Frozen Donor Eggs – Your Shortcut to a Baby
By Francis Polansky, M.D.
Oocyte quality factor (low egg quality, diminished ovarian reserve, unresponsive ovaries) is a surprisingly common cause of infertility. It can be diagnosed at any age, but becomes more prevalent past the age of 38, and with few exceptions, most women 42-years and older will need to use donor eggs to have a baby.
The “traditional way” of Donor Egg IVF treatment includes selecting an egg donor, stimulating her ovaries in an infertility clinic to develop multiple eggs, using partner’s semen to fertilize the eggs, and transferring one or two of the resulting embryos (fertilized eggs) inside the mother’s uterus.
Obtaining an egg donor (usually from an egg donor agency) and undergoing Donor Egg IVF treatment can be a drawn-out and costly experience. And, as with any infertility treatment, there is no guarantee that the treatment will be successful.
There is now an alternative to this type of Donor Egg IVF treatment: Frozen Donor Egg In Vitro Fertilization.
For many years, it has been possible to safely freeze and store sperm and embryos, but only recently, cryopreservation of human eggs has been perfected and is no longer considered to be an experimental procedure.
This has resulted in the creation of Egg Banks of cryopreserved donor eggs. It is now possible to browse through a catalog of stored, frozen human eggs and select them for one’s treatment just like it has been the case with donor sperm for several decades now.
Since cryopreserved eggs are ready to be used right away, this may significantly speed up the process of conceiving with donor eggs. Unlike the traditional "fresh" donor egg treatment, your frozen donor egg procedure can start without delay.
For most patients, using frozen donor eggs will also be less expensive than the traditional “fresh” Donor Egg IVF.
One possible drawback of conceiving with cryopreserved donor eggs is the potential future lack of frozen eggs from the same donor if you decided to have another child with the same donor’s eggs. With the traditional "fresh" Donor Egg IVF, there should be extra “left-over” frozen embryos available for your potential future use.
At Bay IVF, we are very excited about offering this new way of family building to our patients. This has been a very successful infertility treatment for us, and for most patients needing egg donation, it is likely to replace the traditional “fresh” Donor Egg IVF treatment.