Understanding the Egg Donation Procedure ~ Daily Health News

Egg donation is a
procedure involving a woman providing eggs either for assisted fertility for
other women who suffer infertility problems or for medical research purposes. The
first thing during egg donation is matching a donor and the recipient after
which the necessary legal and preliminary medical criteria are handled to
completion. The women involved then start a medical process that is necessary
before egg harvesting stage is reached. Typically, the process of egg donation
is made up of two phases as explained below.
1.       Ovarian hyperstimulation
This is the first
step in the egg donation procedure. The donor receives hormonal drugs in
specified intervals, which are necessary for causing the ovaries to generate
several mature eggs in one menstrual cycle. During a woman’s menstrual cycle,
there are several eggs, which start to mature but only one reaches fully
maturity. While it is possible for a woman to donate this one mature egg,
fertility specialists prefer to administer hormonal drugs to the donors in
order to increase the chances of success.
Development of the
egg is usually monitored through ultrasound scanning. This procedure allows a
picture of the ovaries carrying the eggs to be seen on a television screen. The
level of hormones in the blood can also be measured at the same time. When full
maturity of the egg is confirmed, the donor and recipient are then taken to the
second stage of egg donation procedure; egg retrieval.
2.       Egg retrieval
Also known as egg
harvesting, this second phase involves removal of mature eggs from the donor to
the recipient. This is usually carried out through a surgical procedure known
as transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. If you are an egg donor, expect to spend
about 60 hours in screening, testing as well as medical appointments during the
entire course of the egg donation process. There are some women who choose to
donate eggs when they are undergoing sterilization. In such cases, the most
frequently used method for sterilization is laparoscopy, which makes any other
operative procedure unnecessary when a woman is donating eggs.
As stated earlier, hormonal drugs are usually administered
to the donor. These hormonal drugs are of three types:
Drugs for suppressing the normal
menstrual cycle administered using a nasal spray or injection which is given
every day for a 28 day cycle.
Super ovulatory drugs. These are drugs
for stimulating the growth as well as maturation of the eggs and are taken
using daily tablets or injections. These injections have hormone which naturally
stimulate the production of eggs in the ovaries.
A final hormone injection is given when
the results of an ultrasound show that a sufficient number of eggs are about to
attain full maturity. It is important to time this injection carefully (34-38
hours before egg harvesting).

While some of these
drugs can be taken orally, majority of them should be given through injection. Your
doctor can show you how to do it from the comfort of your own home. 

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