Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An Anonymous Egg Donor

What a sad story. I can't imagine the pain this woman must feel from this experience.
I volunteered to harvest eggs for a friend, whose ovaries had ceased producing eggs in her early 30’s. She bought donated sperm from a California university sperm bank several years prior to my egg harvest and was being counseled about infertility options. This was not an “eggs for money” contract. I volunteered without a compensation obligation.

My experience began with an appointment to determine if I was a qualified egg producing candidate. I was 30 “something,” athletic, bright, employed as a professional, and married, with no children-yet. I talked to my husband and friends about it and their main concern was the medical risks to me.

My husband (who has children from a previous marriage) agreed to be supportive and the appointments with the psychologist were scheduled – one with me alone and one with my husband and I. The questions were general and focused on my benevolence notwithstanding my being childless. The psychologist completed notes for the file and my husband and I signed a general acknowledgement of “counseling.”

I am a marathon runner and I was asked to stop running two months before the hormone drugs and estrogen level testing began. I was told that the mileage of my training would inhibit the follicle production and the clinic demanded as much control over my lifestyle as possible. I stopped running in January 1992.

I scheduled the clinic appointments and initiated administering the drugs in March 1992. After 21 days, I had 35 Lupron injections, which were self-administered in my thigh, daily, for synchronization with my friend receiving the eggs; daily estrogen level testing; and followed with several Pergonal injections to hyperstimulate my ovaries to produce the mature eggs, which my husband administered. Then I received the final injection to release the eggs for the surgical egg retrieval process. When the clinic determined my hormones levels were ready for egg retrieval, the hospital appointment was scheduled and more paperwork was signed, including, the infertility doctor and anesthesiologist forms. I had headaches, abdomen bloating and extreme lethargy which the clinic indicated were normal side affects.
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