Egg Donation is a process used in an assisted reproduction
technique. Females donate their when it is not possible for a woman to produce
healthy eggs for the process of fertilisation
and reproduction. There are certain steps that are carried out in an egg
Menstruation Cycle is Stopped
Once a woman is chosen as an egg donor,
certain medications are prescribed for a couple of weeks in order to stop the
normal functioning of the ovaries. This is done so as to ensure a positive
response to the fertility drugs that are to be administered to the woman.
Usually the woman is taught how to inject the medicine at home by herself.
The woman can experience fatigue, headache,
body ache, hot flushes, dryness in her vagina, mood swings, sleep disorders,
tenderness in her breasts and some women have also reported vision problems.
Egg Production is Stimulated
First let us describe what happens in a normal menstrual
cycle. During the ovulation
period, one egg matures and is released into the ovary from the sac that had
been the container of the egg, known as the follicle.
Now what happens in the egg donation process? Here the
physician collects several mature eggs from the woman. This makes it necessary
to prescribe certain medications that stimulate the ovaries. Medically the
process is termed as hyper-stimulation where a number of mature eggs that are
above the normal number are produced. The medication used for this purpose is akin
to the hormones that are naturally produced by the body, but here the amount is
certainly much more.
The treatment commences on a particular day of the cycle and
continued for about ten days.
The Probable Risks
The area around the skin where the injection is pushed
through might experience redness and soreness. The skin shows mild bruises
also. The other probable risks are tenderness in breasts, mood swings,
enlargement of the ovaries and some women also experience mild retention of fluids.
This is actually caused by the over stimulation of the ovaries. There can also
be abdominal pain caused by pressure and swelling. Usually these symptoms fade
away by the time of the next menstrual cycle.
During this stimulation process, the egg donor should be
under careful monitoring and drugs that provide comfort for the excessive pain
should be prescribed. The woman must also be under complete bed rest.
In rare cases there can be fatal consequences like blood
clotting, kidney failure, shock and dangerous fluid buildup in the lungs. If
the symptoms go beyond control one or both the ovaries might be required to be
removed. Allergic reactions to fertility drugs are but rare.
Progress is Monitored
Blood tests and ultrasound exams are conducted at regular
intervals during the donation cycle. This tracks how the woman responds to the
prescribed hormones and how the egg development is taking place. The dose of
medication is adjusted accordingly. When the eggs are sufficiently matured, the
final injection is prescribed to aid the egg retrieval process.
Frequent blood drawing can enhance the discomfort and result
is bruises in the area. Ultrasound can add to the discomfort but does not have any
The mature eggs are removed through a minor surgery called
Trans Vaginal Ovarian Aspiration. This is done through the insertion of an
ultrasound probe in to the vagina of the woman. The probe has a thin needle
attached to it which is inserted inside the follicle. Then through a suction
process, the egg and the liquid inside the follicle is removed. The process
takes around 30 minutes. The recovery period is few hours.
- During the insertion of
the needle there can be bleeding. The bowel, bladder and nearby blood
vessels and other pelvic organs might be damaged in some cases which can
be rectified by another abdominal surgery.
- Possible infections are
treated with antibiotics.
- In certain cases it has been
found that the egg donor’s fertility might be negatively affected.
After the mature eggs are removed, they are taken through In
Vitro Fertilisation Process (IVF). In this process eggs and sperms are allowed
to meet so that the fertilisation takes place. These fertilised eggs are then
planted in the uterus to grow into a pregnancy.