Egg Donor Q&A: Donor Egg Retrieval Process

Posted On November 11th, 2008
What happens to donor eggs after they are retrieved? Do I get to know the results? Do I meet the recipients or potential offspring?

After the donor egg retrieval, the eggs are fertilized and then observed for a few days. Not all will fertilize or develop. Between one and three embryos will be transferred to the recipient. If any viable embryos are left over, they will be frozen (embryos hold up better in the freezing process than eggs do). It takes about six weeks to find out if a pregnancy results.

The majority of egg donor cycles in the US at this time are mutually anonymous: the donor egg recipients and the egg donor may know general information about each other, but they do not know each other’s names and they never meet. If working in a mutually anonymous arrangement, you may be informed of the number of donor eggs retrieved, but not the number actually fertilized or whether a pregnancy or live birth resulted. If you are working non-anonymously, you may get more information, depending on the arrangement. Some donors meet their recipients with the supervision of a social worker, and leave the opportunity open to meet any potential offspring. Both parties agree to the anonymity level before the match is made.

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