There are six steps to the egg donation process
1. Online application
Your first step as an egg donor at VEDA is to fill out our online application. All applications are done through this online portal and once submitted, it shows us if you would be a good candidate for donation. Once we have assessed you as a potential donor you will be invited in for a consultation with our Egg Donor Team, who will explain the process in detail. Consultations are held on weekdays in our clinic and takes approximately two hours.
VEDA accepts donors who use either of the following contraceptives:
- No contraceptive
- Birth control pills (eg. Yasmin, Minulette, Yaz, Triphasil)
- Contraceptive Patch
- IUD – NON Hormonal (eg. Copper T)
- IUD – Mirena
Unfortunately, should you be using an implant contraceptive such as Implanon, Norplant or Jadelle you will not be able to donate until the implant has been removed and you have had a natural menstrual cycle. Should the donor be using contraceptive injections such as Depo Provera and Nur-Isterate the donor would be required to be off the injections for at least 3 months before they can undertake the egg donation programme.
2. Appointment at clinic
The initial visit includes a physical examination, blood tests, drug test, and an instructional session with one of VEDA’s staff members. This initial consultation can be completed in less than two hours. Once you are approved as a donor, we set a convenient date to begin the egg donation cycle. Should you not be approved as a donor, based on either your physical, psychological, blood test or drug results, this will not impact your own personal ability to reproduce but you would not be able to donate.
3. Begin donation cycle
To increase the chances of success with egg donation, we try to obtain multiple eggs for fertilization and conception. All VEDA egg donors are placed onto a combined oral contraceptive from one month before simulation to regulate and plan their cycle. Donors are treated with fertility medications that stimulate the development of egg follicles (the part of the ovary that releases the egg). These medicines have been used for over 30 years and these are the same drugs used by women undergoing IVF treatment who use their own eggs. Donors receive these medications free of charge, along with detailed information and instructions. Donors learn how to inject the medications themselves if they so choose or can come into the unit daily for these injections. Donors may bring along a friend or family member who can be taught to administer the injections on behalf of the donor. The Vitalab Nurse Coordinator will also explain the temporary side effects that some women may experience, while taking the medications.
4. Complete donation cycle
The donation cycle usually takes from three to five weeks. For an average of 10 to 12 days, you will take your injections for stimulation at home, and we will stay in constant contact with you. During stimulation injections, you will need to visit Vitalab for ultrasound examinations. These visits usually last less than 30 minutes, and are scheduled between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. We attempt to keep the ultra sound appointments down to 3 visits, unless there are extenuating circumstances. This monitoring tells us how the follicles are developing, allowing the Specialist to decide the right time to retrieve the eggs and complete the cycle.
The treatment may be cancelled before reaching donation if the donor is not responding correctly to the medication, which is detected during the ultrasound appointment by the Specialist. This may not prevent a new cycle commencing, based on what has been learned in the previous stimulation, to be able to make the donation.
5. Egg retrieval / OPU
The egg retrieval (or aspiration) is done on an outpatient basis. It is performed using intravenous sedation (not a full anaesthetic). You will sleep during the retrieval, and you will not feel pain. The procedure takes about 20 minutes. It is done using vaginal ultrasound (no cuts or stitches) to help locate the eggs ready for retrieval thus leaving no visible scarring at all.
After the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery area for approximately 45-60 minutes. Once you have fully recovered from the sedation you may go home. Because you will have received intravenous sedation, you will need a friend or family member to escort you home. You may not drive a vehicle yourself for 24 hours after receiving the sedation. If there is any discomfort, it is normally no more than that associated with a normal period, although this depends on the sensitivity of the individual patient. This discomfort can be controlled with normal pain-relieving medication.
A donor can expect to have a period after the egg retrieval, this occurs anywhere from 5 – 14 days after the procedure. After the egg retrieval the donor will be compensated the R10 000 donor remuneration.
6. Complete donation
Most donors experience a great deal of personal satisfaction from this unique act of giving. All donors are legally allowed to donate multiple times, meaning should the donor be interested in donating again the process continues from step one. Currently South African law allows for 6 live births per donor. VEDA requires a 3 months waiting period between each donation.
Call VEDA now or fill out an enquiry form and we’ll guide you every step of the way.