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By being an egg donor, you could help other women realise their dreams of having a child. Because of illnesses such as cancer, premature menopause, Turner syndrome or hereditary conditions, these women cannot become pregnant using their own eggs.
In Denmark, there is a great shortage of donor eggs, so many women are forced to travel abroad to receive eggs from another woman.
These women who have been waiting for help are therefore deeply grateful for this gesture.
Legally, women donating their eggs will compensated with dkk 7.000,- per donation. This is a fee set by the danish Government.
To be an egg donor, you must be between the ages of 18 and 35, be healthy and not have any hereditary diseases.
It is possible to withdraw from the process at any time up until the day of donation if you change your mind about donating.
The procedure starts with a non-binding discussion with the doctor. Here, you will receive comprehensive information about the ethical and legal aspects of egg donation. You can choose to donate either anonymously or non-anonymously. Then you will be talked through the whole procedure. If after the discussion, you still wish to donate eggs, you will fill out a questionnaire regarding your state of health, any genetic diseases in the family, etc.
During a normal cycle, a woman usually produces only one mature egg per month which can be fertilised.
For egg donation, it is necessary to undergo hormone stimulation treatment, so that your ovaries produce more eggs (typically 5–7 eggs).
Before the treatment begins, the doctor will perform a vaginal ultrasound examination of your ovaries and uterus, and take a blood test for infectious diseases. You must also sign a donation declaration.
A nurse will then review your plan with you and explain how to take the hormones, and will answer any further questions you may have. You will receive any necessary medications from the clinic. You can attend this initial meeting the week before you expect to start menstruating.
On day 2 of your cycle, i.e. the day after your menstruation begins, you will begin taking the medicinal preparation known as FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). The preparation may be known by different names, but what they all have in common is that they stimulate the body into producing more eggs, and it is administered via an injection through the abdominal wall once a day. It should be administered at approximately the same time each day (+/- an hour), depending on what is convenient for you.
On the 7th day of your cycle, as agreed with the clinic, you will begin taking another hormone, Orgalutran, to prevent you ovulating prematurely. This is also administered as an injection, preferably in the morning.
The next check-up will take place 8–10 days after the initial meeting, where with the help of a scan, we can check whether the stimulation has stimulated the ovaries into producing a suitable number of follicles. We will adjust the dosage if necessary, and make an appointment for another scan in a few days’ time. The majority of women need 10–12 days’ stimulation before any egg retrieval can be planned. In any case, you will be notified two days in advance before the egg retrieval is performed.
Once the eggs are mature (when the follicles are > 17–18 mm in diameter), the egg retrieval can be planned. You will be notified of when to inject the ovulation-inducing hormone. This injection must always be done in the evening, normally 34–37 hours before the planned egg retrieval. This induces ovulation approx.40 hours later, so that the egg can be released.
It is very important that the time of injection for the ovulation-inducing hormone is adhered to precisely.
You must stop taking Orgalutran on the same day that you have the ovulation-inducing injection. If you have several follicles, you may experience some abdominal pain from the ovulation-inducing injection. It is important to drink plenty of water following the ovulation-inducing injection; ideally 3 litres of water per day.
The black areas are fluid-filled cavities, i.e. egg follicles, which contain a maximum of one egg, though some follicles may be empty.
Before retrieving the eggs, it is advisable to eat a light breakfast without any dairy products.
You will arrive at your scheduled appointment time (normally between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.) and can expect to be at the clinic for approx. 1–2 hours.
If you are alone, it is recommended that you bring someone with you as you should not drive afterwards due to the medication we give you during the egg retrieval, and because of the medication listed below.
Approximately 1 hour before you arrive at the clinic, you will take 1 Diazepam 5 mg tablet to sedate you, and 2 Pinex 500 mg tablets for pain relief. We will provide you with these tablets on the day of egg retrieval.
Immediately before egg retrieval is performed, the nurse will insert a small plastic needle into a vein (Venflon). A biomedical laboratory technician will check that your name and social insurance number are correct. The nurse will administer pain relief and sedation medication, while the doctor rinses out and administers a local anaesthetic in the vaginal wall.
You will feel drowsy but will be awake the whole time. Your pulse and blood pressure will be monitored throughout the whole procedure.
The egg retrieval procedure itself is performed by inserting a fine needle through the vaginal wall into the ovary under ultrasound. The individual follicles are drained, and the egg is extracted along with the fluid.
We try to empty all follicles, and you will be told immediately if we have located an egg. However, not every follicle contains an egg. A biomedical laboratory technician uses a microscope to locate the eggs in the fluid that has been extracted. You will be able to follow the egg retrieval procedure on the ultrasound monitor and will be able to see the retrieved eggs on a TV screen.
If you have someone accompanying you, they will be given the opportunity to sit beside you during the egg retrieval procedure.
The egg retrieval procedure itself normally takes 5–10 minutes. After the procedure, you will rest for approximately 1 hour at the clinic. We recommend that you rest at home for the remainder of the day. You may experience a little vaginal bleeding during the following couple of days (similar to light menstruation). The blood comes from the punctures made by the needle in the vagina – not from the uterus. You may also experience some moderate pain which can be alleviated with paracetamol. Someone must accompany you home as you are not permitted to drive during the following 24 hours. If possible, you should also not be left alone for the rest of that day. You may experience some mild discomfort for up to a week after the procedure.
If after egg retrieval, you experience heavy bleeding, are in considerable pain, or have a temperature, please call and ask to speak to a nurse or doctor.
If you would like to donate eggs again, this is possible. However, there must be a one month break between donations. All donors may donate a certain number of times, and can only do so at one clinic.
As mentioned previously, you may withdraw your application to be an egg donor whenever you wish. You can even do so on the day on which you are due to have had your eggs retrieved. If you regret your decision to donate after your eggs have been retrieved, the eggs will simply be destroyed. However, we do need to be notified of this by the day of egg retrieval at the latest.
As a gesture of thanks for your willingness to help other women, you will receive a symbolic payment from the clinic.
The German law, § 1 Abs. 1 ESchG, states that it is illegal to perform consultations, treatments or any related treatments for egg donation in Germany. In accordance, the VivaNeo fertility clinics in Germany do not offer these treatments and related preparations.