How the Egg Donor Process Works

Step-by-step explanation for egg donors and recipients

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Video: About Egg Donation

Dr. Norbert Gleicher explains CHR's unique egg donation program.

Step 1: Egg Donor Matching

When a couple decides to use a donor egg, they may select from a pre-screened pool of potential egg donors. A tentative donor egg match is made when a recipient decides to move forward with a specific donor. Our IVF coordinator will contact the egg donor to confirm her availability. If the egg donor is available for the recipient's desired time frame, and passes the additional round of testing as required by the FDA for donor eggs, a match is made.

Step 2: Ovarian Stimulation for the Egg Donor

The egg donor will self-administer daily injections of Lupron to suppress her natural cycle, so that her cycle and the recipient's cycle are synchronized. During the ovarian stimulation phase, the egg donor uses daily injections of gonadotropins to stimulate her ovaries. In a natural cycle, only one egg matures; gonadotropin injections encourage more than one egg to mature for retrieval. During ovarian stimulation, the egg donors are monitored closely through blood tests and ultrasounds, ensuring that the ovaries are responding well and not going into hyperstimulation.

Step 3: Endometrial Lining Development for the Donor Recipient

On the recipient's side, a favorable uterine environment, especially an endometrium of at least 7 mm, is crucial in the success of a donor egg cycle. While the egg donor develops eggs for retrieval, the recipient takes estrogen and progesterone to prepare her endometrial lining for implantation. Developing the endometrium for embryo transfer is usually not a problem.

In rare cases, some patients have difficulties in reaching minimal endometrial thickness and may require special treatments. Fortunately, CHR has demonstrated special expertise in this area.

Triggering Ovulation and Egg Retrieval

When the the donor eggs have sufficiently developed, the egg donor will be instructed to trigger ovulation with an injection of hCG. Two days later, her donor eggs will be retrieved in a short in-office procedure, called egg retrieval. While the donor is asleep (I.V. sedation), an aspiration needle, guided by ultrasound, is used transvaginally to aspirate the eggs.

Fertilization and Embryo Transfer

The donor eggs retrieved are fertilized with partner semen. The embryos that result from this fertilization are incubated and graded. Normally, embryos are transferred into the recipient's uterus on day 3 after donor egg retrieval (on rare occasions on day 5).

For Egg Donor Candidates

Interested in becoming an egg donor at CHR? Please review all of the following material prior to submitting your application:


CHR values your time, effort, commitment and services in the oocyte donation and egg donation procedure. This is why we offer a competitive donor egg compensation of $8,000. Additionally, CHR offers egg donors a unique third party insurance policy, which gives you, the donor, added security. Note to Chinese Applicants.

Application and Information for Egg Donors

Once you are ready, you can fill out our egg donor application online. If you have any questions, you can contact us or call our egg donor NY Center at (212) 994-4400.

* Egg donor procedures are performed at our New York, NY office. You must be able to travel to NYC or live nearby.

Have more questions about egg donation and becoming a donor egg recipient? Click here to go to our FAQ for donor egg recipients.

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Last Updated: November 21, 2013