For Parents

Egg Donor Cycles

The Evaluation Cycle

This is a "trial run" performed prior to the actual egg donation cycle in which the proper dosages of estrogen and progesterone that your body requires are determined. The evaluation cycle is used to assess the best method to prepare your uterine lining in order to receive the embryos. You will take Estrace (an oral, natural estrogen), gradually increasing your dosage over a period of 10-14 days. Your blood estrogen level will be evaluated every few days, and an ultrasound will be done to look at the thickening of your uterine lining. The evaluation cycle will take 4-6 weeks. Once it is over, your physician will know how best to prepare the lining of your uterus for the fertilization cycle.

The Donation Cycle

You will start your estrogen prior to your egg donor is starting her medication. You will need to have periodic blood testing and ultrasounds to assure perfect readiness for your embryos. On the day your donor's eggs are retrieved, a sperm specimen will be needed from your partner to fertilize the eggs. Generally, you will begin Progesterone on that day. Approximately five days later the embryos are transferred to your uterus. After twelve days, you will have a pregnancy test. If it is positive, you will need to continue the estrogen and progesterone for two more months. At that time the baby's placenta will produce the appropriate pregnancy hormones, and no more medication is necessary.