Frequently asked questions

General Information

Why should I work with Fertility Alternatives?


Fertility Alternatives is a full service, boutique, surrogacy and egg donation agency. We have been facilitating arrangements, nationally and internationally, for over 20 years, longer than most agencies out there today. We have built hundreds of relationships with fertility clinics and their patients. As the president, facilitator, and an experienced egg donor, I understand the process of egg donation from firsthand experience. With years of expertise in the field, you will receive moral support and regular assistance throughout the process.You will be legally represented by one of our competent and experienced attorney referrals to make sure you have a clear understanding of your rights and obligations. I personally oversee the Fund Management Accounts to be sure your compensation and expenses are paid in a timely manner. Your travel arrangements will be taken care of, and your travel compensation paid to you, in advance of your trip, making the process significantly easier. You are free to contact me anytime, at any stage of the process for assistance, questions, concerns, and resolutions. I typically develop close, friendly relationships with the donors in my program, and most decide to stay with the program to be matched again. Many Donors stay in touch and keep me updated on their own lives and children, after they have “retired” themselves from egg donation.




What requirements must I fulfill in order to be accepted into an egg donation program?


In order to minimally qualify for the donor program, you must be between the ages of 20-28, with minimal family genetic health or psychological issues. All candidates must be physically and emotionally healthy, drug & nicotine free, and must be at low risk for any and all infectious diseases. In addition, a potential donor must not be on any medications for depression, anxiety, or ADD/ADHD.

Candidates must be committed to the process, and willing to undergo stringent infectious disease, genetic, drug, psychological and fertility testing after she is chosen by Intended Recipients.

Candidates will need to have a flexible schedule in order to attend a number of clinical visits throughout the cycle, and be available for regular communications between themselves, the fertility clinic, and the agency to keep things running smoothly.

Candidates who have recent tattoos or body piercings can still apply anytime, however, you must wait one year before you can actually start a cycle, or otherwise prove it was it was completed in sterile conditions by providing a note from the facility where the tattoo/piercing was performed. If you must get a tattoo or body piercing while in the program, please let me know, so we can make the appropriate arrangements, and you can be provided with a letter from the tattoo service provider in advance.

Candidates understand there is compensation for their time and efforts as a donor. However, it is not their primary motivation. Candidates find satisfaction in helping others in this unique way.

Candidates must be height/weight proportionate, and not severely overweight. BMI should not exceed 25.




Must I live in California to be an egg donor with your program?


No, we work with egg donors all over the country and even in Canada and the U.K. if they are qualified and committed. Our clients work with clinics throughout the United States.





Medical Process

What will be expected of me during the process?


Because egg donation is such a highly emotional and costly endeavor for infertile couples and individuals, all Egg Donors are expected to be committed, and to conduct
themselves in a responsible, reliable and mature manner from the moment they apply with the program.

As we are dealing with menstrual cycles, you may need to work quickly to complete screening, medical visits, obtain certain medical records, etc. as needed.

It is important that all of the information in your profile is truthful and up-to-date.

Donors should be able to respond to any questions within a reasonable amount of time. It is understandable if you are unavailable due to vacation, illness, etc. Just let us know.

Medical appointments are very important and must be kept. Medical instructions are also very detailed. Donor applicants should be detailed-oriented and able to follow instructions exactly as they are given.

Egg Donors will be required to abstain from intercourse during the time of the medication protocol (approximately 4 weeks). This is to protect the donor from the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy.


Reliability is a very important part of becoming an Egg Donor. Once you have been chosen by Intended Recipients and screened, your commitment is essential.

A great way to show you are reliable and committed is by filling-out and returning the application/profile in a timely manner. The sooner your profile and photos are on file, the sooner they can be provided to Intended Recipients for their consideration.




Explain the screening process, after I am matched with potential recipients.


You will be required to undergo a full medical and psychological evaluation.

The medical evaluation includes drug, nicotine, infectious disease, genetic screening, Pap smear and vaginal cultures. In some cases, you will need to obtain a negative pap result from your own doctor prior to beginning a cycle.

All Donors will be required to undergo a full infectious disease screening twice. The first screening will be arranged when you are officially matched with Intended Recipients. The second screening will be performed within 9 days of your egg retrieval procedure as an FDA requirement.

If you have a husband or sexual partner, the IVF clinic may require him to have infectious disease testing. Please make sure that your husband/partner will be supportive and willing to do this, if necessary. Each clinic has its own requirements. Most sexual partners will not require testing.

* Due to the risks of the Zika virus, the FDA now deems Egg Donors ineligible to complete an egg donation cycle for 6 months, if they have travelled to (or had sexual contact with a male partner who has travelled to) an area named to have active Zika virus transmission. You are not barred from travelling to these areas, but if possible, please consider vacations or travel to other destinations.

The CDC constantly updates their website with the list of countries affected by Zika Virus.

The psychological evaluation will take about 2 hours. You can expect to take a personality test called the MMPI or PAI. This test helps to determine whether or not you may be at higher risk for psychological issues that may affect your eligibility as an Egg Donor.

You will have an interview with the psychologist, who will discuss the issues of egg donation, and to confirm you are committed, reliable, that there is no family history of serious psychological issues, and that any emotional trauma you may have experienced in the past will not affect your commitment.




Explain the medical procedures.


Once you have passed your screening and the Egg Donation Contract is finalized, you will be able to start the medical process.

You can expect to start birth control pills (if you are not already on them) with the next menstrual period. Birth control pills are meant to regulate your cycle in order to synchronize with the Recipient/Surrogate’s menstrual cycle. It is also helpful to plan more specific dates of the cycle.

After 2-3 weeks have gone by, Donors are then required to administer daily, 1-2 small subcutaneous hormone injections into the skin for approximately 10 days in order for the follicles in the ovaries to stimulate and grow properly.


My website carries a link for you to visit to assist you in Learning How to Administer Injections. I am always available to teach and talk you through your injections as well.

You will find that the injections are virtually painless and quite easy. It is completely normal to be anxious your first time, but your anxiety will be replaced with relief after you have accomplished your first self-administered injection.


You will be required to attend a number of clinical visits (for vaginal ultrasounds and blood draws) on specific days required by the IVF clinic.


1-2 days for screening travel and appointment.
1 local monitoring appointment prior to start of injectable medications
4-6 appointments after the start of injectable medications. (may include local appointments)
1 appointment for the egg retrieval procedure.
1 appointment for a follow up, to make sure you are recovering well, as needed.


Once the follicles appear to have reached maturity, you will then be required to administer one final injection of a “trigger” medication, exactly 36 hours prior to your Egg Retrieval procedure. This hormone “triggers” a release of the eggs from the walls of their follicles, so that they can be properly harvested from the ovaries.

The Egg Retrieval is a simple 20-30 minute procedure performed under I.V. sedation, so you should feel no discomfort other than the insertion of the I.V. into your hand or arm. Once you are sedated and asleep, a needle will be inserted through each side of the vaginal wall into the follicles of the ovaries, where the eggs will be extracted one by one.

You can expect to go home within 2-3 hours after the procedure. You will need to have a companion as you will not be allowed to drive that day. If you travelled, long distance, to the fertility clinic for your egg retrieval procedure, your chosen companion will already have been arranged to take you back to your hotel room.




I have work or school to attend. Can my appointments and the retrieval be scheduled on a weekend or holiday?


For your health, safety and security of the cycle, you will be required to attend a number (6-9) of clinical visits throughout the cycle to include weekdays and some weekends to make sure you are doing well on the medications. Your screening will also need to be completed on a weekday when the professionals providing the screening are in their offices.

You can typically arrange your appointments fairly early in the morning, if necessary. Most clinics open around 8:00am on average. You can expect one-month advance notice of approximate dates of your egg retrieval procedure so you can arrange time off from school or work.

Since we do not know how long it with take for you to complete the stimulation phase, we cannot plan the exact day when the actual egg retrieval procedure will occur until about 2-3 days prior to the retrieval procedure itself. It may be a weekday or weekend, and you may likely have to miss some work or school.

Typically, you should feel well enough to go back to work or school within 1-2 days after the egg retrieval procedure.

If you have specific blackout dates for the egg retrieval that must be avoided, just let me know well in advance, so we can work around them. If you would like a medical note for the time you will be required to be away from work or school, it can be provided as well.

If your schedule only allows your availability over school breaks, that can be arranged, however, there are no guarantees you will be selected in time for your availability. In some cases, Intended Recipients are willing to wait for the right donor.


If you are otherwise unable or unwilling to take time from work or school to attend your medical appointments and egg retrieval procedures, then egg donation is not an option for you as the process is very time specific.




I am a carrier of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Can I still be a donor?


Yes, however you must have undergone a Colposcopy or cone biopsy of your cervix with your own personal physician and continue to have clean Pap smears. This is usually easy to arrange.




I would like to speak with my doctor about the potential risk involved. How can I get more information on the medical aspects of egg donation?


I highly recommend that you get as much information as you need from a medical professional about egg donation.

I strongly advise that you accumulate your information from a doctor who is highly experienced in infertility and egg donation. Your most accurate information can be learned from a Reproductive Endocrinologist, not necessarily your Ob/Gyn.

This type of doctor deals with the medical processes of egg donation and fertility as their area of expertise and can give you more accurate information on risks and side effects of process.

If you feel more comfortable speaking with your own family doctor or OB/GYN, you are significantly less likely to get accurate information on the process, given he/she has little to no experience with the processes of egg donation, its risks, side effects, or new developments in the field.

A list of Reproductive Endocrinologists can be found on the Professionals Page Links of Fertility Alternatives Website.

Remember, thousands of women donate their eggs every year, with little or no complications. Most choose to be repeat donors.




I have had my tubes tied/I am using Birth control. Can I still be a donor?


If your tubes are tied, you can still be an Egg Donor. The eggs are not retrieved through the uterus or the Fallopian tubes. The needle is inserted directly from the vaginal walls to the ovaries.

Birth control pills: You can be an egg donor. The attending physician will tell you when to stop, when required, and may in fact change your prescription for a portion of the cycle.

Long-term hormonal birth control (Injectible birth control/Norplant/Mirena) will need to cease or be removed by your doctor. You will need a minimum of 3 normal periods before you can be matched as an egg donor. Birth control pills, patches, or rings, are the preferred method of birth control for a prospective egg donor.




What happens to the eggs after they are retrieved?


Your ovaries are expected to produce 10-20+ eggs per cycle. All of those eggs produced from that cycle will be retrieved and placed into a test tube for fertilization.


The eggs are then fertilized in a dish. Most will fertilize, some will not, due to immaturity or poor quality, or sperm issues.
The resulting viable embryos will belong to and be utilized by the Recipients in an attempt to become pregnant.





Compensation

What sort of compensation do Egg Donors receive with Fertility Alternatives for their time and inconvenience?


Egg Donation base compensation is meant to cover your commitment, time, expense, inconvenience, lost wages for local medical appointments, ability to follow the required instructions, and any discomfort you may experience. This compensation is paid per cycle, not per egg.

The national average donor compensation is between $6,000-$10,000+ depending on ethnicity, experience, and whether or not previous donor cycles have resulted in pregnancies.

Due to ethical concerns, ASRM and many IVF facilities strongly recommend that compensation not exceed $10,000, and this is being reflected in some agency and IVF clinic compensation guidelines.

I have been very successful in obtaining higher compensation for exceptional and proven donors, given my experience, expertise and the needs of the Intended Recipients.


First-time donors with a good educational background may typically request fees starting at $8,000-$10,000 or more, depending on ethnicity and educational background, if they hope to be chosen sooner than later. First-time donors are harder to match, so keeping compensation at a reasonable rate will offer a better chance of being chosen by an Intended Recipient.

Egg Donor Candidates who have an exceptional educational background, with documentation, AMH testing results, and otherwise important qualities, may start at a significantly higher compensation rate well exceeding $10,000.

Though, I am always open to your request of a particular fee, it must reflect your profile and accomplishments, and you must be available within a reasonable time, or you may be overlooked by Intended Recipients. You may even need to negotiate your base compensation if you want to be matched sooner than later, especially as a first-time donor.

Following my recommendation for compensation is your best bet in getting matched. In many cases I am able to match a donor at her requested compensation rate. You and I will work together to come up with the best possible compensation given the current competitive market.

Once we agree on a compensation rate for your case, it will be listed on the Egg Donor Database. Intended Recipients choose a donor based on her profile and listed compensation rate. Any requested change to your compensation should be made prior to Intended Recipients’ decision to work with you.

If your base compensation is lower than $15,000, you will receive net lost wages (if any) for travel required, the egg retrieval procedure, and two days normal recovery period.

Your travel expenses will also be paid for your participation. I understand that each woman has her own individual circumstances such as employment, childcare, etc. We will accommodate any request that is within industry standard reimbursement guidelines.




How does a donor qualify for "Exceptional Donor" status? Why is there such a status?


In order to qualify as an Exceptional Donor any these may apply:

1) Must have a minimum of, or working toward, a Bachelor’s degree.

2) Attending or having graduated from a major university w/ GPA of 3.5+ with documentation of your educational background, achievements, and college transcripts. (Ivy League, medical and law schools are a bonus and may be considered for significantly higher base compensation.)


3) High SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT or other relevant test scores.


4) Having a documented high IQ (or be willing to take an IQ test at recipient’s requests)

The vast majority of my Intended Recipient clients are over the age of 40, with strong educational and professional backgrounds, and are simply looking for a Donor very similar to themselves, in appearance, personality, ethnicity, and educational background or intelligence. They want to find an egg donor who will have the traits that they can no longer pass on to their child. In this regard, they prefer to pay a higher compensation rate to a donor who will fit their individual criteria.





Application Information

Explain the application processes.


Egg donor candidates will be required to fill out an application and provide photos. It is important that all the questions are answered thoroughly, with correct spelling and grammar, providing a clear a picture of who you are as a person. You should treat your egg donation application as if it were a job application, as potential Recipients will make their decision based on your profile.

The photos you submit, should be nice, modest close ups of your face, offering a good impression of yourself.

If you are sure you meet the requirements and criteria and fully able to commit to the process, you may email me or visit the online Preliminary Egg Donor Application to confirm your qualifications. If you qualify you will be emailed a full application with instructions.

Once I receive your full application and photos, and it is determined that you are a good candidate, I will add you to Fertility Alternatives Egg Donor Database. This database is a password protected site provided to Intended Recipients allowing a more efficient search for their ideal egg donor.

Feel free to call or email me, if you would like to confirm that I have received your application. I may also contact you to clarify some information in your profile.

Since a match can take several months or even more than a year, there may be long periods of time, that you don’t hear anything. When prospective Intended Recipients have expressed interest in your profile, you will be contacted to confirm your availability.

Keep in mind that “first-time” donors take significantly longer to match than proven donors, if they don’t have any preliminary fertility testing. If you have already qualified for our program, you may lessen the wait time for a match, if you ask your personal physician for an inexpensive AMH blood test. The results will be added to your file.




When will I be matched as an Egg Donor?


Once your application and photos are on file, I will provide them to Intended Recipients who inquire about your availability. Each Recipient is looking for a donor with a variety of different traits important to them. You may or may not have one or more of those traits. It is very common for Recipients to have some amount of interest in your profile, but, ultimately choose a different Egg Donor candidate.

Based on your profile, education, experience, availability, location, and ability to travel, it may take several months to a year or more to be chosen by Recipients. It can happen at any moment.

There are several reasons why you haven’t been chosen right away.

  1. You are a “first-time” donor and, have no fertility testing results on file.

  2. Intended Recipients, at any given time, may be looking for a donor with very specific traits. This is very common, and not be taken personally.

  3. Your inability to travel.

  4. Your limited availability due to work or school commitments.

  5. Your photos need updating.

  6. The supply of available donors exceeds the demand.

  7. Your compensation is listed too high as a “first-time” or “unproven” donor.

  8. Your results as a previous egg donor are unknown, questionable, or have not resulted in pregnancies.

  9. You may have recently travelled to a country with “active” Zika virus, and an Intended Recipient opted to choose a donor who would be readily available.

I find the most common problem in getting matched is that the donor has never completed a cycle before. I highly recommend first time donors visit their gynecologist or primary care physician and request a blood AMH test and provide us with the results. This will allow recipients to feel much more confident about your fertility, and potential egg donation results. The cost for the test is about $50.

The next most common problem in getting matched is that the donor does not have a strong educational background. There is a very high demand for donors with Bachelor's degree and higher. Even more so for donors with math, science, and law degrees.


Fertility Alternatives’ egg donor database is one of the best in the country, seen by Recipients all over the world for over 20 years. Fertility clinics all over the country, refer their patients to Fertility Alternatives help them find the right donor. You can be sure your profile is being shared with Intended Recipients for their consideration.

If I find, that I am having a difficult time matching you, I will work with you to find a way to make your profile more appealing to Intended Recipients. We can discuss updating, your pictures/profile or changing compensation, if needed. If you decide after a reasonable amount of time, that you are not happy with my service, or believe that you will have a better chance being matched with a different program, then you are welcome to rescind your application with Fertility Alternatives.





Other Information

What is the legal process involved?


An Egg Donation Contract is required for all egg donation matches, you will have an attorney represent you, at no charge. In most cases the Recipients' attorney will draft the Egg Donation Contract, based on important terms provided by Fertility Alternatives and based on some of your specific needs. These terms include your compensation, when it is paid, and other industry standard expenses that are to be reimbursed to you.

This draft of the egg donation contract will be forwarded to you and your attorney for review. After your attorney consults with you, he/she may request changes to the contract on your behalf.

In general, the contract will express that you will follow required protocols and procedures, and in return you will receive compensation and reimbursements, for your time, expense, discomfort and inconvenience. The contract also expresses that the eggs retrieved upon completion of the cycle, will legally belong to the Recipients, and that they will be the legal parents of any child born from those eggs. The egg donor does not have any parental rights or responsibilities.


Once the contract is agreed upon and finalized by the Parties, then the medical protocol can begin.




Am I required to do any travelling?


Travel is not a requirement, however a huge advantage to your being matched. My program works with Recipients, clinics, and donors all over the country with specific requirements. If you are unable to travel, you significantly lower your chances of being chosen by Intended Recipients.

Travel is typically 8-9 days for the last week of medications and egg retrieval procedure. In most cases, clinic will require you to travel to them for screening, which is 1-2 days, depending on the location of the clinic in reference to where you live.

If you are travelling, you will need to have a companion to accompany you to your egg retrieval. (No companion is necessary if you are travelling for screening.)
Your companion should be prepared to accompany you at least for about 3-4 days as they must be available to take you to and from your retrieval procedure.

Another alternative may be a car/van service to take you to and from the egg retrieval procedure/hotel, however the main IVF clinic must allow this.

In some cases, I can serve as your companion, to make sure you get to and from your retrieval safely. If your retrieval is in an area near me, I can pick you up in the morning and take you to your retrieval procedure. It is also a great opportunity to meet one another in person!

Reasonable travel expenses for you and your companion are paid for, by the recipient, through a Fund Management Account. I also make the required travel arrangements for you and your companion.

Your net lost wages are also covered for the time you are needed to travel.

Examples of expenses covered for travel are lost wages, meal and expense allowance, rental car or Uber/Lyft to and from the clinic, flights, reasonably priced and comfortable hotel/lodging, airport shuttle/parking.

95% of the donors already in the program are willing and able to travel, with some advanced notice, and usually enjoy the mini-vacation with a partner or friend.




Will I meet the Intended Recipients?


In most cases your donation is anonymous. In this case you will not meet your Intended Recipients. However, some recipients are very interested in meeting the donor, though still preferring to keep the donation reasonably anonymous.


You can decide for yourself if you are open to meeting potential recipients upon request.

On rare occasions, recipients would like an open relationship with their donor. Egg Donors have no financial responsibility to any child resulting from their donation. Recipient’s profiles can also be shared with the Egg Donor upon request.

If you require future contact with Recipients you may limit your ability to be chosen as a donor. It is important that donors be open to all options regarding contact.




How will I know if I have had a "good cycle"?


Depending on how well you stimulate, it is normal to produce 10-30 in a cycle.
An excellent cycle results on average to 15-20+ eggs. A good cycle results in 10-14 eggs. Anything less than 10 can be considered fair to poor. However, every cycle is different, and is not necessarily a concern especially if the quality of the eggs were good. A positive pregnancy result is also an important factor.




Can I apply with other agencies or donor programs?


As any talent or modeling agency service, Fertility Alternatives requests that all egg donor applicants be committed and available when a match with the agency is made.

It is a common belief that if an Egg Donor is working with more than one agency, that she will become matched sooner and/or more often. In fact, this is not the case and can be problematic for several reasons.

  1. When Intended Recipients look for their ideal donor, they review all agency egg donor databases, out there. Being seen on more than one database, doesn’t affect their interest in your profile and therefore does not better your chances of being chosen by Recipients. There is a benefit to picking the one agency you know is well established and will represent and support you.
2. Typically egg donors will not receive the best compensation from the majority of other programs out there. I cannot get you the highest compensation if other companies are listing you at less.

3. It can be very emotionally difficult on Intended Recipients who have found their ideal donor on my list, only to find out that the donor is no longer available because she was matched elsewhere and didn’t inform me.

4. Several of my Recipient clients have expressed their concerns about seeing donors listed with several egg donor programs and believe that those donors may lack integrity and are likely more motivated by the compensation and less about helping a family. Intended Recipients will typically avoid these egg donor candidates.

5. When you are matched through Fertility Alternatives. I have access to all of the information about your prior cycles. I know how many eggs you produce and if a pregnancy has resulted from your donation. This is a real motivation for future Recipients to choose egg donors with Fertility Alternatives. If you are working with other agencies, the information on your previous cycles may be limited. Many of those companies may not even give you the information about your cycle. Without this information, my recipient clients are less likely to consider you a prospect.

6. Working with other agencies may require additional screenings, not normally repeated when working with one agency. Your committment and availability are an extremely important part of being an egg donor candidate.





Risks and Discomfort

Can you tell me about the medications? What kind of side effects or discomfort can I expect?


There are a number of different brands/types of medications a clinic may use for the cycle.

FSH & LH: Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing hormone (i.e. Follistim, Pergonal, Gonal F, Bravelle, Repronex, etc) This medication is used to stimulate the follicles of your ovaries, assisting in the maturity and quality of the eggs, and, is administered by injection.

Side effects/Symptoms
Mood swings
Abdominal bloating due to the increased size of your ovaries
Irritation or stinging from the medication at the site of the injection.

Temporary weight-gain
Slight nausea is possible due to the high estrogen levels. (uncommon)


GnRH agonist (Ganirelix or similar): This medication is administered by injection and is used to keep your ovaries from releasing the eggs too soon.

Side effects/Symptoms

GnRH rarely produces any uncomfortable symptoms or side-effects, and may reduce the risks of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome.

“Trigger” medication. HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadrophin (pregnancy hormone) or other “trigger” medication is used to release the eggs from their follicles so they can be harvested. This injection is administered 36 hours before the egg retrieval procedure, when the IVF doctor has determined that the follicles are mature enough for harvesting.

Side effects/Symptoms

Pregnancy symptoms and possibly symptoms similar to the other medications listed above.

Egg Retrieval:
Under I.V. sedation you will be asleep for a short time and should feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure. This is not general anesthesia. This is a short-term twilight-sleep.

When you awaken, you will feel varying degrees of cramping, similar to stronger menstrual cramps. Any cramping you feel can be alleviated with Acetaminophen or other pain reliever suggested or prescribed by the attending physician. You may also experience nausea as a result of the anesthesia, which is temporary. The anesthesiologist will discuss with you any history of side effects from IV sedation if any.

You can expect abdominal bloating for about 5-7 days post-egg retrieval procedure. You may also experience abdominal tenderness during the healing process, if your ovaries created a large number of follicles during your cycle. These are both perfectly normal experiences.


You can resume light activities the day after the retrieval procedure. Strenuous activities, should be postponed until your next period, expected about 2 weeks after your egg retrieval.

It is common for your menstrual cycles to be slightly irregular for several months after your egg retrieval. It will eventually remedy itself. Alternatively, you can restart birth control pills to regulate your cycle.




What are the risks to my being an egg donor? Will this affect my ability to have children in the future?


The risks involved in being an egg donor are very minimal, however they do exist.

A condition called Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) can occur in varying degrees, mild, moderate, and severe.

Your ovaries develop a number of follicles each month which contain fluid and an egg. Typically, only one or two eggs mature into a fertilizable egg. When you ovulate, the fluid escapes and is absorbed by the body.

In the case of medically stimulating the ovaries, all of the follicles for that month are being stimulated to maturity by medications. There may be 10-30 follicles producing eggs and fluid.

When you undergo your egg retrieval procedure, the doctor will draw the eggs out of the follicles along with the fluid they are floating in. This will give you a feeling of relief, especially if you were feeling bloated, prior to your retrieval.

However, it is normal for the follicles to fill back up with fluid, which is why you may feel bloating again a day or two after the procedure. Eventually your body will absorb it, and all is usually fine.

In most cases, any donor who experiences slight hyper-stimulation, will typically feel nothing more than significant abdominal bloating, and require an additional day of rest. It is common for Egg Donors who normally produce many follicles in a cycle, to have slight hyper-stimulation. You can donate again, if you choose, after three months.

On rare occasions, severe hyper-stimulation can result in dehydration, nausea/ vomiting, fluid build-up in the abdomen, ovarian pain or discomfort, and shortness of breath. Usually, these symptoms only last for 1-3 days, and a visit to the doctor for intravenous fluids, along with 2-3 additional days of rest, should, relieve this issue. You can donate again, if you choose, but it is recommended that you wait six months or more months before cycling again. Future cycles will be carefully monitored and likely medication dosages will more conservative, to prevent OHSS.

Finally, in worse case severe hyper-stimulation, the ovaries may become disproportionately large making them easier to move and twist, potentially causing Ovarian Torsion. This rare occurrence causes the ovary (one or both) to become twisted, cutting off its own blood supply and killing the ovary.

Ovarian Torsion can also occur in women with ovarian cysts, pregnancy, and past pelvic surgery and is not exclusive to egg donation or follicle stimulation. Ovarian Torsion is extremely rare occurring in less than 1% of all women who undergo follicle stimulation and egg retrieval procedures. O.T. can be prevented by avoiding all strenuous activities during ovarian stimulation and until your menstrual period post egg retrieval procedure.


With all egg donation cycles you are carefully monitored by the attending physician to avoid any severe OHSS symptoms or risks.

If there is any indication, that you may be hyper-stimulating to any degree, the attending physician may prescribe Luprolide Acetate injections, birth control pills, or prescribe Dostinex, which helps prevent hyper-stimulation symptoms. You may be given Albumin (egg protein), in your I.V. bag the day of your retrieval, which is also known to help prevent severe hyper-stimulation. Consuming a diet high in protein and drinking electrolyte beverages may also help symptoms.

Risks to your future fertility is minimal if you pursue egg donation with knowledge and care and follow the attending physician’s instructions exactly.

Tens of thousands of women are taking fertility medications such as these to stimulate egg production, whether an egg donor, or a woman who must undergo IVF in order to have her own children. Driving a car is more risky than severe hyper-stimulation, but it is important you are well informed of the risks, regardless of how minimal they are.




Will I run out of eggs or reach menopause sooner if I am an egg donor?


Being an egg donor will not cause you to reach menopause any sooner than normal, nor does it diminish your future egg stores.

Each month your ovaries develop a number of follicles with egg cells in them. Typically, only one or two of those follicles will mature and be ovulated naturally for fertilization. The rest die and are absorbed into the body. Ovarian stimulation simply matures the follicles your ovaries were already making that month, so they can be harvested and utilized instead of being wasted. You will continue to ovulate each month as you normally do.




Is there any link between egg donation and ovarian cancer?


Minimal studies have been done regarding the long-term risks of egg donation and ovarian stimulation. Some studies indicate a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer with excessive and long-term use of stimulation medications.

It is unknown whether or not the medications themselves pose the higher risk, or whether it is simply a matter of being genetically predisposed to this type of cancer.


Most recent studies disprove the theory that there is any correlation between ovarian stimulation and ovarian cancer.


In any case, there is proof to suggest, that if you have experienced pregnancy or you take birth control pills on a regular basis, that your risks of ovarian cancer drop significantly.

Common sense dictates that one should not be a donor beyond a reasonable number of times. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) suggests no more than 6 times, simply because of the idea that it is best not to have so many children
born from the same donor, possibly in the same area, with the risk they may one day meet one another.

Some doctors concur that since there is no reasonable evidence to prove that Egg Donors are at long term risk, a donor can donate as many times as she chooses.

Most of the donors in my program choose to be repeat donors, however I do limit the Donors in my program to 6 cycles, as recommended by ASRM, unless there are special circumstances, allowing for an additional cycle, for example a full sibling cycle with previous Recipients.


There is no evidence that egg donation will risk your future fertility unless worst case scenario regarding Ovarian Hyperstimulation were to occur.

Click this link to get most recent information regarding egg donation and risks.
Repetitive Oocyte Donation: A Committee Opinion





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