The average length of time from signing up to be a donor and being matched is 6-9 months.
After you are matched, these are the steps involved:
After a donor is matched with a recipient couple she then becomes a patient of that couple's fertility clinic. A donor's first clinic visit consists of a medical screening and orientation. The medical screening consists of a physical exam, a blood draw, genetic screening and an ultrasound of her ovaries.
The orientation consists of a detailed description of ovarian stimulation, the retrieval procedure and the medications used. Later on she is given instruction on how to self-administer the injections. They are given anywhere in the abdomen or thighs and require a small, thin needle--the same size that diabetics use to self administer insulin.
A few weeks after the medical screening the donor and recipient will both receive calendars telling them exactly what to do each day. It will list what medications to take on what days and the dates of all her clinic visits.
Two to four weeks before the donation cycle begins both the donor and the recipient are placed on birth control pills in order to synchronize their menstrual cycles.
After a few weeks of being on birth control pills the donor will stop the pill, get her period, and then begin injectable medications.
She will take injections for 10 to 12 days. She will take follicle stimulating hormones (also known as "FSH meds") and an ovulation suppressant.
Two different FHS medications are used. One will be Folli-stim or Gonal-F (different brand names for the same drug) and the other will be Repronex or Menopur. She'll also take an injectable ovulation suppressant, usually Ganerelix.
While the donor is on injectable medications she will be monitored closely. Monitoring visits consist of a blood draw and an ultrasound, and take 15 to 20 minutes. She will have a total of 3 to 4 monitoring visits before the retrieval procedure.
After 10 to 12 days of FSH meds the eggs will be mature and ready to be retrieved.
The clinic visit on the day of retrieval takes 1½ to 2 hours and the procedure takes about 20 minutes. The donor is given intravenous sedation and the eggs are retrieved through a catheter inserted vaginally. Many donors feel completely normal by the time they get home, but some feel bloated and/or tired after the procedure and it is recommended that she rest for the remainder of the day.
All of this information will be reviewed again in detail when you meet with us here at SFDN, and then again at the fertility clinic. You are also welcome to call with questions.
Go to FAQ to read Frequently Asked Questions.