The egg retrieval procedure is the main aspect of your egg donation journey, when you officially ‘donate’ your eggs. But it’s also the part that can cause the most worry for potential donors.
Does it hurt? What happens afterwards? How do I know there won’t be any negative affects?
It’s natural to be anxious about the procedure. Donating eggs isn’t like donating sperm – it’s invasive, and does carry an element of risk, just like all surgical procedures do – which we’ll fully explain to you as part of your informed consent.
But at Manchester Donors, we ensure any risk to you is minimised. You are not just an egg donor, you’re our patient and we are responsible for your health and wellbeing at all times.
So although egg retrieval is considered a ‘minor’ procedure, it’s still a surgical process and we follow the same strict protocols and health regulations as you’d expect to find in a hospital. As a National Gamete Donation Trust Centre of Excellence and preferred referral clinic for egg donation, you can be assured you’re only in the safest of hands with us:
Your personalised egg retrieval procedure
As with all aspects of your care throughout your egg donation journey with Manchester Donors, your egg retrieval is personalised to you. You’ll be given a ‘trigger’ injection of hormones to ensure your eggs are at the right stage of maturity, as identified by the regular monitoring scans we give you. Only when your eggs are ready will you be booked in for your recovery procedure, and you won’t be allowed to eat or drink from midnight the night before.
Egg recovery takes place in our clinic theatre, under the care of our anaesthetist, nurses and fertility consultant who will perform the retrieval.
You’ll be given light sedation to make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed; your eggs are then gently retrieved using camera guidance, which typically takes around half an hour.
Egg retrieval recovery
Immediately afterwards, you’ll be taken to our private ward for further care. You’ll stay with us for a few hours under our nurses’ observation, so we can monitor your health, make sure you eat and have passed urine. You’ll only be allowed home once we’re happy you are well, and it’s important you’re accompanied home.
Before you leave, we’ll give you a course of antibiotics to take to prevent infection and our emergency out-of-hours phone numbers if you need to contact us.
The days after your egg retrieval
You’ll be able to continue with your usual routine once home. It’s normal to feel tired, bloated or even to have some mild abdominal pain. There may also be some light spotting.
But it’s important you contact us if you feel unwell at any point. One of the rare side-effects of egg donation is a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which can affect anyone who undergoes ovarian stimulation for fertility treatment or egg donation.
OHSS is when your ovaries over-respond to fertility medication and produce too many eggs. The goal of ovarian stimulation isn’t actually to retrieve as many eggs as we can, it’s to ensure that there are enough mature eggs to donate safely without putting your health at risk.
At Manchester Donors we reduce your risk of OHSS significantly,
through careful monitoring combined with tailored, appropriate drugs protocols unique to you.
Most cases of OHSS are mild, but we’re still vigilant for its symptoms, so if you experience persistent nausea or vomiting, severe pain, abdominal swelling or breathlessness in the days after your egg retrieval, contact us straight away so if necessary we can give you the appropriate care.
Egg retrieval follow up
We’ll get in touch with you following your egg donation to make sure you’re well. As a Manchester Donors egg donor we will always be available to you if you have any questions or concerns in future.
Become a Manchester Donors egg donor
If you’d like to donate your eggs to us, you can fill in our simple preliminary egg donor application form online. You must be aged 18-35, a non-smoker and in good health. Altruistic egg donors receive £750 compensation per donation cycle, or you can choose to egg-share with us for cheaper IVF.
If you have any questions, contact our friendly team on 0161 300 2730.