Finding an Egg Donor
Working with an egg donor to move your dream of parenthood forward is a big decision. You may have already gone through many IVF cycles. Or maybe this is your first attempt with fertility treatment. Many clients talk about the loss of control they feel with egg donation. It is understandable and that is why Forward Fertility takes great care in the screening process of our egg donors.
In addition to finding the right donor, part of the process is getting the right people on your team. Meet Christie Olsen, the nurse practitioner and founder of Forward Fertility.
Review Becoming a Parent Thru Egg Donation below for steps of the process. Or use the contact page to request a phone call or email to initiate moving your dreams forward today.
BECOMING A PARENT THRU EGG DONATION
Whether you are just starting to gather information, still on the fence, or have decided to use an egg donor as part of your fertility treatment, speaking with Christie will give you more information about the options available. You can also gain full access to the Forward Fertility egg donor database.
Here are a few perks you’ll find working with Forward Fertility.
- Flexible: Work with the IVF clinic you choose. If you ask, recommendations are available.
- Available: You probably don’t think of your plans to become a parent Monday through Friday or just nine to five. Neither do we. Forward Fertility is available on weekends and evenings.
- Quality Egg Donors: Each donor is interviewed in person for 60-90 minutes by a nurse practitioner with years of experience in reproductive health.
- Professional: This is your experience. As a nurse practitioner, my job is to focus on you and your experience.
- Quality People: From the dedicated egg donor to the’above and beyond’ care you will receive.
Former clients who have worked with Christie are available if you are interested in speaking with someone who as been through the process or can serve as a reference.
If you choose to work with Forward Fertility, you will be asked to complete a brief application so Forward Fertility can get to know you a bit better, too! Just as time is taken to learn about the egg donor, we do the same for the Parents to Be. Understanding your preferences, priorities, and desires is key to a successful, smooth cycle.
Select one or more egg donors that you are interested in working with and get your cycle started. Once the donor has agreed to move forward as well, you will sign the Service Agreement with Forward Fertility. This is when the first payment is due and it includes the agency fee as well as a deposit into the escrow account for your egg donor’s expenses.
You may have already completed the testing your IVF doctor requires. If not, now is an ideal time. Forward Fertility will work with your IVF clinic to get the required testing completed for the donor.
Meeting with a Psychologist.
A lot of attention is paid to the physical well being each person involved. The emotional health is equally important. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine guidelines state that all egg donors undergo a psychological evaluation. Many IVF clinics may suggest you meet with a psychologist or mental health professional with expertise in third party reproduction as an opportunity to discuss some of the common feelings that surface during fertility treatment.
Forward Fertility works with the experts in the field so you and your egg donor have high quality professionals helping you understand your strengths and identify potential challenges of egg donation.
You wouldn’t go to a real estate attorney if you needed a patent. Likewise, laws surrounding egg donation are state specific and nuanced. You want an attorney who knows the details specific to your state. Christie collaborates with attorneys who are experts in egg donation and the laws in your state. Both you and your egg donor will have an attorney represent each of you as you formalize the egg donation legal agreement.
The basic process for getting pregnant using donor eggs can be boiled down to four goals for the recipient, whether she is a surrogate or the mom-to-be. These goals are coordinated by Forward Fertility under the guidance and instruction from the medical team at the fertility clinic where you will be getting your care.
Goal one: Keep the recipient’s body from ovulating
Most women, when they are not on hormonal birth control, will mature one egg each month and release it. That process is called ovulation. When we are using donor eggs, we do not want the recipient’s ovaries to produce eggs. So, medications are used to send your ovaries on a short “vacation”.
Goal two: Thicken the endometrial (uterine) lining of the recipient
Triple Layer or Multilayered Endometrial Lining
Triple Layer or Multilayered Endometrial Lining
Once the fertility clinic has confirmed you, or the gestational carrier, are not ovulating, they will give you medications to temporarily thicken your uterine lining. After a set amount of time, you will return to the clinic so the medical staff can assess your uterine lining and confirm your ovaries are still at rest. If the that is the case, you move to goal three.
Goal three: Egg donor takes medications to stimulate her ovaries
Once the uterine lining is ready, the donor will begin her two week window of busy time.
For her, this means she will be taking her injection medications to stimulate her ovaries and having monitoring appointments every few days. Forward Fertility will assist the donor with her medications and appointment scheduling as needed. Contact is made with the donor to answer any questions and help her with her shots, if needed. For the recipient, this can be a long two weeks, in a different way. Many mom-to-be can feel out of control and nervous about how the donor is doing. Forward Fertility will keep the communication flowing so you have up to date information about the progress of the cycle.
When the fertility doctor determines the donor is ready, she is given instructions to take her ‘trigger shot or shots’. These medications will prepare the eggs (inside follicles in the ovary) for the retrieval and fertilization. Forward Fertility will assist or be present for the trigger shot, as requested, since it is very important.
The retrieval is usually about 35 hours after the trigger shot. The day of the retrieval, the sperm will be needed (either fresh or frozen) to fertilize the eggs.
Once the retrieval date is known, you will be instructed by the fertility clinic to begin progesterone supplementation on a specific day and return a few days later for the embryo transfer.
Blastocyst (embryo on day 5 after retrieval)
Blastocyst (embryo on day 5 after retrieval)
The embryo or embryos must be placed into the uterus on the right day; this day is determined by the stage of the embryo and how many days you have been taking progesterone. Some clinics tend to do embryo transfers on day 3, while others favor day 5 or 6.
You should also talk with your doctor about the option and likelihood of you have any frozen embryos. They are valuable in case the fresh cycle is not successful or if you have hopes of coming back in a few years for a sibling.
You will usually have a blood pregnancy test in the clinic about ten to twelve days after the embryo transfer.
The Pregnancy About 2-3 weeks after the positive pregnancy test, an obstetric ultrasound is performed to measure the fetal heart rate and to see if the pregnancy is a singleton or twins. Usually, after this visit, you will continue your obstetric care with your obstetrician. At this time, you will receive a hard copy of the egg donor profile for your medical records.
It is recommended to share with your obstetrician that an egg donor was used, as the information is valuable when interpreting certain genetic tests.
Donor Sibling Registry
As part of working with Forward Fertility an account through the Donor Sibling Registry has been established. This account allows you and the egg donor to communicate anonymously. If there is a medical question that comes up with your child or perhaps the donor has a new piece of health history to share, there is a mechanism to do so.
It may seem to be in the far distant future, but your child may, someday, have questions about the egg donor. As we learn more about genetics, it may be helpful to have that connection with her.
Disclosure to your child
Most parents of donor conceived children do tell their child about their origin. There are a host of wonderful children’s books about this process. Babies begin to build their self-identity from day one, so incorporating the story of their origin from the beginning is important. Christie has worked with families who have children from donor egg, donor sperm, and donor embryos. She is happy to talk with you about your decision to disclose or the process. If you are in a relationship, you may find you are both not on the same page. Starting the conversation about disclosure early in the process will help you both find a common ground.
Thank you and Congratulations
Once you deliver, you begin the new role of parent of a newborn and wish you the very best. Forward Fertility is always here for you, should you have questions or concerns. Thank you for the honor of being part of such a special time in your life.