Getting Started

After deciding that I wanted to become an egg donor I wanted to make sure to go with reputable clinic. Obviously, I wasn’t going to find reviews from other women who donated- that would blow the “anonymity” of donation out the window  but I did look closely at the reviews of woman who used an egg donor and their experiences with the process.

After finding a clinic I felt confident in I went ahead and got started. With the specific clinic I chose, I had to fill out a questionnaire/application first. This application was very long and very specific. It asked you questions about your physical and mental health, your genetics (ie- eye color, hair color) as well as your family history. I had to remember my grandparents eye colors and health history. It was important to be honest.

Shortly after filling out the application I was contacted by a representative of the clinic solely in charge of the third party reproduction area. This person was friendly and personable. She introduced herself and explained that my application had been approved and I was able to move on to the next steps of the process. I was to schedule an appointment to come in and be evaluated on many different levels. This appointment would last a few hours and I was informed of each step ahead of time.

First I would meet with a third party nurse. She would go over my application with me. Discuss things I missed or needed to clarify more. She explained the process and let me ask questions I had at that moment. She walked me through how couples pick a donor, how the cycles work, etc.

Then I met with a counselor.  This person was in charge of asking me questions that really dove into my family mental history, my relationships with people, my emotional ability to make a decision to donate my cells…knowing there would be another person genetically tied to me in the world. I was honest with every reply. My father had just died and I was coping. My mother had fallen into some depression following my father’s death. My father used alcohol to cope with things in the past as well as my older brother who suffered with PTSD after being in the war. I explained my father was naturally an extrovert and my mother more of an introvert. I shared childhood memories of my family in different situations. I discussed my current relationship and future goals. It was hard not to wonder if I was answering wrong and there were times when I would answer and think “yep…they’re not going to let me do this.” But after our conversation the counselor explained that they look for honest people when they pair couples to donors. Perfect people with no negative history tend to come off as being dishonest. I had passed and was on to the next step…

A quick 300 question personality quiz followed the face to face counsel.

I swung by the lab to have ALL of my blood (not literally, but it is a large amount) drawn. They do a full genetics test as well as basic blood work and hormone levels.  The tests take a few weeks to all return and the clinic gives you copies of all your results. So you actually know what runs in your genetics and the percentages of said genetic disorders.

The last part of the appointment was a basic physical and vaginal exam including an ultrasound.  They take a look at the condition of your ovaries and uterus. They make sure you’re physically well enough to donate eggs.

After a few hours of tests and conversations and you’re finally sat down in a room with a nurse who goes over the logistics. A stack of papers in front of you explain the side effects, contracts and consent forms. They reassure you that just because you’re signing things now doesn’t mean you’re obligated to donate. All they asked was that you keep them updated with whatever decision you make as soon as you make them.

Then you wait.

The Decision

Last year I decided to go through the process of becoming an egg donor. My decision to donate had not been spur of the moment. I had read about it for a very long time prior to finally going for it. I researched many clinics, read many blogs and discussed heavily with my loved ones. I also compiled a pros and cons list:

Pros:

– Being able to help a family expand their family

-Giving a woman the joy of carrying a child

– Free genetics testing for myself

-Considerable compensation

Cons:

-Few weeks of hormonal imbalances

-Self injections

-Listening to people’s opinions on IVF and fertility clinics

-Listening to people’s opinions on MY body

-Side effects (ie-OHSS)

I made sure to discuss all this with the people closest to me: My fiance, my mother and my brother. 3 very different opinions with the same common concern: How would it make me feel physically?

All three of them knew emotionally I was capable of making a decision like this. All three of them just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be affected physically by this.

This support system made me feel confident in my decision. And I went for it. And in turn I decided to document my experiences with my first cycle and my current cycle. I hope this blog helps other’s who are considering egg donation as either a recipient or donor and the people who love them understand the process.

Enjoy!

 

my experience as an egg donor