Donating your eggs to a couple who are struggling to become parents is a very generous act — often, it's one of the most compelling reasons young women decide to donate. Below, we explain what's involved in becoming a donor. You may also wish to read our FAQ for egg donors.
The Ovum Donation Process
Application and Screening
The first step is to complete an application, which you can request by calling us at (415) 353-9251 or emailing [email protected]. The application includes a detailed questionnaire about your background, medical, family and personal history.
When you submit the donor application, along with photographs of yourself for your profile, the application will be reviewed by our team. Then, we will call you to arrange screening appointments with our psychologist and genetic counselor, a physical examination with a reproductive endocrinologist and a blood test.
The physical examination will include a pelvic exam and cervical cultures. At this visit we will also draw blood to screen for infectious diseases and specific genetic diseases, and to test reproductive hormone levels. Our team members will be available to discuss the process in detail and to answer any questions you have. The reproductive endocrinologist will also review the medical procedures involved and discuss any risks to you.
The Selection Process
If you're accepted into the program, your pictures and profile information will be accessible to patients in our practice who are interested in using egg donation.
Once a recipient has chosen you as an egg donor, you will attend a class taught by the clinic staff to learn how to prepare and administer your injectable medications. You may administer the medications to yourself, or you may choose someone to give you daily injections.
Cycle Synchronization and Egg Retrieval
When you're ready, your doctor and nurse coordinator will synchronize your cycle with that of your recipient by having you take birth control pills for a few weeks. This is then overlapped with injections of lupron, which will temporarily halt your ovaries' normal functioning. Egg production is then stimulated using injectable follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which is similar to the natural hormones your body makes before you ovulate. We will give you a detailed calendar describing when to take your medication and when to come in for blood tests and ultrasounds.
You will have short visits to the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. for about seven to 10 mornings during a two-week period. These visits include taking a blood sample and a vaginal ultrasound to assess your progress. If you live in the North Bay, you may be able to go to our Marin office for many of these visits.
At the end of the two-week monitoring period, we will retrieve the eggs. Egg retrieval is performed through the vagina using a light general anesthetic given intraveneously (administered through a vein). You'll need someone to drive you home after the retrieval, and should allow yourself a day to recover. Most donors can resume normal activities the next day, although sometimes the recovery period takes longer. After the retrieval, you will be compensated for your time, travel and efforts.
You can call our donor coordinator at (415) 353-9251 or email us at [email protected] to ask for an application or for more information. Once the application is returned, we can consider you for the next steps of the screening process.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
Egg Donation Process for Recipients
The process of having a baby through ovum donation may seem complicated, but our doctors, nurses and counselors will guide you through the process step by step.
FAQ: Common Questions for Egg Donors
Couples generally choose to use donor eggs because they're unable to conceive a child with the female partner's own eggs. Learn more and find FAQs here.
FAQ: Egg Donor Selection and Screening
Find commonly asked questions re: egg donation including, what to expect during the selection and screening process, whether you can meet the donor and more.
Ovulation induction uses hormonal therapy to stimulate egg development and release, or ovulation, the goal being to produce a single, healthy egg. Learn more.
Center for Reproductive Health at Mission Bay
499 Illinois St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Center for Reproductive Health at Mount Zion
2356 Sutter St., Seventh Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115