BASIC REQUIREMENTS TO BE AN EGG DONOR

*Should a potential donor declare being drug-free for the last 3 months and then test positive at the screening appointment, she will be declined immediately.

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VEDA egg donors can expect:

Complete anonymity
Face-to-face consultations with our experienced team members
A free gynaecological examination
Zero medical costs as all the necessary expenses incurred are covered
Doctor’s sick notes for the time required at the clinic
Minimised risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
Fulfilment of accomplishing with an altruistic act

Do you get paid for donating your eggs?
You get R9,000 for your donation and R1500 towards travel expenses.

Is it painful?
The egg retrieval procedure at Vitalab is quick and painless, and there are no cuts nor stitches. Our team of in-house doctors, embryologists and nursing sisters will ensure that each donor is given special attention and unparalleled care.

Is egg donation safe?
Yes egg donation is a safe. Our highly qualified doctors will take excellent care of you.

Can I still have my own children after egg donation?
Yes-during a normal menstrual cycle, women lose on average 100 – 1000 eggs for the possibility of fertilising one egg. For a VEDA egg donor, these additional eggs in a given cycle would instead be stimulated for growth in preparation for collection and donation. This does not reduce a donor’s chances of conceiving at a later stage.

Possible side effects
Some women may experience side effects including tenderness in the breasts and/or ovaries, fluid retention, increase in appetite, and moodiness. These can take up to two weeks after the egg collection to pass completely. There are rare-occurring risks to any egg collection procedure, for which all measures are taken to minimise the chance. This will be discussed during the doctor’s consultation and are detailed in the consent form.

Frozen vs. Fresh Egg Donation
Having eggs frozen immediately after retrieval for VEDA’s donor egg bank, allows donors to donate soonest without the need to wait for a recipient’s cycle to be synchronised, which is sometimes the longest part of the egg donation process.

Please note:

1. Types of current contraceptives used
•  The following contraceptives are accepted:
     •  Condom
     •  Birth control pills (eg. Yasmin, Minulette, Yaz, Triphasil, Femodene)
     •  Contraceptive patch
     •  IUD – Non hormonal (eg. Copper T)
     •  IUD – Mirena
     •  No contraceptive

•  The following contraceptives are not accepted: An implant contraceptive (e.g., Implanon, Norplant or Jadelle) – you will not be able to donate until the implant has been removed, at your own discretion, and you have had 3 natural menstrual cycles.

• Contraceptive injections (e.g., Depo Provera and Nur-Isterate) – you would be required to be off the injections, at your own discretion, for at least 3 months, and have had 1 natural, regular menstrual cycle thereafter, before you can apply to undertake the egg donation programme.

2. Tubal ligation procedures do not affect one’s ovaries, meaning a donor who has had their “tubes tied” is still able to participate in the egg donation programme.

3. The egg retrieval procedure, performed at Vitalab Centre for Assisted Conception, is quick and performed vaginally under conscious sedation to ensure you feel no pain during the procedure. There are no cuts nor stitches involved. Our team of in-house doctors, embryologists and nursing sisters will ensure that each donor is given special attention and unparalleled care.

 

SIX STEPS TO THE EGG DONATION PROCESS

ONLINE APPLICATION

Should you meet the criteria and have watched the Egg Donation Journey video, your first step as an egg donor applicant at VEDA is to fill out our online application. 

All applications are completed only through this online portal. Should your qualifying answers be accepted, you will be asked to fully and honestly complete your donor profile, disclosing important information such as medical history, family heritage, personality traits, and physical characteristics including baby/childhood photos. Your donor profile later becomes anonymously available to recipients. Once selected, you will be invited in for a consultation (Step 2) with our Egg Donor Team, who will explain the process in detail.

APPOINTMENT AT CLINIC

Consultations are held on weekdays in our clinic and can take up to two and a half hours. This initial visit includes a face-to-face interview, a routine urine drug test screening; and a free clinical physical examination of your reproductive system by means of a transvaginal ultrasound to assess egg quantity; blood tests which provide valuable information about your own fertility and state of health, confirming blood group and the absence of illnesses such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV), hepatitis B & C as well as syphilis; and an instructional session with one of Vitalab’s Nurse Co-ordinators. Should all results be satisfactory, the donor is referred to a preferred social worker for a mandatory counselling session. This concludes the two-week screening process. 

Commitment and reliability are characteristics we seek in an egg donor. Should you not be approved as a donor, based on either your physical examination, drug test, blood test results or psychological screening, please note this will not impact your own personal ability to reproduce, however, the doctor will explain the specific reason and reassure this is done to protect your own health.

PLANNING THE DONATION CYCLE

All VEDA egg donors are placed onto a combined oral contraceptive (“the pill”) from the start of their next menstrual cycle for 2 or more weeks to regulate their cycle. A convenient date plan is set to commence and carry out the egg donation cycle, which may be synchronised with the recipient’s cycle (if necessary).

THE STIMULATION PHASE

Donors are treated with fertility medications that stimulate the development of multiple egg follicles for the recipient’s use at attempting fertilisation and conception. These medicines have been used for over 35 years and are the same prescribed drugs used by women undergoing IVF treatment using their own eggs. Donors receive these medications free of charge, along with detailed information and instructions on how to administer them at home for an average of 10 to 12 days. Donors may bring a friend or family member along who can be taught to administer the injections on the donor’s behalf. The Vitalab Nurse Co-Ordinator will also explain the temporary side effects that some women may experience while taking the medications as well as DO’s and DON’Ts. 

During stimulation injections, you will need to visit Vitalab for transvaginal ultrasound monitoring. These visits usually last 30 – 60 minutes and are scheduled ahead of time. This monitoring informs the Specialist of how your follicles (small sacs of fluid that contain an egg in each) are developing, allowing him/her to decide on the right time to retrieve the eggs and complete the cycle. Should the Specialist detect during these ultrasound appointments that the donor is not responding correctly to the medication, treatment may be cancelled before reaching the egg collection stage. Based on what has been learnt in the previous stimulation, a new cycle may or may not commence.

EGG RETRIEVAL / OOCYTE PICK UP (OPU)

The egg retrieval (or aspiration) is done on an outpatient basis. You are instructed to arrive early on the scheduled morning; the procedure itself takes ±20 minutes and is performed using intravenous sedation (not a full anaesthetic). 

You will sleep during the retrieval, and you will not feel pain. It is done using vaginal ultrasound (no cuts nor 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 be accompanied home ( by a friend or family member) . You will be informed of certain restrictions for 24 hours after the procedure, including not driving a vehicle yourself, nor being alone in public transport.
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 which is prescribed to you. 

A donor can expect to have a period anywhere from 5 – 14 days after the egg retrieval procedure. Approximately 3 days afterwards you will be compensated the R9 000 donor remuneration for your time, commitment, and effort plus an additional R1500 for travel.

COMPLETE DONATION

Most donors experience a great deal of personal satisfaction from this unique act of giving. All donors with successful outcomes are legally allowed to donate multiple times, meaning should the donor be interested in donating again please contact VEDA to become active on our database again. Currently South African law allows for 6 live births per donor (excluding a donor’s own live births). VEDA requires a 3-month waiting period between each donation. APPLY NOW

SOUTH AFRICAN REGULATIONS

The law in South Africa allows financial compensation for reasonable expenses incurred by the donor, i.e. injectable medication, regular consultations, regular ultrasound examination, blood tests and travel expenses to Vitalab.
According to South African law, an egg donor may have no more than six live born children from their donated gametes. Therefore, as a donor you are allowed to donate more than once. VEDA – Vitalab™ Egg Donation Agency strictly follows guidelines set out by SASREG in selecting, treating, and caring for our donors. 

Vitalab Centre for Assisted Conception has been on the forefront of fertility treatment for over 30 years. As a result, the facilities at our immaculate premises lend themselves to supporting the complete egg donor journey. Being located within the Vitalab fertility unit enables VEDA to control and monitor the entire egg donation programme from Donor to Recipient. This comprehensive, holistic approach is not offered by brokers, as they have no direct involvement with your medical care. 

By handling each step of the process from our clinic in Sandton, VEDA makes the egg donation programme as hassle free as possible, under the strict guidance of highly experienced Fertility Specialists. At Vitlalab and VEDA, everyone involved in your Egg Donation Programme is on-site and ready to assist you. 

Vitalab Egg Donation Agency (VEDA) announced more than a decade ago the availability of Frozen Donor Eggs through their Frozen Egg Bank – the first in South Africa. This option allows recipients a selection of eggs already collected and frozen providing opportunity to move immediately into treatment. When frozen donor eggs are used, the need to manage the donor in relation to the recipient disappears which results in simplicity and a vastly more efficient programme for patients.