The egg donor’s treatment

Once the egg donor's period begins, she has an ultrasound examination (a scan of the uterus and the ovaries) to make sure the ovaries are inactive and the uterine lining is thin. Your egg donor then takes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to stimulate her ovaries to produce eggs. We use only highly pure, top-quality medications such as Puregon or Gonal-F. After 5-6 days of stimulation, your egg donor has another ultrasound examination to evaluate the number and the diameter of the growing follicles, enabling us to adjust the FSH dosage individually. Also, a second medicine is introduced on a particular day to prevent the premature release of egg cells (premature ovulation). This medicine is a gonadotropin- releasing hormone antagonist (GRH-Antagonist) known under its commercial names of Cetrotide or Orgalutran.

One or two more ultrasound examinations will be performed during the course of the treatment to monitor the growth of the follicles in your egg donor’s ovaries. The purpose is to adjust the medication dosage if required and to choose the ideal day for Egg Collection. The duration of ovary stimulation is individual in every woman. Some women need 10 days to grow mature eggs, others 14 days, and this is applicable to each woman, including egg donors. The duration of ovary stimulation may also vary in the same person from cycle to cycle.

After 8-14 days of stimulation, the egg donor takes third medication — human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) – to finalise the egg maturation process and make eggs ready for collection. We use the purest medication, called Ovitrelle, for this. Egg collection is performed by aspirating the eggs from the follicles using a needle introduced into the ovary via the vagina. The process is carried out under general anaesthetic to make it painless for the donor.  Your donor then rests for a while to allow the effects of the anaesthetic to wear off, and takes it easy for the rest of the day. Her task is now over, but the recipients gratitude is timeless. We perform a thorough follow up after her egg collection to check her health. The donor takes several months break and usually is happy to donate again.

The donor’s eggs should be fertilised within 4 hours after the Egg Collection, otherwise they become too old and incapable of further development. If for any reason there is no sperm available within this time frame (e.g. the male partner does not arrive in St. Petersburg in time and no frozen sperm is available either), the eggs can be frozen to preserve them for a longer period.

Our aim is to provide our clients with the best possible chances. To do so, we need the highest quality eggs. To receive them we stimulate egg donors very thoroughly and attentively, choosing an individual protocol and dosage. We do not stress the egg follicles by stimulating them with the highest dosages, if they are growing slower than planned, to get eggs “on time”. Nor do we do the opposite, i.e. we do not reduce the medication dosage dramatically at the end of the stimulation phase if the follicles grow faster than planned. Both the above methods of stimulation reduce the egg quality and your chances. We just follow the natural response of the follicle to the minimal possible dosage. This is also healthier for the donors.

We provide my clients with a good number of donor eggs. But much more important than the actual number is their high quality, which is achieved by very thorough egg donor screening and selection as well as the individual attention paid to follicle stimulation by the donors.

This is why instead of just collecting eggs precisely on the planned date to make the timing more convenient for you, even if the eggs are too young yet or too old already, we prefer to ask your partner to arrive two days in advance. This allows us to collect eggs on the best possible date, receive the highest quality eggs and provide you with the maximum chance of pregnancy. My many successful patients agree with me that staying a couple of days extra is worth it for the wonderful result!