The egg donor search is a complex process with lots of moving parts. It is easy to get overwhelmed, and we know you may have many questions – so we’re breaking it down below. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
Planning & Prep
You want to begin your egg donation journey prepared. Discuss your plan with your reproductive endocrinologist and get familiar with your clinic’s parameters for your donor’s age, location, and previous cycle history. Start building a budget – if you need help, your Tulip Fertility Coach can introduce you to a fertility financing consultant.
You’ll also want to finish building out your fertility team. Meet and interview reproductive attorneys to represent you during the contract phase. And don’t forget about your mental health. Make sure you give yourself the space to process, and even find a specialized fertility therapist to guide you or you and a partner through the emotional aspects of egg donation.
Spend time thinking about the qualities that are important to you and your family. Start with the basics: your egg donor’s health, her availability and her willingness to donate her eggs. You’ll be able to use the Tulip database search functions to create a portfolio of egg donors who could fit your family. Remember, no single egg donor is going to look just like you or tick every box on your wishlist. Each egg donor is an individual with her own qualities, personality and characteristics. The best egg donor is the person who provides you with the genetic material necessary to create your embryos.
After you find your egg donor through Tulip’s database, you will be connected with her egg donor agency to begin finalizing the process. The agency will act as a liaison between you and your egg donor.
You’ll be asked to sign an agency agreement committing to working with this donor and her agency. Once signed, you’ll need to pay the agency’s fee. Ask the agency what their policy is in the event that the match doesn’t move forward, and consult with your fertility attorney as you navigate the process.
Retrieval and Transfer
Your agency will work with your clinic to schedule your donor for a one-day screening appointment. She’ll have a thorough fertility assessment, including ovarian reserve testing, genetic testing, and a psychological evaluation. After consulting with your attorney, and after all parties sign the legal contracts, your egg donor will begin the stimulation phase.
She will begin injections of follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) to allow multiple eggs to mature as your clinic monitors her progress. Once your egg donor is at the peak of her stimulation phase, she will go to your clinic for the surgical egg retrieval procedure. The eggs will then be combined with the sperm in a petri dish, and the fertilized embryos will either be frozen or transferred to the intended mother or gestational carrier.
Have more questions? Check out our in-depth FAQs in our Education and Resources. Still need some answers? Your Tulip Coach can help!