Many women are choosing to donate their eggs to a surrogate or freeze them for a later time in their lives. However, egg donation is a long process that might be uncomfortable for the patient involved, and some women may have a more difficult time than others.
Before you donate, talk to your doctor about the recovery process, side effects, and internal process to learn what you can expect during and after egg donation. Learn more about the following three important questions to ask at your next appointment.
How Long Should the Side Effects Last?
Every procedure comes with side effects and complications, so ask your doctor about potential issues that could develop as a result of the donation. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is one of the most serious issues that could arise after egg donation, which can leave patients feeling bloated, dizzy, and in severe pain.
These symptoms can become severe after seven to 10 days and can potentially cause patients to enter the hospital. Before you agree to donate, create a timeline with your doctor to review the healing process and learn how you should be improving during the first 24, 48, and 72 hours. This timeline will allow you to benchmark your process and track when it’s time to call your doctor or go to the hospital.
What Is the Clinic’s Post-Op Treatment Plan?
Every clinic’s treatment plan is different. Some offices keep their donors overnight or for a few days after the procedure to make sure their patients’ bodies recover and return to their pre-op stage. Meanwhile, other offices send their donors home almost immediately after the procedure and tell them to call with any questions or concerns.
Benefits exist for both options. While some egg donor insurance policies cover more days in the clinic, others treat only the bare minimum, which can end up costing the donor much money. However, the first few days after donation can be painful, uncomfortable, and scary for women who have never experienced the process before. Learn about the clinic’s policies and options before deciding what’s right for you.
How Many Eggs Are They Planning to Retrieve?
Studies have found that the ideal number of eggs to harvest is 15 for successful IVF (in vitro fertilization). The odds of success plateau at 15 and start to decline afterward. However, due to stress on the donor or specific patient needs, the clinic may be inclined to harvest fewer eggs.
By asking how many eggs your doctor plans to retrieve, you can start the conversation about pain, recovery time, and possible complications. If your doctor limits the number of eggs harvested, ask about risk factors and challenges that lead your doctor to make that decision. Find out how much stress you will be under in the face of complications.
Find a fertility doctor that you feel comfortable with and can trust. By answering these questions, you’re able to take control of the donation process and make sure you’re focused on getting better after donation, instead of worrying about potential complications.