Once accepted to the programme, the egg donors are usually keen to start treatment as soon as possible. We do however allow a timeline of up to 8 weeks (approx. 2 period cycles) from the time of confirmation to the start of their stimulation cycle. You will receive a call from the Egg Donation team to inform you when your donor is ready to start her treatment cycle.
The donor will commence ovarian stimulating medications and undergo regular ultrasound and blood testing to monitor her response to the treatment. Once the medical team in our partner clinic deems her response appropriate, the egg collection procedure is planned.
There is a small possibility that the donor may not respond to her treatment and therefore no eggs become available. Thankfully this happens rarely but if no eggs are available, the hormones are stopped and another donor is found as soon as possible.
Eggs are retrieved from a donor by means of vaginal ultrasound guided aspiration of ovarian follicles.
This involves the introduction of a specially designed needle through the vaginal wall under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation.
Once egg collection is complete a process called PICSI then takes place. PICSI improves the chances of pregnancy by helping embryologists to determine sperm selection in a similar way to human biology.
In standard ICSI , an individual sperm is selected and injected into an oocyte. Until now, the only technique available to embryologists to select the sperm has been visual observation. When PICSI is used, the sperm is placed in Hyaluronan hydrogel, a naturally occurring biopolymer found in all human cells. Mature, competent sperm binds to the hyaluronan and is then isolated by the embryologist to be used for the ICSI procedure.
Fertilised eggs will be cultured in the laboratory for 5-6 days until they reach a stage called blastocyst. The blastocysts are then frozen by a process called vitrification in preparation for shipping to Sims by specialist courier.
You will receive a call from the Egg Donation team when your final embryo number is known. At this stage we will advise you of the next steps and provide you with a date for your embryo transfer.