frozen donor eggs vs. traditional egg donation
In the usual traditional egg donation method, there is simultaneous synchronization of the fresh egg donor’s menstrual cycle and the recipient mother’s cycle. Controlled ovarian stimulation of the donor’s ovaries is performed to mature the eggs which are inseminated with recipient sperm and subsequently embryos are created. Meanwhile, the intended mother’s uterus is prepared with estrogen and progesterone hormones to receive the embryos. After the transfer of some of the newly created embryos into the intended mother, pregnancy may occur. Any unused, surplus embryos are frozen (cryopreserved) for use in the future.
The following video demonstrates the ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) process to overcome the hardening of the outer membrane which occurs after egg freezing. (See Video)
This method of traditional oocyte donation process has some logistical problems. It is often difficult to coordinate the donor’s and the recipient’s cycles due to donor non-compliance with FDA regulations; medication errors made by the donor; inadvertent pregnancy by the donor; problems with the donor’s travel arrangements which are paid by the recipient; donor demands for excessive payment and unexpected cancellation of the cycle by the donor. Also, there is the issue of storing unused, excess embryos which may be used or often abandoned by the intended parents. The entire cost of this process must be borne by the recipient of the donated eggs.
On the other hand, utilization of the frozen donor egg method, makes it possible for a more controlled ovarian stimulation of the egg donor independently of a recipient’s menstrual cycle. Then, at her own convenience, the recipient mother can select the donor’s stored cryopreserved oocytes which can be thawed in order to achieve a pregnancy.
This innovation in egg freezing technology, dramatically improves the efficiency of the egg donation process thus minimizing the cost donor egg fertility treatment for th intended parents.
THE USE OF FROZEN DONOR EGGS
Age is the limiting factor for Fertility
It is often not appreciated that the most fertile years in a woman’s life occur when she may not be prepared to start a family. Between the teen years till about age 35, a woman’s eggs are at their peak performance. Then it begins the gradual downward spiral of egg quality. Unanticipated delays in finding a life partner or waiting too long to have children due to life’s uncertainties can have a devastating effect on the family building plans for many women. Even after attempting advanced treatment such as IVF, a woman may discover too late that the effect of aging has caused irreversible changes in her eggs giving rise to unhealthy embryos with low implantation rates and a high risk of miscarriage or birth defects. These problems are more likely to occur after age 38 and accelerate at a rapid pace. In these cases, providing patients with healthy frozen eggs from young donors, that match the intended mother’s physical appearance, can make a dramatic difference in pregnancy rates.
CONSIDERATIONS IN THE USE OF DONOR EGGS
When the best option for achieving a healthy pregnancy is with donor eggs, Frozen Egg Bank offers a unique and innovative choice. The patent-pending egg freezing technology developed by Frozen Egg Bank and West Coast Fertility Centers makes it possible for intended parents to conveniently select frozen eggs procured from healthy, rigorously screened donor candidates.
What Are the Advantages of Using Frozen Donor Eggs?
With the use of frozen donor eggs in a fertility setting, many advantages become apparent. Among the most significant benefits are:
- The cost of frozen eggs from the Frozen Egg Bank is significantly less than the cost of a traditional egg donor.
- There are fewer complications in finding and working with a fresh egg donor.
- Intended parents can select frozen eggs from the donor of their choice in the privacy of home by using our on-line donor catalogue.
- There is no time lost in searching for a donor who may live in a distant location and will incur travel or hotel expenses.
- There is no need for synchronization of the recipients uterus with the donor’s ovarian cycle, saving time and money in the preparation process.
- There is no risk of medication errors or non-compliance by the donor which can result in cancellation of the cycle.
- There is no waiting time for the donor to become available. Recipient mothers can begin the process immediately.
- Egg donors have been carefully screened medically and psychologically according to FDA criteria.
- You have the choice of using the same genetic donor in the future by reserving frozen eggs from the same donor.
What are the Risks of Using Frozen Eggs?
It is known that all medical procedure and treatments carry some element of risk which will be explained by your medical provider. To insure the safety of our treatments, all our frozen egg treatment cycles are conducted under IRB supervision. An IRB is a group of medical an lay professionals who determine that new and investigational treatments are conducted under strict overview conditions. Our doctors and scientists have completed a special course on the ethical management of medical treatment for human subjects. We maintain close documentation of any complications which are reported to the IRB organization.
Although we can document excellent egg survival after the thaw, there is the risk that some eggs may not withstand the freeze/thaw process. Sometimes the eggs do not divide as expected leading to a negative pregnancy test. A miscarriage can also occur after pregnancy is achieved similar to a natural conception.
As part of our ongoing quality control, Frozen Egg Bank is constantly monitoring the outcome of our frozen egg treatments and searching for ways to improve the pregnancy success rates. We encourage all our patients who have used frozen eggs to enroll in our birth registry which tracks the health of the children up to 12 months of age. So far all the children born from our egg freezing techniques appear to be healthy.