If you have never heard of the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), it is a process where the egg is fertilized by sperm outside of the body and then implanted in a woman’s uterus in hopes to get pregnant. This normally happens when a couple needs assistance with getting pregnant due to fertility or genetic issues, so they will often need an egg donor. The egg donation process starts after the couple has tried and tried to get pregnant on their own with no luck. The procedure is risky, costly and very emotional. I have heard this procedure getting more and more well known throughout the years. I have even heard on Mojo in the Morning (a radio station in Detroit) having contest’s where the winner will receive IVF and they have had great luck! They even had a couple that had twins! I like this contest because you get to hear each couple’s story and what they have gone through. It also opens the eye to the public about all the ropes some people have to go through to get pregnant, showing them it’s not so easy for everybody.
For the intended parents they will sign up for an agency that has donors available that will help them through the long process of IVF. The couple will look through a registry of donors including pictures, family health history, hobbies and other criteria until they finally select a donor of their choice to start the process with. The only downside to this is that some donors will start the process and end up going missing or deciding against it after starting which is heartbreaking for the couple. This is heartbreaking because it means they will have to look for another donor to start again with. When the parents look for a donor, they will look for a person with the same looks and hobbies in hopes that the child they might have will reflect them as much as possible.
Once they do find a donor that that sticks to the entire process the woman and donor will be set up using birth control to have the same menstrual cycle and schedule as far as injections to take. The intended mother will be taking daily injections to have her hormones get her body ready to be pregnant. The donor will be taking the injections to stimulate her ovaries to increase the number of mature eggs to be produced in her cycle to donate them to the mother. They both go through injections and doctor’s appointment almost daily until it is time for surgery. The mother will be implanted with the eggs and sperm, then waits to take a pregnancy test. In the best case scenario the woman will be able to have a baby after all the time she has waited, which is amazing. You have to think some couple’s have tried and tried watching all of their friends and family get pregnant, they love kids and more than anything and want their own but can’t. Since I have never been on the mother’s side of this, I can’t go as much into detail as I can for the donor’s side.
I have donated my eggs a total of 4 times so far in my life, all with positive outcomes which is awesome! It all started before I was about 16, I always had an interest in watching documentaries or interviews of couples that were not able to get pregnant. It was heartbreaking to see what they went through until I found out that I could help! Now you do have to wait until you are 21 to donate, so of course I waited until then. I was a little anxious and started calling places about 3 months before I was 21 to see which companies were the most ethical with the parents and donors, because some are not. From there I found a company and when I turned 21 I had my interview with the company itself and my profile was posted for parents to pick on the donor registry. I was actually picked right away and started the process for the first time a couple months after I turned 21. I started first with a doctor’s visit to make sure I was healthy enough to do start the process and answer any questions I had. From there I saw a psychologist to go over some tests to make sure I no problems there. I also met with a lawyer to sign some necessary paperwork regarding the intended parents, myself and the possible child that would come out of it all. From there I would be set up to take birth control to get on the same cycle as the mother. Once we were set up to the same cycle, on day 3 I would go to the doctors to get my blood taken. Once I received a called with an OK I would start the injections this day. I have had an experience once where the mother was not ready as this point and we’d have to start over. But if all is well, you will then start taking an injection once a day for 10 days to stop the normal function of your ovaries, then you will start another or 2 other injections to take daily to stimulate egg production and mature your eggs. All of these injections are self-administered and normally taken within the same 3 hours each day. Once the doctor decides you are ready you will take an HCG shot to ensure your eggs are ready for retrieval (to be taken out). Then 36 hours after your HCG or also called trigger shot you will have surgery to get the eggs taken out. You will be put to sleep for this procedure and it takes about 30 minutes. You are then able to go back to work or school the next day, in most cases.
The most serious of risks would be ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or OHSS, which has happened to me once but was not life-threating in my case. There are also other short and long term risks that I have seen mentioned in articles or online. However, egg donation process has not been well studied over the years so I would recommend doing some of your own research on this to form your own opinion on each study that has been done. Also a forewarning, if you are looking into this strictly to make extra cash then find something else to do to get cash. This process is lengthy and can be emotional. The injections may give you moods swings, acne, your body or the mothers may not respond as wanted, etc. There also a whole list of things you can’t do when you start the process of donating because you will basically have to treat your body as if you are in the beginning stages of pregnancy. The mother and the donor are both taking physical and emotional risks here. Your motivation should be to get the intended parents to have the baby, as well as keeping your own general health in mind.
I appreciate this process more and more every time I hear of it, especially now that I am pregnant on my own. I am able to feel the kicks and see the ultrasound pictures which makes me think of the parents I have helped in the past. Now the parents are able to be parents instead of always hoping and wishing, and I had something to do with that, how cool! Please share if you have been a part of this process using the comment box under the title of this post. I would love to hear from other parents and donors to see what they went through. Also if you are interested in donating feel free to comment or message me with any questions!