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Medications used

Medications used during the egg donation process

Women are born with roughly one million eggs, all of which are inactive in the ovary. The pituitary gland in the brain releases hormones that stimulate the ovary to recruit an immature egg to grow and finish maturation. In response to the pituitary hormones, the ovary synthesizes and releases estrogen, which signals back to the pituitary, causing the egg to finish its maturation

In egg donation, the goal is to stimulate the ovaries for a group of eggs rather than just one. In order to mature more than one egg, the natural pituitary stimulation is overridden by administering higher than normal amounts of hormones via self-injection by the egg donor. The pituitary is suppressed with birth control pills and Lupron. Then, about 10 days of Follicle Stimulation Hormone (FSH) injections help mature the group of eggs to be retrieved a few hours before being spontaneously released by the ovary.

Please read more about the hormones used below:

Lupron (Leuprolide Acetate) - One injection per day for approximately 12 days

The administration of Lupron affects the pituitary gland and results in lower luteinizing and follicle stimulation hormones in the body. This is done to establish a baseline level to assist your doctor in planning the best approach to a successful egg retrieval.

Possible Side Effects (no long-term side effects have been reported)

  • Headache
  • Moodiness
  • Hot Flashes

Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH or Gonadotropins) - One injection per day for approximately 10 days

Possible Side Effects (no long-term side effects have been reported)

OHSS (Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome). This means essentially that the body has “over- responded” to the FSH and the ovaries become excessively enlarged. Great care is taken by the physician to minimize the chances of this occurrence. Symptoms include severe bloating and shortness of breath. Treatment for this condition may require hospitalization and a minor procedure to remove accumulated fluids.

Other Possible Side Effects

  • Headache
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG or “trigger shot”) - One injection

The purpose of administering hCG is to ready the ovaries for the egg retrieval.

Possible Side Effects (no long-term side effects have been reported)

  • Headache
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating