What can you expect?
First and foremost, all information is kept confidential. We work on a first-name basis only, and thus the recipient couple will not have access to your full name, address or telephone numbers.
Secondly, you must be able to take time off from work/school in order to punctually maintain appointments at the recipients' fertility clinic. Many recipients work with San Francisco based clinics, other recipients work with clinics in Daly City, Palo Alto or San Jose and outside of California. Reliable transportation or access to public transportation is needed in order to ensure you'll be on time for all appointments. You must also be willing to travel out-of-state if the recipient is working with a clinic outside of California. We will advance you your airfare from out-of-state.
In order to be a donor you must first pass two screenings by our office, one is over the telephone; the second is conducted in-office or on the phone for out-of-state donors (we will send you a questionnaire about your family health history, employment history, personality traits, etc. prior to your in-office meeting or phone consultation).Please be sure to take your time filling it out, and bring the completed questionnaire with you to your first appointment with us. If you are out-of-state, then you must email the completed donor application to us and schedule a phone interview. Upon successful completion of both screenings we will immediately promote you with recipients.
The recipients may opt to meet you, and should you agree you are compensated for your time and travel. After you and the recipient decide to work together you will have a psychological evaluation to be sure that you are emotionally stable and have the support to start a cycle. Upon completion of the evaluation you will enter into a legally binding contract that is signed by you, the recipient and us as the agency. This contract outlines the payment schedule for your fee as well as rights and responsibilities of all parties.
Once our office receives signed contracts, you will then have your initial appointment with the fertility clinic (this is the Medical Screening Appointment or MSA). The doctor will run several blood tests for infectious diseases, hormone levels, toxicology screens and possibly genetic testing; each clinic has its own protocol.
As long as you pass the MSA, the fertility physician will accept you as a new patient ready to begin taking your fertility medications. If you are not already on the birth control pill the physician will start you on the pill in order to synchronize your cycle with the recipient. Next, you will start taking your injectable medications. These medications are administered with a very small needle, just long enough to reach just below the surface of the skin on your upper thighs and fatty tissue over your stomach. You can administer the injections yourself or have a friend (that is approved by the clinic nurse) help you. The injections are taken daily, usually several times a day, for approximately 3 weeks.
Near the end of the cycle month you will be going in for monitoring appointments, where blood tests and ultrasounds are done to measure the growth of your ovarian follicles. Each woman stimulates differently, and thus the total number of appointments varies from donor to donor. Generally 5-8 visits are needed. Each appointment is morning only, and can occur on a daily basis for 2-4 days just before the retrieval.
The retrieval is performed at the doctors' office and takes less than an hour, plus a two hour recovery period. You will be unable to attend work or school the day of the retrieval, and will need to have someone drive you to and from the appointment, as well as stay with you for the rest of the day.
The doctor administers a light anesthesia through an IV in your arm; you feel no discomfort or pain during the retrieval. The retrieval takes about 45 minutes. It is a relatively minor procedure, as the eggs are retrieved vaginally by an ultrasound guided needle that pokes into the each follicle and the fluid which contains an egg is aspirated and flows down a small catheter into a test tube. When the test tube is full, the physician pours the fluid containing the eggs into a petri dish where fertilization occurs with the sperm sample. Usually after 3 days of incubation, the best 2 or 3 embryos will be transferred into the recipient or surrogate's uterus. Most donors describe the procedure as easy, and complain of little to no discomfort the following day.
After reviewing and considering all of the above mentioned information, please call our office at (415) 485-1969 to initiate the donor application process. No appointment is necessary for the initial phone-screening.
We look forward to hearing from you!