Becoming a donor can sometimes feel like a very complex and overwhelming process. Our job is to guide you through the process and alleviate any of your concerns. By becoming a donor, one takes on a significant amount of responsibility with the knowledge that there is another person or couple who is depending on them to help them bring their baby home. Advanced Fertility Care Physicians feel very strongly that every donor that enters our program receives personalized care. While our screening measures are thorough, we do this to maintain the highest standard of care for all our patients. First and foremost is the health and wellbeing of our patients, including our donors. We will never deviate from that philosophy.
If you meet all the eligibility requirements, please complete the online version of our Donor Application. Once we have processed your application and you have successfully passed your screening questionnaire, we will direct you to an in-depth, on-line questionnaire. This questionnaire will ask very extensive questions relating to your personal medical, family, and genetic history.
Interview and Tour
Once your entire application is reviewed, our Donor Coordinator will schedule an interview with you at our Scottsdale office. At this time, the donor coordinator will explain the enrollment process as well as screening and cycling procedures and expectations. There will also be a discussion of the risks and complications to becoming a donor and you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions or voice any concerns. You will need to bring in pictures of yourself, including one current face shot, one current body shot, and pictures of you as a child. These pictures will be scanned and returned to you at your interview completion. You will also be required to have a current Pap’s Smear on file with our office. This can be obtained through your Ob/Gyn, or Primary Care Physician.Ultrasound and Consultation with Dr. Zoneraich
Once you decide to proceed with egg donation, you will be instructed to call us on Day 1 of your next menstrual cycle. If you are normally taking oral contraceptive pills, we will ask you to go off of them for 1 month prior to being evaluated. Dr. Zoneraich will see you on Day 2 or Day 3 of that cycle in order to meet you in person and perform a short transvaginal ultrasound. You will then have a consultation with Dr. Zoneraich at which time the risks and complications of egg donation will be reviewed and you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns or answer any questions you may have.
Once you pass the vaginal ultrasound screen and agree to participate in the donor program, we will proceed to draw your blood for hormone testing of your ovarian function. Once you have passed both the ultrasound and blood screening, we will place you on our donor website for potential selection by recipient couples.
Once selected by a recipient couple, you will need to complete the following:
- MMPI (personality test) and IQ Test administered by our pychologist
- Psychological Screening with our psychologist / social worker
- Complete History, Physical and Genetic Counseling
- This blood testing will likely include specific Blood testing for: HIV, Hepatitis B & C, Syphilis, CMV IgG & IgM, Blood Type, Rh factor, Drug screen, Cystic Fibrosis, Thallasemia, Sickle Cell, Tay Sachs Disease. Cervical cultures for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea will also be performed.
Once you have been chosen by our recipient couples, the entire donor cycle will span the course of approximately five to six weeks. You will be in contact with our Donor/IVF Coordinator and will receive a schedule of treatment. During the first several weeks of the schedule, you will be taking either oral, vaginal, or trans-dermal hormonal suppression medication (i.e. oral contraceptive pill or NuvaRing) followed by a once daily under-the-skin injection of Lupron, a medication that prevents you from releasing eggs naturally during the cycle. While you are on the hormonal suppression, you will be scheduled for an appointment with one of our clinical staff in order to learn how to give yourself the under-the-skin injections (subcutaneous) and learn how to mix the medications appropriately.
The stimulation of your ovaries begins after you start a period as a result of taking the Lupron. An ultrasound will be performed by a physician on the second or third day following the start of your period at which time you will be instructed to start your stimulation medications. If you need a refresher on injection technique, our staff will do that at this time. You will continue taking your Lupron injection while adding the stimulation medication – these are injected in the fatty tissue of your abdomen. We will ask you to come back five days from the start of this medication for a repeat ultrasound and blood work, then again two days later. At this point we will likely switch you to daily visits for approximately 2-4 more days. Your monitoring appointments will be scheduled in the early morning, usually to be completed prior to 10:00 am and include both an ultrasound and blood draw. Adjustments to your treatment will be made daily by your physician after review of your results.
The Egg Retrieval
Once your follicles have reached a certain point, you will be instructed to take another medication called hCG at a specific time in the evening. Your retrieval will then be scheduled exactly 35 hours after this injection time. The egg retrieval is performed at our Scottsdale location within our fully licensed Surgery Center. A Board Certified anesthesiologist will insert an IV and provide light IV sedation for the procedure. You will be breathing on your own the entire time, however you will feel no pain or discomfort. The procedure is performed by Dr. Zoneraich by passing a thin needle under ultrasound guidance through your vaginal wall into your ovary and aspirating the egg containing fluid from each follicle. The entire retrieval usually takes no more than 15-20 minutes and recovery period usually lasts 30 minutes to 1 hour. Some women will experience spotting and cramping (similar to menstrual cramps) after the procedure and we require that you have someone with you to drive you home. We ask donors to abstain from intercourse for at least 1 week after retrieval and to use condoms during intercourse for the subsequent 2 weeks. If you so choose, you may resume oral contraceptive pills on the evening of the retrieval. A clinical staff member will call you on the following day to check up on your status. We ask you to return in 7-10 days after retrieval for a follow-up ultrasound examination with Dr. Zoneraich.
Upon successful completion of the egg retrieval and follow-up ultrasound visit, each donor will receive compensation starting in the amount of $5000 for your participation in the program.