Fresh vs. Frozen Donor Eggs: Why Use a Cryobank?
The decision to use fresh or frozen donor eggs is a major step in your path to parenthood. Egg donations have made it possible for thousands of couples, who were previously infertile, to finally have a baby. In the past, the only available donor eggs were fresh. Now, with the advancement of technology and cryobanks, it is possible to get frozen donor eggs.
What’s the best option for you? Here we will discuss the main differences between fresh donor eggs and frozen donor eggs.
Fresh vs. Frozen: Which Type of Egg Donor is Best For You?
Fresh donor egg cycles require three months to a year to find, screen and synchronize with a potential donor. Once the donor is cleared, the fresh eggs are retrieved and fertilized. The eggs are then cultured for five to six days before one or two embryos are ready to be placed into the mother’s uterus.
Frozen donor eggs are immediately available because they are cryopreserved, using a process called vitrification. The eggs are retrieved and immediately loaded with cryoprotectants before flash freezing them. The eggs can then be thawed by your IVF clinic for fertilization. Once fertilized the embryos are cultured and thawed before placing them into the mother’s uterus.
Factors that Differentiate Fresh Donor and Frozen Donor Eggs:
Women can wait up to a year to find, screen, and prepare for a fresh donor’s eggs. If the transfer is done using fresh embryos, the donor and the recipient’s cycles must be synchronized so that the mother’s uterus will be receptive to the embryo when the transfer is done.
A great deal of screening is involved in finding a suitable donor and often donors have infectious or genetic diseases that disqualify them. This mean the entire process must start again. Getting a donor through the screening process is only a small part in assuring a successful retrieval. Taking gonadotrophins to stimulate egg production is a very precise process. Donors must take the correct dose at the correct time, to produce eggs. The money spent on the surgical procedure and medications are lost if the donor is unable to fulfill this obligation.
Occasionally, although rare, the eggs are of poor quality, have structural defects, or the donor has empty follicle syndrome – a syndrome that makes the donor appear to have eggs, when in fact the follicles are empty.
Frozen donor eggs from Cryos have been retrieved and are ready for you to use now. All our donors have gone through the screening process and passed all inspections. Once your order has been placed, they are ready for use as quickly as the next day.
Number of Eggs:
It’s true the number of eggs with a fresh donation is typically greater than frozen. In fresh cycles all the eggs, typically, go to the recipient. This often means 20-30 fresh eggs are available to be inseminated. Usually, only one or two embryos are transferred into the uterus and any good quality embryos left are frozen for later use. Most women who need to use egg donors are between 37 – 50 years of age, and only desire one child, so having ten frozen embryos is often way more than most women want or need. Which leaves you with the decision of what to do with the extra leftover embryos?
Frozen eggs are usually sold in a cohort of six to eight eggs and come with a guarantee of having at least one good quality blastocyst for day five transfer. Frozen egg cycles from Cryos average a 45% blastocyst formation rate, meaning the average cycle produces two or more blastocysts. Fresh eggs are never guaranteed to become blastocysts.
The cost of a fresh donor cycle can easily top $37,000. Fresh eggs have many expenses associated with them including donor travel, donor compensation, medication costs for the donor, and multiple donor medical appointments. At Cryos, one anonymous frozen donor egg costs $2,300 and one non-anonymous frozen donor egg costs $2,500. The cost of IVF using a cohort (at least six eggs) of Cryos eggs generally cost less than $25,000 making the use of frozen eggs more affordable than fresh.
Frozen eggs are convenient and reduce the stress in the IVF laboratory. Because they are frozen, they can be warmed at any time, which is convenient. IVF laboratories are very busy places. They have little control of their workflow because, despite the best-laid plans, women cycle when their bodies are ready. Lab workers usually only get a 36-hour notification. This means on a given day a lab may have multiple egg retrievals, several ICSI’s, biopsies, transfers, and embryos needing to be frozen. Frozen eggs could be warmed on a day when the lab is less busy, reducing the stress of the embryologist, which is something that is in the best interest of everyone.
Cryos USA – International Sperm and Egg Bank, is proud to have clinical pregnancy rates of over 74% per transfer. This is far higher than the national average. Our program’s success directly relates to our one-of-a-kind, in-house process. We hand-select our donors and we retrieve, process, and vitrify all of our eggs in our state-of-the-art surgery center and embryology laboratory.
We want you to feel confident in choosing Cryos donor eggs. Which is why we offer a hassle-free donor egg guarantee. When you purchase a minimum of six (6) oocytes (eggs), Cryos guarantees at least one (1) blastocyst or pregnancy from embryos that have not reached the blastocyst stage. If your clinic’s cultures result in no blastocyst but have viable embryos, less than the blastocyst stage-ready, a transfer needs to take place for the guarantee to be in effect. If the eggs you purchase do not meet those parameters, Cryos will replace the eggs free of charge, one time only. To qualify for the donor egg guarantee, you have to be a patient of a Cryos reference clinic or a clinic who has been trained in Cryos’ warming procedures.
At Cryos, it is important to us that you are able to make the decision that is right for you. Ready to pursue IVF treatment now? Cryos can help. Have further questions? Contact us today. We are happy to assist you. Call to speak with our bilingual Customer Service team at (407) 203-1175 or email us at [email protected]. Our live online chat system is also available through our website.