*brought to you by Donor Egg Bank USA
You know you want a baby, and you know you want to experience pregnancy, complete with feeling those little baby kicks. But for one of many possible reasons, you have decided to use donor egg IVF to get pregnant. So now you might be asking yourself, Okay—now what?
First of all, many women have successfully used donor eggs to get pregnant and have had wonderful pregnancies and perfect babies (yay!). However, before you start stocking up on maternity tops, there are some decisions you need to make, one of which is whether to use fresh or frozen donor eggs. While you do need to consider the pros and cons of each, technology has evolved to a point where the two are almost equal in terms of resulting in healthy pregnancies. Many families can feel overwhelmed by all of this information, so Donor Egg Bank USA has given us a comparison to make this process a little easier.
First, a note about vitrification…
In the past, eggs were frozen using a slow-freeze method that often resulted in ice crystals that damaged the egg’s cell structure, yielding less than impressive success rates. However, vitrification is a freezing technique where donated eggs are exposed to advanced cryoprotectants and flash-frozen to protect them from ice crystal formation.
Now for your choice…
When choosing a fresh egg donor, a couple’s pool of options is quite small.
In order to have a successful fresh donor egg IVF cycle, the donor and recipient’s menstrual cycles must be perfectly synced up using a variety of hormones, medications, and screening tests. This ensures that the recipient’s body is prepared for implantation at the same point the donor is ready for her egg retrieval procedure. The most successful way to achieve this is to find a donor within the same region as you, which limits the number of potential donors available.
Also, fresh cycles have a higher chance of being cancelled due to unforeseen obstacles and circumstances.
Using frozen eggs offers a larger pool of donors.
Alternatively, using a frozen egg donor greatly reduces the risk of cancellation. When a couple decides they are ready to move forward with the donor egg process, they choose from a donor egg bank of already collected samples and only need to be concerned about the recipient’s response to medication and preparation.
When dealing with a frozen donor egg bank, you also have a much larger donor pool to choose from. This allows couples the chance to find a match that has certain characteristics they may prefer (for example looks, education, genetic disease history, etc.).
Frozen egg donors are put through a lengthy screening process before their eggs will be accepted. Tests that they undergo include the following:
- Physical exam that includes a Pap smear and cervical cultures
- Psychological interviews and evaluation
- Consent forms
- Genetic testing
- Medication counseling
When a couple chooses a fresh donor cycle, they are required to pay for the donor’s expenses, including medical bills, medications and possibly lodging (if necessary).
In addition to your own medical expenses, this option can get quite expensive.
With frozen cycles, however, you merely cover the cost of the eggs that have already been collected — and your own medical expenses, of course. So frozen cycles can definitely be a more budget-friendly option.
How about the procedure?
Your implantation procedure will be the same, whether you choose a fresh egg donor or frozen eggs.
After you have chosen your donor, you will undergo preliminary screenings to determine your current reproductive health. You will need to take medications, such as estrogen and progesterone, to prepare your endometrial lining for implantation.
Once your body is ready, the egg(s) will be shipped to the fertility clinic, thawed, fertilized and prepared for transfer. And the embryo transfer is a quick, painless, out-patient procedure.
Two weeks after the embryo transfer, you will return to the fertility clinic for a blood pregnancy test.
If you still have questions or concerns, Donor Egg Bank USA offers a comparison of fresh and frozen eggs on their website as well. After you make this decision, you will be one step closer to holding that baby in your arms!