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How Long Does the Egg Donation Process Take?

How Long Does the Egg Donation Process Take?


The team at California Center for Reproductive Medicine believes becoming an egg donor is one of the most powerful and rewarding decisions a woman can make. However, it is important to be prepared and understand everything that is involved in this big decision.

Getting started with becoming an egg donor

When you decide to become an egg donor, there are a few preliminary steps that need to be taken before everything else can happen. Potential donors must first apply to our egg donation program. Next, they go through initial screening tests as well as interviews with clinicians and physicians. It is vital our egg donors are in good physical and mental health. Once they’ve passed all necessary screening and completed an application, she is officially added to our egg donor program. Even though, she is an approved donor at this point, it may take time before she is selected by the intended parents to become their egg donor.

How long does the egg donation process take?

Once selected, an IVF (in vitro fertilization) coordinator contacts the egg donor and guides her through each step of the process—beginning with an FDA-required round of testing. From there the donor takes the following steps to donate her eggs:

  • Suppression and ovarian stimulation
    The egg donor self-injects a medication called Lupron to suppress her natural cycle, so it can be synchronized with the recipient. Next, she self-injects gonadotropin, a sex hormone that stimulates ovulation. During this phase, the egg donor is closely monitored through blood tests and ultrasound to ensure the ovaries are responding appropriately.
  • Triggering ovulation and egg retrieval
    When the ultrasound shows the egg donor’s eggs have sufficiently developed, the donor self-injects a medication called hCG. HCG is often referred to as the pregnancy hormone because it triggers ovulation. The eggs are retrieved two days after ovulation in a short in-office procedure. The egg donor is placed under general anesthesia during the procedure.
  • Egg donor: Post-retrieval check-up
    The donor is required to return to the office for a post-retrieval check-up to ensure she is recovering properly from both the ovarian stimulation and retrieval. 

From the start of the Lupron injections to egg retrieval, egg donation is a 3-5 week process for most egg donors.

When you become an egg donor you bring hope where there was despair, happiness where there was heartache and gratitude for your kind, selfless act. For additional information about egg donation in San Diego, please call CACRM at 760-274-2000.

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