The process of egg donation begins with finding a fertility center willing to take you on as a donor. Filling out online questionnaires can be pretty tedious, and rather time consuming. If you choose to follow in my footsteps, be prepared to answer endless questions about your medical past, family history, and lifestyle. How tall is your maternal grandmother? What color are your father's eyes? Have you spent more than 3 months in Europe? Ever been bitten by an animal suspected of having rabies, or taken an injection of bovine insulin? The list goes on and on... for about 20 pages. After submitting the application, you wait for the approval of the fertility clinic.
After about a week, I got the call back from Shady Grove Fertility: Where families begin... I have applied to 2 other clinics, but Shady Grove is by far my favorite. Egg donation is a pretty intense process, and a huge commitment. The coordinators of the clinic seem to be pretty knowledgeable about fertility in general, and I feel comfortable that they will help me tremendously while I ripen my little oocytes. I still have a lot of questions about the process which I will be asking at my first intake appointment bright an early on the morning of February 21.
The initial intake appointment can be a pretty stressful experience, from what I have heard from the coordinators. The appointment is made on the last day of your period, or day 7 of taking placebo pills if you are on birth control pills (which I am). When I arrive at the clinic, I will give one of MANY blood samples taken throughout this journey to test my baseline hormone levels. I expect my arms to look like those of a heroin addict at the end of this. This blood sample will help the doctors determine which hormones, and at what strength, I will take during the "harvesting" month. Did I mention these hormones will be INJECTED daily into my stomach/upper thigh by yours truly? If you are not needle-friendly, egg donation is not for you. I will also have to review my medical history with the nurse practitioner, and take an MMPI, which is a personality test. I guess they don't want any crazies at their clinic... During this time they will also mentally prepare me for the idea of donating my DNA to a *lucky* couple, and teach me how to give myself injections.
The next part of the intake appointment involves a rather intimidating probe. Boys, you may want to stop reading here...The nurse practitioner will insert a transvaginal ultrasound to check out my ovaries. She will look for any abnormalities that would disqualify me from donating. This procedure will happen many times to check on the developing follicles, to make sure they are growing big and strong. I'll be sure to update after the 21st and let you all know how it goes!
You can visit Shady Grove's website here: http://www.shadygrovefertility.com/