Donor Screening Process
Becoming an egg donor is a big commitment that takes time and patience. For many, the application and screening process can be the most frustrating part of the donor experience. An application must first be submitted and approved, which verifies the potential donor meets the necessary initial criteria.
This will be followed by a rigorous screening process that includes a medical examination and a psychological evaluation. The purpose of having such a thorough screening process is to ensure the health and safety of both the donor and the egg recipient.
The first part of the egg donor screening process begins with the application. This will include detailed personal and medical information of the applicant, and medical history regarding immediate family. All information obtained from the application is kept completely confidential. If the application is approved, the possible donor will then begin the medical screening process.
The application is used to determine if the applicant meets the basic criteria:
- Is a non-smoker
- Is physically and mentally healthy
- Is in her early 20s to 30s
The process of screening a possible egg donor is time consuming and expensive. For this reason it is crucial that donors are aware of and understand the many steps and importance of committing to the program. The medical screening will begin with the physician explaining all the steps and tests involved throughout the process. This consists of:
- A physical exam – This is required to determine if the donor is healthy enough to successfully undergo the procedure.
- Blood tests – The blood is tested to ensure the donor does not have any inheritable diseases, hepatitis A, B, or C, HIV (AIDS), or syphilis
- Cervical cultures – These are done to evaluate for the sexually transmitted diseases chlymadia and gonnorhea.
There are many psychological aspects involved with both donating and receiving eggs. Some situations can lead to feeling overwhelmed, depression, anxiety, loss, or even grief. The psychological screening is important to determine if the donor understands the possible psychological risks, and if they are mentally healthy and stable enough to handle the risks not only throughout the procedure, but following it as well.
The psychological screening includes:
- Psychological test – A psychological test is given in one session, and it is generally administered with a computer. This can be completed within an hour, and an evaluation will then be scheduled.
- Psychological evaluation – This includes a one-on-one session with a psychologist to discuss many emotional and mental aspects. Any questions or concerns are addressed at this time. Following psychological approval, the donor is accepted into the program.
The entire screening process is thorough and can take up to 3 to 4 weeks. Once the donor has completed the medical and psychological screening, and has met all the criteria, the final processes of the donation procedure are arranged.
- Hormone injections – These are give to stimulate the ovaries and create multiple follicles that will contain eggs.
- Testing – After the injections, the donor will receive regular exams for blood tests and ultrasounds. The blood is tested to monitor the donor’s health and possible reactions to medication, and the ultrasound monitors the growth and development of the eggs.
- Egg retrieval – When the eggs have matured, the egg retrieval procedure is done. This can take approximately 30 minutes, followed by 1 to 2 hours of recovery. Once the eggs have been retrieved, the egg donor has completed the procedure and will have a follow up exam two weeks later.