Considering donating eggs? On this page, we walk you through each step of the egg donation process — from applying and going through the screening evaluations, to the cycle medications you will take, to the egg retrieval procedure. Becoming an egg donor does entail some commitment upfront, but the incredible difference you make for others makes that worthwhile.
The first step to donating eggs with Donor Nexus is to fill out our preliminary egg donor application.
Once we review your application, we will send you an email with a comprehensive questionnaire to fill out.
The questionnaire provides insight for prospective intended parents on the type of person you are. It's important to be as honest and as thorough as possible on your application and questionnaires. We also encourage you to be thoughtful with your responses – this is your opportunity to show off your personality! Be sure to use spell check too!
Photos: Please include 10-15 photos of yourself from all stages of your life – infancy, childhood, teenage, adulthood. Please also include at least one full-body photo of yourself now. Sharing photos of your family and siblings is great too! These photos will be included on your online profile for intended parents to look at, so please make sure they are appropriate. Intended parents like to see photos from graduation, extracurricular activities, and anything that gives them an insight into who you are. We advise that you do not use any photos that are posted publicly or on social media.
Upon reviewing your questionnaire, our team will determine whether you are a good candidate for one of our egg donor programs.
If so, we will be in touch to schedule a brief introduction phone call, video meeting, or in-person meeting to answer any questions you may have. We will discuss our egg donor program options to help you decide whether a fresh one-on-one egg donation or a frozen egg banking cycle is best for you.
Fresh One-On-One Egg Donation Cycle:
Frozen Egg Banking Cycle:
Learn more about the differences here: Frozen Egg Banking vs. One-on-One Egg Donation
Next, we will create an anonymous* egg donor profile and upload it onto our online database for prospective intended parents to review. Your egg donor profile will include your photos and responses from your questionnaire. Please note that all identifiable information will be removed from your profile, such as your full name, birth date, home address, etc.
*Please note that although our team adheres to the highest standards to maintain donor and recipient confidentiality when facilitating the cycle, with advancements in commercial genetic testing, we counsel our egg donors and intended parents to understand that we cannot guarantee permanent anonymity in the future
This step only applies to one-on-one donors; egg banking donors do not need to wait to be selected by intended parents, meaning they can immediately begin the screening process upon being accepted into the program.
We do not have an exact timeframe of how long it will take for you to be matched. It could be several months or over a year. We are committed to ensuring the match is right for both parties.
When intended parents come to Donor Nexus, we help them find an egg donor based on the characteristics they are looking for. Usually, it is characteristics similar to the intended mother, such as ethnicity, hair color, eye color, etc. Our password-protected online donor database is accessible to any user who creates a free account.
On occasion, we may contact you for additional information not listed on your profile if an intended parent has shown interest and has questions. For instance, the intended parent(s) may want additional photos of you as a child, want to know more about your family, or have questions about something that you wrote about on your profile.
Upon selection, we will contact you to share the good news!
Next, it's time to begin the screening process! For one-on-one donors, your screening process will typically begin shortly after being selected by the intended parents. As an egg banking donor, we will initiate your screening evaluations almost immediately upon being accepted into the program.
Egg donor screening evaluations consist of medical, genetic, and psychological evaluations in addition to a legal consultation.
What to expect during your screening evaluations:
1. Medical Evaluation:
For one-on-one donors, this will typically be completed at the intended parent’s designated fertility clinic on days 1, 2, or 3 of your next menstrual cycle. However, depending on the intended parent's clinic, they may allow you to be seen at a clinic local to you for some of your appointments.
For egg banking donors, this appointment will take place at a fertility clinic local to you. If you are local to Southern California, you will be seen at HRC Fertility in Newport Beach, California.
The medical evaluation includes a transvaginal ultrasound, extensive blood work, a physical, and injection training so that you will know how to inject your medication when the time comes.
Common medical evaluations performed are:
2. Psychological Evaluation:
This is done primarily to make sure that you are emotionally ready to perform what is required as a donor, and also to get insight into your personality. You will complete an interview with the psychologist as well as complete an online 300-point personality assessment.
3. Genetic Evaluation (if required by designated fertility clinic):
You will speak with a genetic counselor to discuss your family history of any illnesses or diseases.
4. Legal Consultation:
This consultation will allow you to speak with an attorney to review your donor contract so you understand your rights and responsibilities as an egg donor.
The prescreening process can take up to 3 months to complete.
Once you have been medically cleared and completed all your prescreening evaluations, you are ready to begin your cycle!
Typically, you can expect to begin taking birth control pills 7-10 days before beginning stimulation medications. Taking birth control pills has been shown to help the follicles (egg-containing structures) grow at a similar rate which leads to a greater number of mature eggs retrieved.
Next, you will have a baseline appointment for another quick round of blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound. During this appointment, your doctor will make sure your ovaries are "quiet" and your hormone levels are low. Once given the green light by the doctor, you will be ready to start taking stimulation medications.
Once we are ready to proceed with the cycle, your clinic coordinator will provide you with cycle dates and a medication instruction sheet. You will also receive a shipment of medications and needles for the injections. Your clinic coordinator will schedule an in-person appointment or phone call to do injection teaching. You may also watch instructional videos via Freedom MedTeach.
Next, you will begin your cycle medications which are prescribed by your physician based on your medical evaluations and hormone levels. Most egg donors will take a combination of medications including FSH (Gonal-F or Follistim) an LH (Menopur), and an antagonist (Ganirelix or Centrotide).
The stimulation medications are taken once a day via self-injection in the lower abdomen area, for about 10-12 days.
While taking medications, you will have monitoring appointments at your designated fertility clinic about every other day between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. The appointments are brief and consist of a transvaginal ultrasound and a blood draw to determine how you are responding to the stimulation medications. The doctor will view the results of the transvaginal ultrasound and blood work and determine whether you need to change the amount of stimulation medication you are on.
*This is a very crucial part of the process, appointments must be completed at a certain time of the day so we can receive same-day results to ensure your medicine protocol is at a safe dose for you! You are responsible for scheduling your appointments ahead of time and arriving at your appointments on time.
Important Notice: Please know egg donors are unable to smoke/drink while taking cycle medications because it diminishes egg quality. Egg donors will also need to abstain from sexual intercourse while on medications to avoid pregnancy and STDS, and will also be checked periodically throughout their cycle to ensure they are not taking any illegal substances. If a donor tests positive for any of the above, it is automatic disqualification.
Toward the end of the stimulation phase, when your hormones have reached the appropriate level, the doctor will instruct you to take your final injection, called the trigger shot. The trigger shot will be Lupron/Leuprolide, hCG, or a combination of the two. This gets your ovaries ready for your egg retrieval procedure.
The day after you trigger, you will have a blood test to make sure the trigger shot worked. This is called an “LH test".
About 34-36 hours after you give yourself the trigger shot, it will be time for your egg retrieval procedure.
The egg retrieval itself only takes about 20-30 minutes and is done as an outpatient procedure under monitored anesthesia care to keep you comfortable. You will be given a detailed explanation of the process from your nurse when you arrive. You are closely monitored by both your physician and anesthesiologist throughout the procedure.
As a one-on-one donor, your egg retrieval will be done at the intended parent's designated fertility clinic. As an egg banking donor, your egg retrieval will take place at HRC Fertility in Newport Beach, California.
How the egg retrieval surgery/procedure works:
Using ultrasound guidance, a thin needle is inserted through the vaginal wall to reach the ovaries. The eggs are gently suctioned out through the needle into a tube. As stated above, the procedure itself is very quick (only about 20 minutes) and you will be awake and ready to go home about an hour after the procedure.
If your cycle is out of state, you can bring a companion with you so you are not alone during and after your procedure. If you are unable to find a companion, a nurse will be hired for you. For both one-on-one donors and egg banking donors, we will cover all travel expenses for you and your companion.
We recommend that you take it easy for the rest of the day following your egg retrieval. It's common for donors to experience mild cramping and/or bloating for about a week following retrieval as the ovaries settle down. Within a day or two following the retrieval, you should be back to normal activity with no restrictions. Most donors return to work/school the following day.
What to expect:
In the video below, an egg donor shares her egg retrieval experience to give you a realistic look at what to expect from the procedure!
Within 5 – 7 days of completing the egg retrieval, your compensation and reimbursement will be released from escrow and transferred via ACH/wire transfer.
The process starts with an application, questionnaires, and a consultation with our team. You can either participate in a fresh one-on-one donation or a frozen egg banking cycle.
If you are participating in a one-on-one cycle, your profile will be uploaded to our online database with non-identifying information for intended parents to review. You will then wait until intended parents select you for a cycle before moving on to the next steps.
If you are participating in a frozen egg banking cycle, then upon being accepted into the program, you will immediately begin your prescreening evaluations.
Upon passing your prescreening evaluations, you will likely be placed on birth control pills for 1-2 weeks before beginning your cycle. For your cycle, you will self-inject medications for approximately 10-12+ days to mature multiple eggs in your ovaries.
This is followed by a short outpatient procedure to retrieve the eggs, which is done under sedation for your comfort. The entire process is carefully monitored by doctors.
Many women experience some temporary bloating and tenderness for about a week afterward before recovering fully. As a donor, your involvement is completed at this point and you then receive your compensation. Once retrieved, your eggs are used by intended parents for a fresh IVF cycle or frozen for future use.
We hope you are excited to start this journey and help give someone the greatest gift in life, a family! We welcome you to click around our website for additional resources to help you decide if being an egg donor is the right choice for you. If you are ready to take the first step, fill out our preliminary application today. If you have any additional questions, please contact our team!
*Egg donation involves a screening process and not all potential egg donors are selected and not all selected egg donors receive the compensation amount advertised. As with any medical procedure, there may be a risk associated with egg donation. First, an egg donor must agree to begin the egg donation process and sign a legally binding contract. The donor is required to receive specific information on the known risk of egg donation. Consultation with your doctor before entering into an egg donor contract is advised. [Ca. Health & Safety Code 125325(a)] In addition, a summary of the egg retrieval procedure must be given to the egg donor before there is a binding contract. [Ca. Health Code 125325(b)].