Hormone stimulation enables you to produce more eggs
In a normal menstrual cycle you produce only one mature egg that can be fertilised every month.
If you wish to donate unfertilised eggs, this requires more eggs than the one you produce every month. In order to get your ovaries to produce more eggs, we give you mild hormone stimulation, whereby you’ll be able to produce around 5-6 eggs, which is about half the number of eggs produced by women undergoing test-tube treatment.
Hormone stimulation takes place by means of an injection into the skin of your abdomen using a small pen every day for 7-9 days.
Using an ultrasound scan we can see when your eggs are mature enough to remove, which will typically be 11-13 days after commencing the course of hormone stimulation.
What’s the process like?
If you’re thinking about donating unfertilised eggs, you can attend a completely non-binding consultation with one of our two doctors, during which you’ll be fully informed about the ethical and legal aspects of egg donation. At the same time, you’ll receive information about the mild hormone treatment that you need to undergo in order to stimulate egg production. You can choose to donate anonymously or without anonymity.
If you decide to donate eggs, we’ll begin keeping medical records in which we’ll ask you in detail about your state of health and any hereditary diseases in your family. We’ll also carry out an ultrasound scan of your ovaries and uterus. You’ll also have a blood sample taken in order to test for infectious diseases. You must sign a declaration concerning donation.
A nurse will then give you instructions as to how to carry out an injection into the skin of your abdomen. Injecting yourself is something that many people worry about, but the needle itself is so small and thin that you’ll hardly notice the prick.
You’ll receive all the medicine needed for the entire course of treatment. If you have an ordinary coil or hormonal coil, this doesn’t need to be removed when you’re donating eggs. If you’re taking contraceptive pills, however, you should take a break from these while treatment is taking place and, if birth control is required, you need to use a condom for a week around the time of egg retrieval.
Start-up of treatment
When you begin bleeding, please call IVF-SYD on +45 7624 5020 from 9.15 until 12.00 or from 12.30 until 14.30, or on +45 3115 1505 if it’s at the weekend, so that we can register that you’ve begun treatment and can make an appointment for a scan.
Stimulation with pen
Discuss with the doctor or the nurse when you need to start giving yourself injections with the hormone pen. As a rule, you should start using the pen on the second or third day of your menstrual cycle. Depending on how long after the consultation you begin treatment, you can start at home so that you don’t need to spend time getting to the clinic. You’re of course always welcome to be scanned on the very same day, should you wish to do this.
After 6 days you must also take a daily injection at the same time as the pen injection which is designed to prevent spontaneous ovulation (you’ll also receive full instructions on how to do this).
The next scanning will be 6-7 days after start-up. This scan will be used to determine when the egg needs to be retrieved. It will typically be 11-13 days after you have started injections with the pen.
When a scan indicates that the follicles have the right size, you have to give yourself an injection with ovulation hormone Ovitrelle or Suprefact. The injection must be performed 34-36 hours prior to egg retrieval taking place. You’ll have received full instruction in performing this injection when you attended the scan. The time will appear on your treatment schedule.
You’re entitled to DKK 7000 per egg donation, cf. current legislation.
How does egg retrieval take place?
2 hours prior to egg retrieval you take a sedative (this is provided after the final scan before egg retrieval) and pain-relieving medication.
You’re welcome to bring your boyfriend/husband/mother/girlfriend with you, who may also be present during egg retrieval. Although retrieval takes place in the morning, it’s a good idea to have eaten breakfast, as this reduces the risk of feeling unwell due to your blood sugar level being too low.
We often begin by administering a local anaesthetic on both sides of the vaginal wall, such that the local anaesthetic has the best effect prior to actual egg retrieval.
A hypodermic needle is inserted into a vein in your elbow joint, into which pain-relieving medication is given in the form of Haldid (Fentanyl), which is a fast-acting, synthetic morphine drug with no significant side-effects other than drowsiness. You can also ask to have acupuncture, either as a supplement to the pain-relieving medication or alone.
The majority of egg donors will be both nervous and tense. How will it go? Will there be a lot of pain? How many eggs will come out? The majority of women experience egg retrieval without any drama and feel only slight pain similar to period pains. We inform you of what’s going to happen during the procedure so that you can follow what’s going on.
The actual retrieval of the eggs takes place through the vagina with the help of the ultrasound image. A thin needle is led through the vaginal wall directly into the follicles in the ovaries, which are located on the other side of the vaginal wall just a few millimetres apart. The eggs can then be sucked out. This is done on both sides until all the follicles are empty – the procedure takes around 5-10 minutes in all.
Following the procedure, you have to rest at the clinic in one of our relaxation rooms, and you will be offered something to drink and some fruit. Once you’re feeling better – usually after half an hour to an hour – you can go home. If you’ve been given pain-relieving medication or a sedative, you mustn’t drive a vehicle. If you have any pain in the pelvic region following egg retrieval, you can take paracetamol (e.g. Panodil, Pinex or Pamol), if necessary in combination with arthritis medication (e.g. Ibuprofen 200 mg).
You’ll be contacted by the clinic the day after egg retrieval in order to hear how you are and give you the chance to ask any questions you may have. You’re also welcome to contact us at any time.
In the event of signs of complications
If you experience any bleeding, pain or fever following egg retrieval, you should call IVF-SYD and ask to speak to a nurse or a doctor. If it’s at the weekend, you can call the emergency phone no., +45 3115 1505.
It’s very important that you use a condom during the period in which you’re treated with hormone stimulating medication if you don’t use a coil. Even if all the follicles are emptied of mature eggs, a few immature eggs may remain that can reach maturity and be fertilised during unprotected sex up to one week after egg retrieval.
How many times may I donate eggs?
If you wish to donate eggs again, this is definitely permitted, but no more than 6 times in all. There must be at least one month’s break between treatments. The majority of donors only wish to donate eggs a couple of times, whilst others are happy to repeat the procedure a couple of years later in order to give the recipient the chance to give birth to a biological sibling.
You can withdraw your offer of egg donation at any time – also on the day on which you’re due to have the eggs removed. If you change your mind after the eggs have been removed, the eggs will be destroyed – although we must have notification of this no later than the scheduled day of egg retrieval.