Become an Egg Donor

Egg donors are women between the ages of 21 and 33 years of age who have been screened to ensure good general reproductive health and psychological stability. Egg donation treatment is always combined with In-vitro fertilization (IVF), the process of placing eggs and sperm together in the laboratory to stimulate fertilization and embryo development. When a woman's own eggs will not allow for successful IVF treatment, donor eggs may be substituted.

Normally, a woman produces one mature egg each month and loses immature eggs; through the use of medications, several follicles, or egg sacs, can be induced to develop mature eggs for retrieval. the process of IVF and egg donation requires that the donor takes a series of injectable medications which induce the growth of multiple ovarian follicles. These follicles, which contain eggs (oocytes), are removed vaginally and the eggs can then be donated to a known or an anonymous recipient.

Screening for Egg Donor Candidates

By your interest and commitment, as well as meeting a series of strict medical and psychological standards, you may qualify and participate in an egg donation program. Basic program qualifications typically include the following.

  • women between the ages of 21 - 33
  • height and weight within normal range
  • no smoking or drug use
  • previous delivery preferred

Preliminary screening steps include filling out a detailed medical history form, which covers information about your general health, surgeries, gynaecological history family medical history. Potential donors are also required to have an initial interview with the donor egg nurse coordinator and a comprehensive gynaecological exam is also carried out. We strongly suggest that your partner/spouse be involved in your decision to donate and be present during your visits.

Preparing to Donate

Once selected, a fertility nurse will meet with you to discuss pertinent issues for your donation treatment 'cycle'. You will be advised about the fertility medication injections that you will administer at home for a series of up to 21 days. The entire process encompasses between one to three months of planning, followed by about three weeks of cycling time. During the actual treatment phase you will be seen in our clinic monitoring vaginal sonograms to gauge your egg production.

Collecting the Donated Eggs

The egg retrieval, or egg pickup, is generally done in the morning and you will be sedated using medication administered through an IV. With the ultrasound as guidance, the follicles (hopefully containing eggs) are retrieved. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, including a short recovery period in the office, we recommend that you spend the rest of the day quietly at home. Most women feel fine the next day, and normal periods generally return in about 2 weeks.

Compensation

We recognize that your decision to be an egg donor is a tremendous gift! At Nordica Lagos, we know you cannot be paid but we offer very handsome compensation for your time and commitment if you complete the programme to the point of egg retrieval.

Letter to Egg Donors

Dear Prospective Donor,

Thanks you so much for your interest in the egg donor program at Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos. Your participation in this program will offer the possibility of childbearing to women whose ovaries are absent or do not produce eggs that can be fertilized. By using IVF techniques, eggs are harvested from donor and fertilized by the sperm of recipient's partner. Two or three embryos are placed into the recipient's uterus and any remaining embryos will be frozen for the recipient's future use.

Once you have selected and your screening is completed, the process to undergo egg donation will require a commitment of about six weeks. There will be several appointments early in the morning at our office during this time. Appointments often last only few minutes and are offered at flexible times. During the week before harvesting the eggs, you will need to be seen in our office daily. YOUR ABSOLUTE COMMITMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Please contact Nordica Fertility Centre for more information.

Nordica Fertility Centre
Road 2 Plot A3 and 4,
Victoria Garden City,
Lagos.

After our medical staff review the completed form, we will contact you to begin the next phase of screening, which will include attending an egg donor information session, a physical examination, psychological screening, and genetic screening. All egg donors must be in sound physical and mental health to participate in the program. As a potential donor, please be reassured that you will incur no medical costs for the screening process. Additionally, upon being selected and completing a donation cycle, egg donors will receive some financial compensation for their time and efforts.

Once again, we at Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos and our egg recipient couples express our heartfelt thanks for your willingness to begin this process. We look forward to meeting you in the near future. If you should have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

Sincerely,

Ngozi Meka
Egg Donor Coordinator

Egg Share Scheme

Donor eggs are increasingly required in the fertility treatment of a number of conditions that render a woman infertile. Donor eggs are in short supply because of the relatively invasive process involved during the donation programme, together with other medical and ethical considerations. Egg sharing scheme was introduced as a method of overcoming the dearth of donated eggs.

Egg sharing is a unique means of solving the problems of 2 sets of patients, those that are unable to produce their own eggs and others, who despite being able to produce their own eggs, could remain childless because they cannot afford the costs of IVF treatment. The Nordica Lagos Egg Sharing scheme marries these two types of couples together in a proper and ethical manner whereby both couples gain - the donor benefit from IVF treatment at a greatly reduced cost, and the recipient receives eggs which would otherwise be unavailable.

We recognize that the rationale for egg sharing is threefold:

  1. To increase the supply of donor eggs and thereby enable more couples to receive fertility treatment.
  2. To avoid the need for women volunteer who do not need to have fertility treatment themselves from undergoing the procedure of ovarian stimulation with drugs and aspiration of eggs from the ovaries.
  3. To provide the opportunity for couples who, for financial reasons, would be unable to receive fertility treatment

It is in the interest of both parties that an egg sharing scheme is only allowed to go ahead if the potential donor has 8 or more than eggs collected, thereby offering a reasonable chance of success for both parties. The eggs will be shared equally. Couples on the egg sharing scheme are always free to withdraw from treatment at any stage.

There are drawbacks to this sharing relationship but most of these are overcome by our careful selection of those patients choosing to share their eggs.

  • The egg sharer (or donor), is a patient who needs IVF for her own treatment, in giving away half of her eggs may reduce her own chances or conceiving.
  • The likelihood of the egg sharer having spare embryos left over to freeze is very much reduced.
  • The recipient will be receiving donor eggs from a patient undergoing IVF treatment. While we will carefully select egg sharers for this scheme whom we believe will produce good quality eggs, we cannot guarantee this.

Unfortunately, not all couples requesting to share are eligible to enter the egg sharing programme. A number of criteria are applied, as mentioned above, to ensure that a sufficient number of good quality eggs are produced giving a chance of pregnancy to both recipient and donor. All women who donate eggs at Nordica Lagos have to undergo screening tests according to Nordica guidelines. The sharer has to fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for the scheme:

  • be less than 35 years old
  • have an FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) level less than 8
  • have a normal ovulatory cycle greater than 25 days
  • undergo complete donor screening for HIV, Hepatitis B & C
  • have no previous evidence of poor ovarian response to stimulation with gonadotrophin drugs
  • complete an appropriate consent form.
  • undertake free independent counselling
  • have no genetic disorder or history of recurrent miscarriage
  • have no evidence of endometriosis (chocolate cysts)
  • have normal pathology of ovaries following ultrasound scan during the first consultation

All donors and recipients will remain anonymous aided by the fact that the sharer is seen by separate fertility nurse at different appointment times from that of the recipient.

Counselling is essential prior to embarking on this scheme. At Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, we have trained counsellors who will see both couples and help address some of the emotional issues that may arise. Such treatment counselling aims to ensure that both couples are confidently giving their informed consent to a complex arrangement.

 

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