Blog
Does Donating Your Eggs Hurt?
Fertility Specialist
2021-03-31

Does Donating Your Eggs Hurt?

At GENNET City Fertility, we believe in making sure our patients are given all the advice and support they need to make a fully informed decision. This includes informing egg donors of the process they will go through to make their donation and dispelling any medical inaccuracies. 

Read on to learn more about what happens when you choose to donate your eggs or speak with us today if you’d like to start the process ‒ give us a call on 020 8209 3226. 

Does Donating Your Eggs Hurt? 

The egg donation process should not hurt. After all, this is likely to be the first question on your mind whenever you’re considering donating your eggs. The egg collection is considered a minor invasive procedure done under sedation. You may feel as though you are experiencing period pains after undergoing a cycle, and on occasion, there is a possibility that you will feel some discomfort the next day as well. 

Anything more than this is rare and our dedicated and supportive team will be available to help you with all the medical and emotional aspects of donation. 

The Egg Donation Process

Egg retrieval is carried out using the same procedure as the early stages of IVF treatment

The ovarian stimulation process will be carried out as follows:

  1. You will be asked to take injectable medication to enable the recruitment of a large number of follicles and increase the chances of retrieving more eggs. Another specific medication is given to suppress or control natural hormones to ensure the effectiveness of the process. You will be able to continue with your normal daily routine life during this period of stimulation.
  2. You will be attending for a number (usually 3 - 5) ultrasound monitoring scans to check how are the follicles developing and to ensure your safety. 
  3. A day or so before the eggs are due to be collected, you will be given a final hormone injection. This helps the eggs to mature, preparing them for collection.
  4. The egg collection procedure is performed vaginally under ultrasound guidance and you will be placed under sedation. This keeps the process pain-free. The collection should take around half an hour.

If you would like to see a more in-depth explanation of our own process, please see our page on the Egg Donation Process and Registration Form, or ask one of our consultants for an information leaflet.

Taking Time Off Work After Donating Eggs

While the procedure should not be painful, it is completely natural to feel sore and bruised after you’ve made a donation. You’ll normally need about two days off work to complete an egg donation cycle, with one of these days set aside for the collection and the other taken off for a little rest and relaxation after the procedure. There shouldn’t be any medical reason to take time off work, unless you don’t feel up to it.

Changing Your Mind

If you decide that you don’t want to donate your eggs, you will always have the option to change your mind. You can change your mind at any time about the use of the donated eggs up to the point of embryo transfer for the recipient. This also applies to any “surplus” embryos resulting from the egg donation that had been frozen for future use.

Counselling will also be routinely offered during this time, so you may rest assured that you will always be supported, no matter which option you choose.

Potential Side Effects of Donating Your Eggs

In most cases, the process undertaken to donate your eggs is very safe and will not have any effects beyond soreness the day after the procedure. However, in rare cases the egg donation process may result in some side effects that will need to be addressed.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

It is possible for an egg donor to be sensitive to the fertility drugs used in hormonal stimulation. When this happens they may produce many follicles, which then cause their ovaries to swell and become painful, while their hormone levels rise. 

The safety of our egg donors is very important to us and therefore we use mild (low intensity) stimulation protocols in order to minimise the risks and make the treatment as smooth and easy for you as possible. We also take care to monitor your cycle closely so we can take preventive measures to avoid the risk of hyperstimulation (OHSS). Development is not always predictable, and it can’t always be avoided, but it can be monitored and identified early on if you have an increased risk. The trigger injection used is considered to be the safest and minimises the risk of the OHSS.

You will be given written information about what to expect after the egg collection procedure and signs to watch for. You will also be given a 24hrs emergency phone number in case you need to contact us for any of the warning signs.

The Risks of Egg Retrieval

Following the egg retrieval procedure entails discomfort and sometimes even some degree of mild pain, and following the procedure a couple of hours of rest is required. The main risks associated with the insertion of a needle into the ovary are infection and bleeding. 

Mild haemorrhage occurs during most manipulations of the ovary. Infrequently, the bleeding is more extensive and requires blood transfusions or procedures to stop bleeding. 

Since the procedure is done under ultrasound guidance the damage to the surrounding tissues, such as the bowel and bladder, are extremely rare but possible.

Pelvic Infections

Following the procedure, there is a very rare chance that you may develop a pelvic infection. To minimise the chances of this happening, the egg collection process is always performed under the cleanest conditions possible and antibiotics will be given to patients who have an increased risk of developing one. 

Other Complications

It is important to note additional complications, such as ovarian torsion, may require surgical intervention and are extremely rare.

For More Information

If you would like to learn more about the process for donating eggs or if you have further questions after reading this guide, always feel free to get in touch with our fertility clinic. We are always available to provide answers, and we can set up an initial consultation if you decide that you’d like to meet with us.

Are You Considering Donating Eggs?

If you have been considering helping out a friend or family member, or even if you’d like to be altruistic and donate your eggs to a stranger looking to take the first step on the journey to parenthood, contact us today. There’s no waiting list prior to our treatment for egg donation and there will only be a period of a few short weeks before we match you with the most suitable intended parent. 

Soon, you may be helping someone to expand their family and experience the joys they’ve always dreamed about.

Dr Malini Uppal
Fertility Specialist