Egg Donor Medications

Medications in the Egg Donation Process

About the Medication Cycle in Egg Donation

Usually, women mature only one egg each month. To obtain multiple eggs for egg donation, women are given a series of fertility medications to stimulate more eggs to mature. Women are born with about one million eggs, which are inactive in the ovary. The pituitary gland in the brain releases hormones that stimulate the ovary to release 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 complete its growth. The pituitary is suppressed with birth control pills and Lupron Then; about ten 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 medication used below:

Lupron (Leuprolide Acetate)

(One injection per day for approximately 12 days)

Lupron is an injectable fertility drug in the category of GnRH agonists used in an IVF protocol. GnRH agonists shut off your body’s normal process of hormone and egg development. As part of the Down-Regulation protocol, it’s used to prevent premature ovulation during the ovarian stimulation process. 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 ten 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  Treatment for this condition may include hospitalization and a minor procedure.

Other possible Side Effects

  • Headache
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG or Trigger shot”)

(One injection)

hCG is produced by the human placenta. The purpose of administering hCG is to ready the ovaries for egg retrieval.

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

  • Headache
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating

Other: 

The fertility doctor may ask you to start taking birth control pills as part of your protocol since it can help timing the IVF process and give you scheduling flexibility.

The fertility doctor may also want you to take birth control before the IVF treatment to:

  • regulate if you have irregular cycles,
  • prevent ovarian cysts
  • suppress ovaries before stimulation with specific protocols.
  • If you are on birth control pills, usually you’ll start using Lupron a few days before stopping the birth control pills.

Keep in mind every IVF clinic is a little different, and the medication length and type could vary depending on the IVF clinic.