stimulation medications until approximately one week after the egg retrieval. This is an approximate time period of 3 weeks. You will also be asked to curtail any heavy exercising during the stimulation stage. Please discuss your questions regarding sexual activity with the primary physician and/or the staff of Our Fairy Godmother. If you become pregnant during the medication stage, the cycle would have to be cancelled and you may be in breach of contract.

On approximately day 21 of her cycle a donor will begin the first of her medications. A medication called to suppress your reproductive hormones is a daily subcutaneous injection (under the skin) or by nasal spray. This needle is a tiny needle similar to the kind a diabetic might use to give themselves insulin. A medical professional will teach you how to administer this to yourself. The suppression drugs are not a fertility medication and is given to keep the ovaries from ovulating. A different form of suppression is used by some IVF centers and is given as a one time injection. You may have a menstrual flow within a week to ten days. An ultrasound may be performed to make sure the ovaries are quiet. Once the donor and recipient are synchronized, the next medication will be administered. Some donors have complaints of hot flushes, moodiness and headaches. We have found that if donors lead active lives, they generally have fewer complaints and many have no complaints at all. The first part of the reimbursement will be paid by our office at this point. Please discuss all potential side effects with the primary physician.

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a medication that has many brand names. The follicle stimulating medication causes the eggs to grow and mature. This medication is administered for 8-12 days. The most common are Gonal-F, Follistim (Puregon), Repronex and Menopur to name a few. These medications are given daily, by subcutaneous injections, similar to the needle used to administer the suppression. There are other medications that might possibly be used and they may require intramuscular administration. The typical complaints are of bloating and headache and occasional nausea . Please discuss all potential side effects with the primary physician.

THERE ARE POTENTIAL RISKS INHERENT WITH ALL ASPECTS OF THE EGG DONATION MEDICAL PROCESS AND PROCEDURES, INCLUDING TAKING ANY MEDICATION. IT IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DONOR TO INVESTIGATE ALL SUCH RISKS AND TO DISCUSS ALL MEDICAL ISSUES WITH THE PRIMARY PHYSICIAN.

PROCEDURE

During the stimulation phase you will be required to have a blood test the day or or day or two before you start, an ultrasound and blood test on day 5 or 6, and then every other day you will be required to have a blood test and ultrasound until the eggs are mature. The dates and times are coordinated with your menstrual cycle being synchronized with the recipient. Some centers will require the donor to have their day 6 ultrasound at their center only. Other centers allow the donor to remain in their home area until day 7 or 8. Until a center is chosen by the family, we will not know the protocol you will be asked to follow, but you will be informed as quickly as possible.

The blood tests and ultrasounds will help the physician determine the number, size, and quality of the eggs. These tests are generally done between 7-9 am. Once the eggs are mature, the donor will be asked to give herself an injection of a medication called hCG. This medication is given 36 hours prior to the egg retrieval. The timing and administration of this medication is crucial and you will be given a very specific and precise time to give this injection to yourself or have someone give it to you. This medication will be given intramuscularly in the upper buttocks area. You may need help in the administration of this medication. You must be sure to drink lots of fluids during this time and watch your salt intake! We recommend that when you start ovarian stimulation that you drink 1 to 2 bottles a day of Gatorade or similar electrolyte drink to help with your bloating.

The procedure for the egg retrieval is usually performed in the morning and takes approximately twenty to thirty minutes. Prior to the retrieval, a small IV will be placed into the arm vein to administer fluids and medication. Most centers choose to use a sedative called conscious sedation. Donors who are sedated may feel a little discomfort, but most tolerate the procedure extremely well. Few centers will have their patients completely asleep with general anesthesia. In the operating room, the sedative, or anesthesia, will be administered. The physician will use an ultrasound guidance machine and a needle will be placed through the back of the vagina and the eggs will be removed from the ovaries. This portion of the procedure takes between 20 and 30 minutes. The eggs will be taken to the laboratory to be mixed with their chosen sperm.

The majority of donors are able to go home within two hours after donation. If you had to fly you will be required to stay through the day and will be able to fly home the following morning. If you have a traveling companion some centers may agree to let you fly home the same day.