Preparation Of The Donor For Egg Retrieval
In order to retrieve multiple eggs from the donor’s ovaries, the donor must be given a combination of hormonal medications to stimulate the development of multiple eggs within the ovary. This technique is called ovulation induction. The medications may include a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-a) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH-ant) to prevent the donor from spontaneously ovulating, and either human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) or recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (r-FSH), both of which are able to induce egg development. Development of eggs is monitored by ultrasound and measurement of hormones in blood. When the egg development is at the appropriate size, ovulation is triggered by an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
The eggs are harvested from the ovary approximately 34-36 hours after hCG administration through a process called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration (Figure 1). This is done by placing a transvaginal ultrasound probe, which has a needle guide, into the vagina. A needle is placed into this guide, through the vaginal wall, and into the ovary. The eggs are obtained, evaluated for maturity, and then are inseminated with the male partner’s sperm (donor sperm also may be used), which has been processed in the laboratory. For further details regarding the types of ovulation induction medications and the IVF procedure, please refer to the ASRM patient information booklet titled Assisted Reproductive Technologies.