The Recipient Couple
What do I need to do prior to starting on the egg donation programme?
You need to complete our questionnaire and return to us with the requested results. We would like to evaluate the results of tests that you have had previously. The tests that are most useful to us are:
(1) FSH + AMH test done on day 3 of cycle
(2) HIV I and II
(4) Hep B S Ag
(5) Hep C Ab
(6) Rubella IgG blood test
(1) Recent pelvic ultrasound
(2) Hysteroscopy or Hysterosalpingogram
(3) please include reports of previous operations
Husband / partner:
(1) Semen analysis
(1) HIV 1 and II
(3) Hep B S Ag
(4) Hep C Ab
What medication do I have to get prior to seeing the doctor in Cape Town?
1) Leuprolide acetate injection ( Lucrin, Lupron, Ginecrin) –
This injection is given at the start of your period. The doctor will tell you which period will be best one to commence your injection on. This injection suppresses your own natural ovulation for 6 weeks so that we can co-ordinate your cycle with that of the donor. The injection can be given subcutaneously. Alternatively the daily luprolide acetate injections or the nasal spray, Synarel, may be used.
2) Estradiol valerate tablets 2mg – 84 tablets (Progynova, Estrace, Estrapause) –
The doctor will tell you when to commence these tablets. They should be taken in the following way: – 1 tablet daily for 3 days, then – 2 tablets daily for 3 days, then – 3 tablets daily for 3 days, then – 4 tablets daily. Continue with 4 tablets daily until the doctor tells you to stop or increase. These tablets thicken and prepare the lining of the womb prior to the embryo transfer.
3) Progesterone in oil injections (100mg)– 20 ampoules (Gestone) –
These injections will only be started after you have seen the doctor in Cape Town. You will be told exactly what day to start the injections. The needles and syringes will be provided from the clinic in Cape Town.
Alternatively you can use Crinone Gel twice daily.
How do I obtain these medications?
If you live far away from Cape Town we will try to have the meds couriered to you. Let us know if we should organize this for you.
On arrival in Cape Town
The first visit to the doctor will be approximately 4 days prior to the egg collection of the donor. You will have a painless vaginal ultrasound scan performed to check the thickness of the endometrium (lining of the womb). If the lining of the womb is too thin your estradiol tablets will be increased. You are required to stay in Cape Town for about of 12 days.
How are the embryos cultured?
Once the eggs are collected, they are fertilized using your partner’s or husband’s sperm. (Frozen sperm from our donor cryobank can also be obtained if required). Our laboratory has excellent facilities with high magnification ICSI (injection of sperm into eggs) , embryo freezing and blastocyst culture are available.
The embryologist will tell you which day to come in for your embryo transfer. Usually 2 embryos are transferred. You may freeze remaining embryos for use at a later date, if their quality is good enough.
The freezing is usually done by vitrification which promises high recovery rates.
The embryo transfer is an easy procedure much like a gynaecological examination. A speculum is inserted and a fine plastic tube inserted into the womb to inject the embryos. An ultrasound machine will be used to visualize the transfer of the embryos. 5 minutes rest after this procedure is advised.
Following the embryo transfer you are advised not to do any heavy exercise for a week. You may have sexual intercourse after one week – after that it does not reduce your chances of becoming pregnant.
A blood test for pregnancy hormone (βHCG) will be done 10 days after the embryo transfer. This can be performed once you have returned home if you have traveled for treatment to our Cape Town Fertility Clinic. The blood test is usually repeated 2 days later to check the pregnancy hormone levels are rising appropriately. The hormone level should at least double.