What happens during the egg donation cycle and retrieval?
Each fertility specialist has his or her own protocol but the following is a routine cycle regimen: The egg donor is put on birth control pills for a few weeks. Usually there is a recipient cycling with the egg donor, an intended mother or a surrogate. Both women then begin Lupron in order to get “in cycle” with each other. The egg donor begins receiving daily injections of fertility medications (Gonal-F, Follistim, Repronex, Pergonal, etc.) which helps mature the follicles in her ovaries. These injections usually continue for 7-12 days. The egg donor will be monitored daily for several days prior to the optimal day for an injection of a medication called HCG which prepares the ovaries to release mature follicles. When the HCG is given the egg harvest or retrieval is scheduled. During this procedure the egg donor is given a light anesthesia. A needle guided by ultrasound is passed through the top wall of the egg donor’s vagina, through her uterus, into her ovary, and finally into the f