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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

Is It Painful to Be An Egg Donor?

By Michael Vermesh on December 31, 2020

Digital illustration of a mature eggEgg donation is one of the greatest gifts that a woman can give to those who are trying to build a family. While many young women are eager to be a part of someone’s journey to parenthood, it is natural to have questions, and even concerns, about the process.

One of the most frequent questions we get about egg donation is, “Is it painful to be an egg donor?” Fertility specialists at The Center for Fertility and Gynecology, serving Los Angeles, Tarzana, and Bakersfield, CA, are happy to discuss the process in further detail. This will help women understand the side effects and sensations they may experience during egg donation.

Will I Experience Pain?

Egg donation is not what most would describe as a painful experience. The procedure is fast, minimally invasive, and not too different from the routine pap smears that women get throughout their lives.

While being an egg donor is not painful, women are likely to experience minor discomfort at different stages of the process. It is important that they have realistic expectations about the sensations they may feel before, during, and after egg retrieval.

What To Expect Prior to Egg Retrieval

In preparation of egg retrieval, donors undergo a process called ovarian stimulation. Ovarian stimulation involves the administration of fertility medication. The medication increases levels of certain hormones that are key to ovulation. The goal of ovarian stimulation is to encourage the development of multiple mature follicles, so that more than one egg can be collected during the retrieval process.

Is Ovarian Stimulation Painful?

Ovarian stimulation may cause mild physical discomfort. One potential source of discomfort is the administration of the fertility medication. Egg donors self-administer the medication via injections, or shots. While many people are not a fan of shots, these injections utilize thin needles that should not be painful. Egg donors will be taught the best way to administer injections so they avoid too much discomfort.

Fertility medication used for ovarian stimulation may also cause some discomfort related to hormone changes. Potential side effects include:

  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness

The Egg Retrieval Procedure

Many women worry about the egg retrieval procedure, but it is probably the easiest part of egg donation. Eggs are collected transvaginally. A small ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina. The ultrasound guides a thin needle and suction device into the uterus, where eggs are retrieved.

This procedure is not typically painful, but donors are usually given sedation to further ensure they remain completely comfortable throughout.

What to Expect After Egg Retrieval

When the egg retrieval procedure is done and sedation wears off, patients may experience some mild side effects. Pain should not be a concern, but cramping and bloating may be. Some women also experience light bleeding following egg retrieval. In most cases, side effects are mild and resolve within a few days.

Get In Touch with Our Team

If you have questions about egg donation or any of the other fertility services offered at The Center for Fertility and Gynecology, our doctors would be happy to provide you with more information. To get in touch with our fertility specialists, send us a message online, or call (818) 881-9800.

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