Egg Donor's Eggciting Donation Adventures

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Donation for Dummies

I am glad that I went to New York*. I learned a lot of about the aspiration (retrieval of eggs), and the possible dangers of donation. For instance, take a look at this picture above. I was told by my agency and by many egg donor communities, that I would be "off in la-la land" under anesthesia during the aspiration. The fert-nurse (fert=fertility nurse) informed me that their office does not like using anesthesia. Instead, they use valium, and another drug that makes me feel in-between sleep and awake. The fert-nurse told me that I would be able to feel the two pokes on either side of my vagina (see picture)... OW! I didn't want to whine or complain, so I gulped the monstrous sized ball in my throat, and nodded my head as normally and un-shakily as I could. Another scare that I was unaware of, is that after the egg retrieval, I will be given 14 days worth of antibiotics to defend my body (vagina) against infection. They did warn me that it is possible that the antibiotic will not defend against infection properly, and if that occurs, I will lose my ovary(ies)! The nurse assured me that, that particular incident occurred once in her 23 years of working there... but STILL... Scary. I don't mean to scare any potential donors out there, but know the precautions before getting picked. Here is a list of things that can go wrong for the donor:

1. Like I stated previously: your ovaries can be removed due to infection if the antibiotics don't work properly.
2. During aspiration, the doctor can pierce through an ovarian vein, or iliac artery. The ovarian vein is much easier to break due to it's thin layer. If that happens, 9-1-1 will have to be reached... and it's not pretty. (The nurse assured me that in her 23 years, that has never happened and that the doctor will avoid arteries/veins like the plague).
3. Ovarian cancer
4. Though it is not proven, some suspect that egg donation may decrease your chances of fertility.
5. Ovarian Hyper-stimulation - which I guess every donor undergoes at varying degrees of pain.

There are a lot of things in the list I have considered carefully... and though I am scared of the possible dangers, I can't help but feel that everything will go fine. The reproductive office in NY* are so kind, and knowledgeable, that I feel close to 95% safe (excluding the lack of anesthetic usage!)

I learned how to give myself the shots. There are three total that I must take at the same time every night: Menopur, Lupron, and FSH. The shots all go in a specific spot on my tummy. It's not that bad. I injected a practice shot full of water, and I couldn't even feel it (promise!). I will begin these shots when I get my next period (so, around the end of July).

Until the next exciting occurrence happens...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shots in New York*

As an egg donor, I have to undergo genetic testing. This test is important for all potential egg donors, as to not pass on bad genes like cystic fibrosis and/or fragile X syndrome. Plus, I am curious to know if I have any "wrong" genes. My maternal family has some cases of cancer, but all kids on both sides are pretty darn healthy.
More to tell later after my trip to New York* where the intentional parent's reproductive doctor will teach me how to do these things called Lupron shots (Lupron shots = a subcutaneous injection of a medication called Lupron. Taken once daily), and other types of hormonal level stuff. Lupron shots in my tummy are not my favorite thing to think about, but it's for a good cause.
On a side note, some people who have found out about my donation decision have been giving me a bad time about me being selfish by decreasing my chances for fertility... I would be lying to say that it hasn't affected me, but my heart is set on my decision. I have over 200,000 eggs that are going down the toilet once a month!! I can spare some for this family who is unable to bear children. Yes, I decrease my chances of fertility, because after donating I will only have 199,950 eggs or more left (insert sarcasm here). Some advice to those thinking about donating: I have chosen to not really tell anyone about my decision to donate... I advise you to do the same. It's personal anyways.