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University of Colorado Denver

Egg Donor Applicant Information

Risks of Oocyte Donation
Risks of IVF
Side Effects of Gonadotropins
Anesthesia for IVF Procedures


This section of the website will provide an overview of what is involved with the process to become an oocyte (egg) donor. The first step is filling out an egg donor application. These applications are available by calling 720.848.1675 to get the application online. Please complete this application and mail it to our office at the Anschutz office address found below, attention: Sandy Hahn, RN.

Once our team receives the application, we will then review your responses and see if you qualify. Those applicants qualifying will be called to schedule appointments to be seen at our office. Those applicants not qualifying will be sent a letter with an explanation of why you have not been selected. After an initial consultation with one of our nurses, you will meet with the IVF physicians for an donor egg physical exam and one of our clinical psychologists for a psychological evaluation. If these evaluations go well then you will undergo blood testing, to test the quality of your eggs and to check that you are healthy. The test to check the quality of your eggs will involve taking medication for 5 days. If you pass all these tests you will be placed on the egg donor list for the recipient infertility couples to select you as a donor. Once you are selected we will call you by phone. The usual wait time to be selected is 2 months.

Once you are selected the entire donor cycle lasts approximately four to eight weeks. It is very important to note that during the last two weeks of the cycle you will not be able to go out of town. During these two weeks you will be required to make an office visit about every other day between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. for an approximately one-half hour visit. During these times an ultrasound and a blood test will be performed. Additionally, you will need one day off work the day the oocyte retrieval is performed. If it is not possible for you to make these visits, please notify the staff immediately. Below is a summary of the procedure you will be involved with:

IVF refers to the creation of embryos by placing sperm and eggs in a test tube or culture dish in a laboratory setting. In order to perform this procedure, oocytes (eggs) must be obtained by stimulating your ovaries with fertility medications, "superovulating drugs", and then retrieving your oocytes from the ovaries by having you undergo a minor surgical procedure, with the use of anesthesia. The oocyte retrieval involves the passage of a needle through the thin posterior wall of the vagina into the ovary and aspirating the oocytes from the ovary. After collection of the oocytes, the sperm sample from the couple and your oocytes are prepared and then mixed together in the embryology laboratory in an incubator for the purpose of creating embryos. These embryos are allowed to grow in the incubator for an additional two to five days before being transferred. The transfer procedure uses a small tube placed through the cervix directly into the uterus of the woman receiving the oocyte donation with the hope that the embryos will implant in the uterus and result in a pregnancy. You will be the "donor" of the oocytes; the woman having the embryos placed into her uterus is referred to as the "recipient".

The purpose of "superovulating drugs" is to stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one egg. This process involves a series of blood tests (estradiol levels) and ovarian follicle measurements (ultrasounds) to assess individual needs for medication and to determine when the oocytes are ready for removal. Lupron or AntogonTM is given to prevent ovulation from occurring before the oocytes are removed. A combination of Metrodin, Follistim, Gonal-F, Repronex, Fertinex (FSH), Pergonal, or Humegon (hMG) may be used. These medicines are only available in the form of injections. The injections should be given between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. We will teach you how to mix and give injections. You will be asked to comply with the following restrictions during treatment:

  1. MEDICATIONS: Do not take any medications except Tylenol, unless approved by the IVF doctor.
  2. SOCIAL HABITS: Alcohol should be minimized for three months prior to treatment and at all times during the IVF cycle. Cigarette smoking should be stopped three months prior to the IVF cycle. Any illegal drug use should be stopped immediately.
  3. INTERCOURSE: In general, you will be asked to refrain from intercourse during the donor oocyte cycle until 16 days after the oocyte retrieval. You will be extremely fertile until your cycle is complete. Therefore to avoid pregnancy, you must avoid intercourse until you have the first menses after your oocyte retrieval.
  4. ACTIVITY: Your normal routine may be continued unless enlargement of your ovaries produces discomfort.
  5. VAGINAL AND GENITAL INFECTIONS: Please report any history of genital herpes exposure with or without documented history of herpes lesions. You must report any pre-herpes symptoms, active lesions, or healing herpes lesions. Please report any abnormal vaginal discharge in the three months prior and during your IVF cycle. Any infection (including a vaginal yeast infection) can cause infections in the embryos or pelvis, so they will need to be treated prior to oocyte retrieval.
  6. EXERCISE: Do not begin any new exercise, sport, or marathon training within three months prior to your IVF cycle. Please minimize or stop vigorous exercise for one month prior to the retrieval.

University of Colorado Denver
Advanced Reproductive Medicine

Anschutz Medical Campus Office
Location: 1635 Aurora Court, Aurora, CO 80045
Mailing: PO Box 6510, Mail Stop F701, Aurora, CO 80045
Tel: 720.848.1690
Toll-free: 1.888.899.7441
Fax: 720.848.1678
Colorado Springs Office
4125 Briargate Parkway, Suite 350
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Tel: 719.314.3333
Fax: 719.314.3344

Detailed Directions to Our Offices