By Jennifer

When I blogged several weeks ago, I talked about the reasons I decided to donate my eggs. Now, I’d like to share more about the medical aspect of my donation experience.

ARR matched me within a few weeks of submitting my application. I soon met with my recipient couple’s doctor and took a fertility test and a genetic test. Then it was time to match up cycles with the recipient mother so that when my eggs were extracted, her uterus was ready to accept the created embryos.

This cycle began by suppressing my ovaries to get everything to a base level before starting the stimulation. In a sense, I went through a mini menopause because all of my estrogen was suppressed. This happened during midterms. I was studying with a friend and started getting hot and sweaty for no reason. It kept coming in waves. Luckily the suppression only lasted about a week and then I was on to stimulating.

I got started on the hormones, which I injected every night to stimulate the follicles. During the stimulation, I had appointments twice a week to monitor the hormone levels in my blood and check how big the follicles were. You can’t miss these appointments because they show whether you need more or less of the hormones depending on how your body is responding.

Once the follicles reach a certain size you take a “trigger” shot that starts ovulation. This is timed exactly so that the extraction procedure takes place four hours before you begin to ovulate, when the follicles are ready to release the eggs. The procedure itself is a minor surgery where all the mature follicles are drained with a needle. It lasts about 15 minutes, and isn’t really painful – you just have some cramping like a bad day during your period. I was fine by the next day, ready to go back to classes.

I hope that learning about my experience can help other women who are interested in donating to understand what comes after saying yes.