Egg Donation

I am an egg donor, and here you'll find details of my donation cycles. Go to the beginning of the blog for day-by-day details of each cycle. Questions or Comments? Email

Monday, August 30, 2004

Pre-lupron Sonogram

Today, I received the sonogram necessary before starting lupron. I got it a couple days early since I am going to Ireland and will be there on day 18 when I start taking the shots. The sonogram was fine and I got my box with the vial of lupron, syringes, and alcohol wipes.


I didn't really describe this process before. You'll get a lot of sonograms as part of the egg donation cycle. The process is pretty simple. You are positioned the same way you would be for a pelvic exam. The doctor will have a wand connected to a computer with a monitor. The wand is about 12" long and very thin - only about an inch on the skinny part. At the top is a bulb. The bulb extends from the top of the wand about 2" down. It has the diameter of about an inch, and it's rounded. In a sense, it looks kind of like a big capsule. At the bottom of the wand is a cable/wire that connects is back to the computer.

The bulb of the wand is covered with a gel, and a latex covering goes over that. I'm pretty sure this is just an unlubricated condom, but it may have a more medical friendly euphemism as a name. The doctor will put some gel on the bulb on top of this, and the bulb part is inserted into your vagina. The doctor moves the wand around and, basically, can see what the bulb is pointing at. It is not really uncomfortable. There is occasionally a little pressure, but that's it. As a frame of reference, it is nothing like a pap smear - the sonogram is orders of magnitude more comfortable.

The doctor will usually look at the uterus and ovaries, take measurements, and print some pictures. The whole thing only takes a couple minutes. By this point in the cycle, you will have had a couple sonograms already.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

First pill of the donation cycle

Tonight I take my first pill to start the donation cycle. I've always taken my birth control at night, but if you're a morning person you might consider taking them at night for donation. You'll be doing your injections in the evening when that time comes around and it's easier to put it all together.

If this is your first donation cycle, you may be going in for a sonogram. Usually, on day 2 or 3 of your period you go in for the sonogram. They check to make sure you don't have any cysts and (I think) do a follicle count. Since this is my third donation, I guess I didn't need one this time.

In any case, nothing special happens for a while. You'll be taking the birth contol pills just like normal until day 18 when the injections start.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

A note about ovarian cysts

When I went in for my first sonograms, I had one ovarian cyst in each ovary. This sort of freaked me out, but it turned out not to be a big deal. Cysts are relatively common. When the eggs develop, the follicles that are produced usually detach. If they don't, they become a cyst. Cysts are just large follicles that are left over, and they usually are just reabsorbed into your system. Most of the time, you don't know if they're there and they don't do anything. The scary stories about cysts involve the rare cases where they get very big, don't reabsorb, and start causing some abdominal pain.

You will be checked for cysts in this process because you can't start a donation cycle or the medications with a cyst. However, if you have one, don't worry. Mine were quickly fixed with a month of stronger birth control pills.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Last Pill and Egg Donation Basics


So today is the last birth control pill that I took as a follow-up to my previous cycle. I'm starting this, my third one, right after the second.

The basic process, in case you haven't read it somewhere else, is to start the birth control pills. On day 18 of the pills, start injections of a hormone suppressor, and then move on to stimulating medications about a week before the donation.

Usually, you will go in for a sonogram during the 2nd or 3rd day of your period before beginning the process. That will probably be over the weekend for me. Once I have my sonogram, I'll detail that whole process here.

Basically, though, this first part is just normal life. Take the birth control every day, make sure you don't miss a dose, and take it at about the same time every day.

Extras and Morals

If this is your first donation, there may be other things you have to do at this point. I had a genetic screening over the phone, a big set of blood work to test for genetic problems (about 12 vials of blood - this wasn't a big deal and didn't hurt), and a visit with a social worker to make sure you don't have any moral or personal issues that might cause you distress with this process.

I don't want any kids of my own, so I may have a different perspective than others. My personal thoughts are that the egg donation is akin to something like bone marrow donation (though I've never done one of those). It's more of a process than blood donation, there's a bit of discomfort associated (less with eggs than marrow from what I head), but in the end you're helping a family. A family who is willing to go through the intense process of having an egg donor is really, in a sense, pre-screened as an ideal family. They really want the child, they are willing to focus their lives around having the child, and I think it is so rewarding to participate in that process.

Generally, you won't meet your family or know if your donation leads to a pregnancy. If you're thinking about donating, you should really be ok with that. If you think of it as a child of yours potentially running around, this is probably not a good idea for you.