Frozen Donor Eggs

Assisted reproductive technology has evolved greatly, and intended parents currently have the choice of either fresh or frozen donor eggs

Both choices have their own pros and cons circumstances attached, and when making the choice you should be fully aware of what each option offers on the pregnancy journey.

This article focuses on frozen donor eggs, detailing the expected success rate and how fertility institutions handle them. 

Read on to explore more about what using frozen donor eggs is like.

How does IVF work with frozen donor eggs?

frozen eggs

Source – Medium.com

In IVF cycles using donor eggs, ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval have already been catered for, after which the eggs are vitrified by an egg bank via cryopreservation. 

The frozen cryopreserved eggs are shipped to the IVF facilities when needed. They are then thawed out, and inseminated, and the subsequent embryos are frozen before being transferred into the recipient’s uterus.

In both types of egg donor fertility treatments, egg donors are screened for infectious and genetic diseases, and undergo psychological evaluations.

Are frozen donor eggs as good as fresh eggs?

Source – Invitra

IVF cycles using frozen donor eggs are typically less costly than using fresh donor eggs

While the process of building a family is unique and intensely personal, the fact of the matter is that obtaining and using fresh donor eggs can be extremely expensive. 

The cost difference is enough to put this life-changing fertility treatment out of the reach of many families. 

Also, the duration of the treatment is shorter, and there is no need to make an urgent decision regarding the use of extra embryos left over after a treatment cycle.

However, fresh donor eggs may have a higher probability of success, so it is a decision worth considering according to your unique circumstances.

Studies have shown that the chances of live birth from using fresh donor eggs are between 9 to 20% higher than that of a frozen egg. This figure is affected by multiple variables such as the number of eggs available and any possible damage from the freezing process.

Other factors that affect the success rate of a frozen egg donor cycle include:

  • The quality of donor eggs. 
  • Number of eggs available.
  • The expertise of a particular clinic to perform effective freezing and thawing protocols. 
  • The number of eggs transferred to the uterus.
  • The general expertise and quality of the IVF program.
frozen eggs

While frozen eggs can be fertilized at nearly the same rate as fresh eggs, it is unlikely to produce many embryos because the intended parents will likely start off with fewer eggs unless a particular donor is extremely fertile.

This is a key factor when making decisions, considering the emotional, financial and physical costs of multiple repeated IVF cycles. By the time you get to inquire about donor eggs, you have likely gone through previous IVF cycles and you want to minimize how much more you spend in the quest to have a child.

Frozen eggs have the element of convenience, resulting from a lack of the need for synchronizing cycles. 

Another advantage is that it can be sourced from different kinds of women without having to cater for their travel expenses to your chosen fertility center. This is a particularly important consideration because many ideal egg donors for intended parents may not be able to travel.

Frozen donor eggs are also cheaper, granted that they are sold in units ranging between 5 to 8, thus making it possible for donation agencies to obtain multiple batches from one donation. 

Additionally, the process has become more efficient because eggs are frozen using vitrification which prevents ice crystals from forming within the egg, therefore damaging it.

The best way to decide on using frozen eggs is to start by discussing the pros and cons with your chosen fertility agency. They are uniquely qualified to consider your requirements and to match them with the available egg donors.

How successful is IVF with frozen eggs?

success

The success rate using frozen eggs is affected mainly because the rate of embryo development from it may be unpredictable, making it difficult to match the uterine lining development of the recipient with that of the embryos.

However, once the frozen embryo treatment is completed, a pregnancy becomes indistinguishable from a conception achieved through other means. This results in the realization that the subsequent obstetrical care should not differ from when you conceive without any treatment.

Generally, the success rates with frozen eggs have improved over the past few years resulting from fine-tuning of freezing and thawing protocols that have made egg survival and viability much better than it was in the past.

The IVF failure rate is very low.

How long does it take to get pregnant with frozen donor eggs?

pregnancy

Getting pregnant with frozen donor eggs can take between 1 to 3 months, starting with acquiring frozen eggs, thawing them out, fertilizing them with sperm, and then incubating the resulting embryos as they develop. Two weeks after a successful embryo transfer, a pregnancy test can be taken.

This time window strongly differs from how long it takes to get pregnant with it, which can take 3 to 6 months to accommodate screening of egg donors, stimulation of ovaries, egg retrieval, fertilizing the eggs, preparing the uterine environment for transfer, and finally transferring the embryo.

Conclusion

There are many benefits to using frozen donor eggs, and this article detailed some of them. 

Reach out to members of our surrogacy community to find out more about frozen and fresh donor eggs. 

You will find loads of members who will share their valuable experiences with you. Hopefully, that can help you learn more and even make decisions about the use of frozen donor eggs in an IVF cycle.

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Written by David
I work daily to make surrogacy available to as many intended parents, surrogate mothers and egg donors around the world as possible.

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