During the ten days on fertility medicines, the main side effects are reported as feelings of fullness or bloating, and they are usually minor. Moodiness is also common.
There is a small risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). In this condition, the ovaries become overstimulated and enlarge beyond the acceptable range. Severe OHSS occurs in only about 1-2 % of those who take infertility medicines. Serious consequences can involve hospitalization with close monitoring and, in very rare circumstances, surgery may be required.
The odds of infection after the egg retrieval processor are also very rare, about 1/1000 (.001.) To avoid this possibility, a dose of antibiotics is usually given after the retrieval, and sexual abstinence is recommended until you get your next menses.
The odds of reaction to anesthesia during twilight sleep are also very low, approximately 1/20,000 (.00005).
The injections are given with a very small needle, such as is used by someone with diabetes to take insulin. Most women report that this is not difficult to do. A light anesthesia is given for the 15-30 minute egg retrieval procedure and most women report minor discomfort. Mild cramping and abdominal discomfort is possible for a day or two after the procedure.
Blood is drawn a number of times throughout the donation cycle.
No heavy lifting or strenuous exercise is allowed for the month of the egg donation cycle.
You will be VERY fertile during the cycle month: refraining from sex is required. It is necessary to discuss this in advance with your partner, if you have one, to obtain their cooperation.
You will need to have the flexibility in your schedule to take injections at the time of day prescribed by the physicians and to attend office visits as required.
After the first visit, most appointments with the doctors are usually scheduled early in the morning so school or work absence is kept to a minimum. This does vary from doctor to doctor. One full day is required for the egg retrieval process and rest is suggested for the remainder of that day.
You will be asked to take a prenatal multivitamin with folic acid; this helps to prevent a type of birth defect called a neural tube defect (like spina bifida). This is important information for all women to know in any case. All herbal supplements and medicines except Tylenol are prohibited during the month unless otherwise instructed.
You must agree to refrain from body piercings and tattoos for six months prior to the procedure.
The FDA has determined that if you have cumulatively spent a total of five years or more in Europe or spent a total of three months or more in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1986, the FDA has determined someone is ineligible to go through the donation process.
You will find out your blood type and Rh, and whether you have been exposed to various infectious agents. Your thyroid and prolactin level will also be checked. Although no studies have documented a correlation between response to fertility stimulation and future fertility, you will learn whether you have a resistance to stimulation of the ovaries. In most cases, you will find out the number of eggs stimulated and whether a pregnancy resulted, if you would like to know.
Fertility Connections is not a health care provider and we recommend discussing all potential risks and side effects with the physician in charge of the process. It is important to ask any and all questions. We provide information for education only. This does not take the place of informed consent obtained from the physician. We also reference educational infertility information sites on our web site for your convenience.
Many young women have found this to be a highly rewarding experience, although not without work and commitment. We sincerely hope that you will become one of our generous young women willing to help. It is a gift beyond measure.