Egg donation is a form of assisted reproduction for those who may face trouble conceiving. The process involves retrieving healthy eggs from a donor, which are then fertilised using sperm from a partner or a sperm donor, and then transferred into the recipient’s uterus.
Since its inception in the late 1970s, In vitro fertilisation (IVF) using donor eggs have proven to be very effective, giving women below the age of 35 a 41-43% chance of having a child. The IVF process is very safe and babies born from this procedure are perfectly healthy.
If you have tried IVF using your own eggs but the procedure has been unsuccessful due to your body being unable to produce healthy eggs, using donor eggs may be a viable option.
Receiving fertilised eggs from the egg donation process requires some preparation to ensure that the IVF treatment is a success. In this post, we’ll discuss the preparation required for the egg donation process.
Get a health check-up
Before pursuing IVF treatment with donor eggs, you need to undergo a comprehensive medical examination to ensure you’re fit to go through with the treatment. If you have a partner, they may need to take part in this too.
Several tests will be done to see if you qualify as a recipient for egg donation; these include:
- Semen analysis
- Ovarian reserve testing
- Infectious disease screening
- Uterine cavity examination
Once the medical examination is done, you qualify for egg donation and can start preparing for treatment.
Synchronise your cycle with the donor’s cycle
Before receiving an egg from a donor, you’ll need to make sure that your uterus is ready to host the new egg.
Naturally, the donor will go through their menstrual cycle and produce all the necessary hormones needed to produce healthy eggs and due to this, the recipient will also need to go through the very same cycle to prepare their uterus to accept the egg.
This is why it’s important to sync your menstrual cycle with your donor’s cycle. Of course, you will not need to do this alone, your fertility doctor will assist both you and the donor.
The process involves both you and the donor being given Lupron, a drug that stops natural ovulation; this is done so that both parties can start ovulating at the same time.
You will then receive oestrogen boosting drugs to thicken your uterine lining while the donor will receive gonadotropins to make multiple eggs mature. Once the donor eggs are ready, they’ll be collected for transfer. By this time, your uterus will be perfectly suited to receive the egg.
During this process, if your donor is not anonymous, make sure to keep in touch with them for regular updates on their progress.
Prepare your body
Preparing to receive an egg from a donor is no different than preparing for an unassisted pregnancy. Before receiving your donor egg, you’ll need to keep your body as healthy as possible.
Plan a healthy diet
First, you’ll need to adjust your diet. Avoid eating any processed food or drinking alcohol and start having healthier food like fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Here is a list of some of the foods you may consider incorporating into your diet:
- Royal jelly
- Flax seeds
- Goji berries
- Bone marrow
Before trying out these foods, always consult your doctor first.
Maintain your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Maintaining your BMI for IVF is very important as it can affect how the IVF treatment goes when you receive the donor eggs.
The ideal BMI for the procedure should be between 18.5 to 40. You can manage your BMI effectively with just your diet by avoiding high-fat food but you can try doing some gentle exercises too.
Avoid any form of strenuous exercise and try low-impact exercises like walking, swimming and stretching.
Reduce your stress levels
Naturally, while preparing for the egg donation process, you may feel tense as the date of your IVF treatment approaches and this stress can affect the procedure’s success.
During the preparation stage, try to keep your stress levels low by doing things you enjoy or try meditation, yoga and reading. If you’re having trouble managing stress, talk to your doctor or a psychologist to help you find ways to relieve stress.
The egg donation process is meticulous but worth it
The egg donation process for IVF is a very carefully planned process that requires commitment from both you, the recipient, and the donor.
The many compromises and lifestyle changes you need to make during the process may be challenging but it’s all a part of the procedure. This procedure has given many people the opportunity to have children and it has also allowed people to help others start a family.
If you’re considering getting IVF treatment using an egg donor, visit your nearest fertility centre for support and treatment.