If you’re on the journey to becoming an egg donor, chances are you’ve done a lot of research already into the egg donation process. You understand about the required screening before being accepted into the egg donation program. You know that egg donors take oral birth control pills for about 3 weeks before starting the donation cycle. You know that the donation cycle starts on the first day of your next period, with about 8-10 days of medication injections and monitoring appointments. When the time is right, you’ll be given a trigger shot, and the egg retrieval will be scheduled 2 days afterwards.
But what happens on the big day itself? Your egg retrieval day? Here’s a rundown of what you can expect on the day of the procedure, and how you can prepare.
1. Take the day off. You can work around classes and jobs on every day except egg retrieval day. If you have kids, make sure you have a reliable caregiver to help you out. The total time should be about 2.5-3 hours, but you’ll also need time to recover from the effects of anesthesia. So plan ahead!
2. You’ll undergo anesthesia. Once you arrive and you’re prepped, you’ll be put under “twilight” anesthesia. (That means you’ll be put under but breathe on your own.)
3. Your eggs will be retrieved. How does it work? A needle is passed through the top of the vagina with the guidance of ultrasound to get to the ovary and follicles (where the eggs themselves wait). The fluid in the follicles is drawn through the needle; the eggs detach and are sucked out of the ovary. This all only takes about 15 minutes—and don’t worry, you’ll be out when this happens!
4. Coming to and getting home. Recovery time should be about 30-60 minutes. You’ll wake up feeling groggy from the anesthesia, naturally. Some donors also experience cramping, spotting, bloating, or nausea due to anesthesia. You need a trusted relative or friend to drive you home safely when you’re done. Taxis, Uber, Lyft, or public transportation are not allowed!
5. Take it easy. The anesthesia will wear off, but you’ll still feel sleepy and groggy. Legally you’re considered intoxicated! Relax the rest of the day, like you would after any minor surgical procedure. Perhaps it’s time for you and your DVR to become better acquainted? Again, plan ahead so you can take a real day off.
6. Resume your normal schedule the next day. You should be fine to resume work, school, and care giving. Some women might still experience side effects the next day, since everyone is different. So it’s always a good idea have a backup plan if it takes your body a little longer to recover than most.
7. Following up. In the days to come we’ll monitor you for any signs of rare side effects or complications—your health is important to us. Your next period should start normally in about 1-2 weeks.
So that’s the basic egg retrieval day schedule for our egg donors. It’s a straightforward procedure and, again, the best thing you can do is plan ahead for time off, rides, and anything else that makes the procedure possible. Want to know more? Check out our FAQs or contact us. We’re always happy to answer questions. And thanks for considering egg donation. Your eggs can be a very special gift for a family longing for a child.