Medication always plays an integral role for any egg donation cycle to turn out successful. Essentially egg retrieval is not possible without the need for egg donors to use some special drugs and medication. This is because body conditions have to be regulated before the eggs can be retrieved successfully.
As an egg donor, you consequently have to be prepared to undertake a number of medical procedures prior to the donation. The following is a brief overview of all the major factors an egg donor needs to know regarding the medications for egg donors.
Common Drugs Administered
There are a couple of drugs that an egg donor is expected to take. GNRH Agonist or GNRH Antagonist are some of the primary drugs that you’ll be given in preparation for the donation. Often you will only be given one of these depending on what the health professionals deem fit for you.
Both of the two are meant to prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs to avoid the chances of ovulation taken place before or during the donation. These drugs are primarily administered through injections on the thigh or abdomen. To fulfill your commitments as an egg donor, you may also be asked to administer these injections yourself at home.
Additionally, you will have to take hormone injection medication such as the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). FSH is administered to mainly ensure that there are more follicles in the body hence more eggs are produced. HCG on the other hand sees to it that the eggs present quickly mature before the donation takes place.
These four drugs are the main medications for egg donors used in the majority of egg donation procedures.
You can visit & read more about Medications and administering them here.
Why Do I Need Medication?
Simply put, there are two main reasons why medication is essential for egg donating. First, your normal cycle has to be stopped. If your ovaries continue working normally, retrieving the eggs can become virtually impossible. Moreover, unless the functions of your ovaries are brought to a temporary stand still, your body might not respond favorably to the fertility drugs you will be given. So, the first set of drugs you’ll be required to take, probably for a week or two, will be to stop the functioning of your ovaries temporarily.
Secondly, medication is imperative to stimulate optimal egg production. Thus instead of having one mature egg as the case is naturally, there will be several mature eggs ready for the retrieval.
Blood tests are also mandatory during egg donation. Egg donors have to be tested for STDs, genetic disorders and insidious health threats such as hepatitis. Needless to say, signs of any detrimental diseases on your blood will prevent you from being considered as an ideal candidate for egg donation.
Blood tests will also be used to measure how your body is responding to the medication in conjunction with vaginal ultrasounds. These appointments are done primarily in the mornings before 8:30 am during the egg donation cycle.
Fertility Drugs side effects
There are side effects to almost every medication on the market, and fertility meds have theirs as well. But in a recent article published by ASRM they state, ‘’.. Currently, there are no clearly documented long-term risks associated with oocyte donation, and as such, no definitive data upon which to base absolute recommendations. Furthermore, there is a paucity of long-term follow-up data for repeat oocyte donors. However, because of the possible cumulative risks to and future needs of an individual donor, as outlined in the preceding discussion, it may be reasonable and prudent to limit the number of stimulated cycles for a given oocyte donor to no more than six.”
This aside, fertility medications can trigger some unwanted and/or uncomfortable physical outcomes. A few of those could include headaches, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and even fatigue. These side effects happen after retrieval. Although a very slim chance, the needle used for retrieval can also puncture or damage other organs accidentally. If this happens there could be internal bleeding, and pain requiring immediate medical attention.
Those choosing to participate in an egg donation process can expect to have their personal lives inconvenienced a little until after retrieval. This process takes about a month from the start of meds to the retrieval of the eggs. There will be 8-10 required visits to the doctor. Medication has to be taken regularly, and on a strict schedule. This may very well affect your work or school. There is some flexibility on the timing of appointments and most clinics will work with you for the best collaboration.
Even though there are inconveniences and discomforts to being an egg donor, many donors welcome the opportunity to do it again. The reward of helping create a happy family overshadows the above-mentioned risks for most.
At Egg Donor Solutions, we find it important to educate our egg donor before deciding to donate. If you have any questions in regards to medications through the egg donation process, please email or call us anytime. We welcome you to start the application process here if you know you are ready.
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