Choosing a Fresh or Frozen Donor Egg
Today, intended parents who have chosen to use an egg donor have the option of choosing between a fresh or a frozen egg. Each of these options comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so choosing which one is right for you comes down to what your personal situation is.
Fresh vs. Frozen: How Does the Process Differ?
The early stages of the egg donor process are basically the same for both fresh and frozen donor eggs. Before you even start the process of looking for the perfect egg donor, donors are already screened for good physical and psychological health, so all you have to do is look through a database and select your egg donor.
The main difference comes into play after you have selected your donor. With a fresh donor egg, the egg donor and recipient must have their cycles synchronized, which requires a lot of medical, financial, legal, and logistical coordination. Once the cycles are synchronized, the process happens quickly: the eggs are retrieved from the egg donor and fertilized with the intended sperm so that the ensuing embryo can be implanted into the recipient’s uterus.
With a frozen donor egg, the eggs have already been extracted from the donors, have been frozen via a vitrification process, and are in storage. There’s no need to synchronize cycles, and intended parents can plan out their conception process according to their own schedules. The eggs can be fertilized at your chosen fertility center and stored for whenever you are ready.
Other Differences Between Using Fresh and Frozen Donor Eggs
The other major differentiators of fresh and frozen donor eggs are cost and success rates. Because fresh donor eggs require a lot more coordination, this option typically costs more than the frozen one.
On the other hand, fresh donor eggs are often considered to have better success rates overall. According to the national average, about 53%-57% of fresh donor egg transfers are successful, compared to 35%-45% of frozen donor egg transfers. However, this is highly dependent on the technology being used and the embryologist performing the vitrification process. Some practices have much better success rates with frozen donor eggs than others do. In the MyEggBank’s network, for example, the practices we work with report a success rate of 45%-50% per transfer, on average.
Which Should I Choose?
The decision regarding whether you should use a fresh donor egg or a frozen one comes down to what your situation is and what your family planning dreams are. There are pros and cons to both options. For help navigating the decision process or to learn more about “all things egg donation,” contact MyEggBank today.