The Application Process
Important to note:
Nurture works with online applications only. This is so that recipients are able to view your profile online (via a password protected database) as soon as possible, and also enables us to manage our business in a more productive, efficient and effective manner.
Our application is mobile friendly, however many do find it easier to apply via a computer, alternatively at an internet café, if you do not have access.
All donors MUST have a working email address. Whilst our fabulous donor support team are available 24 x 7 x 365 for you to speak to, Nurture communicates with you regularly via email, via our online process management system.
There is no need for you to visit any clinic until such time as you are chosen by a recipient and begin the actual donation process. Nurture will confirm all these details with you once you have been chosen.
Stage One: Application / Pre-Screening / Interview
The first step to becoming an egg donor is to complete an initial online application which is an important step in the process, as it is at this point that we can determine whether your criteria meets the Nurture protocols and this needs to be managed by our online system.
If you do meet the criteria you go on to completed a more detailed application. The application asks for information on your family health history, interests, education, employment and fertility information. We protect your anonymity through out the process, and your identifying information in the application (name, address, etc.) is deleted, and a confidential pseudonym assigned.
Once we have all your information, one of the Nurture team members will contact you for a 1-on-1 interview. Nurture interviews all our donors before we accept them on to our program. The purpose of the interview is to ensure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision to become an egg donor.
It is also super helpful to read the Egg Donation FAQs before your 1 on 1 interview with Nurture. Please click on the FAQs link.
Once you have had your final interview, you will then need to sign our interview checklist to agree that you have been fully informed and agree to the donation process. Your donor profile will now be placed on a password protected section of our website where prospective recipients will see a mini-biography and childhood photographs of you. Please note that we have no control over if or when you may be selected.
The Medical Process
Donors take note: This is the how the medical stuff works. If your eyes start glazing over, sorry! It is important that we tell you all of this stuff. Pay attention, there will be a quiz after class. Ok, not really. But it is important that you understand how it all works. We will go over it again when we have our 1 on 1 chat.
Stage Two: Selection / Medical Assessment
Once a Recipient selects you, the Donor Coordinator will call and/or email you to advise you and confirm your availability.
You will then be asked to schedule your pre-cycle screening at the relevant clinic.
The pre-cycle screening will include a one hour Doctor appointment (which includes a pelvic examination, ultrasound and blood tests) and an hour’s consultation with a psychologist.
Stage Three: Synchronisation and Stimulation
(The process may vary slightly between clinics)
Once you have completed your screening, the doctor will start you on a low dose birth control pill if you aren’t already on one. The purpose of taking the pill is to help get your cycle synchronized with the recipient’s cycle.
Approximately 2 months after your initial appointment with Doctor and psychologist- you will begin the actual donation process laid out below:
Specific date to stop birth control pill.
Your period will begin 2-5 days after stopping the pill.
Your first day of bleeding is recognised as “Day 1″
DAY 1: Menstrual cycle begins.
Start medication (daily injection) as / when clinic has instructed you to.
DAY 8 – DAY 12: First, second & third scans with the Doctor (these appointments are approximately half an hour).
DAY 14: Egg Retrieval (you will have to take this day off and have someone drive you home after the egg retrieval). This day cannot be scheduled to happen on a specific date, however you will know in advance when this date will be.
*This is only a guideline and is not fixed as eggs grow at their own rate.
Monitoring: Vaginal ultrasounds are performed to monitor the growth and development of the follicles and to minimize the possibility of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). During the +-14 days that you are on the medication, frequent ultrasound’s need to be performed. (+-4 visits to the clinic)
Ultrasounds allow the doctor to obtain an image of the follicles as they grow and develop in the ovaries. Both the number and size of the follicles can be determined by ultrasound, which is essentially a painless procedure. You may feel the pressure of the transducer in your vagina; however, this is not harmful to either your organs or the developing eggs.
Your final injection initiates the final stage of maturation and timing of the egg retrieval.
Watch a video on how to inject yourself with the hormone medication:
For information about how to inject yourself with the Gonal F pen, please download this handy instruction sheet: Gonal F pen instructions
Stage Four: Egg Retrieval
The egg retrieval will occur about 36 hours after the final injection. Egg retrievals are usually scheduled early in the morning (between 7:30 a.m. and noon). The method by which the eggs are retrieved is an ultrasound directed needle aspiration. This is a procedure, performed under twilight sedation, such that you will be totally comfortable and pain-free. The ultrasound probe with a needle guide is placed in the vagina, which allows an aspiration needle to be inserted through the upper portion of the vagina directly into the ovary. The ultrasound image allows the doctor to accurately guide the needle into each follicle for aspiration or “suction”. As the fluid is aspirated, the egg is released and collected in the laboratory.
The retrieval process takes approximately 15-30 minutes. Following the retrieval you are asked to remain at the clinic for one to two hours to recover from the anaesthetic. You must plan on having someone available to drive you home as you have been under the effects of anaesthetic and cannot (by law) drive yourself home or take public transportation. When you are released from the clinic you may resume light daily activities. It is very common to experience some cramping and spotting following the process and the clinic will prescribe the appropriate pain medication. You should avoid unprotected sexual relations seven days prior to the egg retrieval and for two weeks after the retrieval (until you get your next menstrual period).
The donor fee is remitted following the egg retrieval.
Stage Five: Fertilization and Embryo Transfer
Once the eggs are retrieved, the laboratory staff will begin the process of fertilization (the union of the sperm and egg). The retrieved eggs are immediately examined by the embryologist and then placed in a specialized culture medium and allowed to remain there undisturbed for 2-3 hours. A semen sample is then added to the medium containing the eggs. By the following day the eggs will have fertilized. The fertilized egg is now called an embryo. An embryo transfer will usually take place after the embryos have developed in the laboratory for three to five days.