Being an egg donor at The London Egg Bank was an amazing experience and I am happy to tell you why.
The first contact with the clinic was very easy, and the team was very welcoming. I met Toyin, the person responsible for donor recruitment at the London Egg Bank; she explained the process to me in great detail, the risks and the consequences of an egg donation. We filled a long health questionnaire together that required lots of thinking and remembering as it focused on my medical history and my relatives, so make sure you have a coffee beforehand! When it was done, I was given a paper for the lab next door and went for a first blood test. The pleasant thing about the process is that it is very well organized. Each time I went to the lab to give blood or urine samples, I never had to explain who I was or why I was there. It’s very easy, I just had to hand in the paper I had been given at the clinic, and that was it.
Next, when the clinic received the test results, Toyin gave me a second appointment with the doctor for an ultra-sound scan. It was quick and not painful at all. After the scan, I met the doctor for a consultation, and we discussed in more details the medical aspects and the risks of the egg donation process. I also met the nurses, and they gave me a contraceptive pill, in addition to folic acid to take every day.
When the final results came in satisfactory, I was finally accepted into the donor program. The good thing about going through all these extensive screening tests is that it is a great opportunity to find out if you’re in good health. I met Toyin shortly after to go over all legal aspects and implications of donating my eggs. We read and signed all the consent forms together, and she, once again, was very patient and took the time to explain each point that was unclear to me. It was a very exciting moment as I was officially joining the program.
Soon after, the nurse contacted me, and we discussed the planning of the process. On the scheduled day, as predicted, I was on my periods and went for the first scan, the same as the one I had before at the clinic. The doctor confirmed that I was ready to start the ovarian stimulation and prescribed the Gonal f injections. I was given the medication kit; the medication plan and the nurse showed me how to give myself the injections. She was very helpful and reassured me, as I was a bit anxious about doing it myself. From experience, I would recommend the following to make it easier: First, do it at night at bedtime, when it is quiet, and you are not in a rush. Also, the injections can make you feel tired, so it’s better to go to bed soon after. I found the easiest way to proceed is to sit and grasp a fat portion firmly on one side of the lower belly, then very slowly insert the needle, inject the product, wait for 10 seconds, slowly pull the needle out and gently press and rub with a piece of cotton.
During the ovarian stimulation, I went to the clinic five times for ultrasound scans to monitor the growth of the follicles and thus the potential eggs. On the 7th day of the stimulation, I was prescribed the Orgalutran injection, to prevent early ovulation. I was doing the Orgalutran injection at the same time as the Gonal f. However, the needle of the Orgalutran injection is slightly bigger so, I changed the injection site to the fat tissues on the upper leg. It was easier to insert the needle and less painful. I did the injection of Gonal fat at the same time every night for 12 days and the Orgalutran for the last six days. On the last day, I had to do the trigger injection at a specific time at night.
Two days later was the actual egg collection. I arrived at the clinic at 8.30am, got ready and went in for the procedure at 10.15. The only thing I remember is falling asleep. I woke up maybe 30 minutes later, feeling good just like after a good nap. The nurse then told me that 12 eggs had been collected and a Taxi took me home at 12.00. After the egg collection it’s very important to rest, take the painkillers and drink lots of water. Otherwise, you will probably feel tired and unwell. I had some abdominal pains for a few days and could go back to the gym on the 5th day. I am still in touch with the clinic regarding the use of the eggs I have donated, and now, I hope it’s going to work for the recipients.
Being an egg donor was a wonderful and exciting experience at each step. Every person I have met was very professional and always nice and helpful. Also, the entire process, from the first contact by email until the actual egg collection, is very easy and well organised. And above all, I sincerely have the feeling I have done something good: by giving a little part of me, I am helping couples overcome infertility and thus know the greatest happiness of all: parenthood.
Blog is written by a London Egg Bank Donor