What was the process like to become an egg donor?
I can’t speak for all experiences, but here’s what I can tell you from my experience with The London Egg Bank.
It is a fairly long process… I first enquired in May 2020 and didn’t complete my first donation until November that year. This is, of course, during the pandemic, so I think that contributed to the time frame.
When you first sign up, there’s a fair amount of paperwork (understandably!), confirming your medical history, ensuring you understand the process etc., etc. I also had a session with a psychologist, both to check that my reasons for donating eggs were healthy and I had a good understanding of what I was committing to. But also to offer me support – if I were ever to feel affected by my decision to donate, I would have access to that psychologist at any time.
There were some blood tests to confirm that I was a suitable donor, and scans of my ovaries to check the reserves, and after that it was a case of waiting for the right time in my cycle to start the treatment.
Treatment is similar to the first part of IVF (as I understand it), in that I gave myself daily injections for about a week to stimulate my ovaries. Usually you only produce one or two eggs per month – the injections trigger your body to create more, meaning more can be collected. I didn’t find the injections painful or difficult to administer. During this period, I went for regular scans to check the progress and assess when I would be ready for the trigger injection, which is reassuring because it means you always know you’re on track.
The trigger is taken the day before you donate, and that day is a bit uncomfortable. I was bloated and had a pain similar to period pain. The donation was quick and easy – I was in and out of the hospital within an hour or so. You’re heavily sedated for the procedure, so I don’t remember any of that.
The second time was much quicker, as all the paperwork was already done. I contacted them in March 2021, and my donation was complete by May.