Frozen Donor Egg IVF
Bay IVF - Advanced Reproductive Care                                Palo Alto  650-322-0500


Frozen Egg Donation

Frozen Egg Donation is an alternative to "fresh" (non-frozen) Egg Donation treatment. Just as the "fresh" Egg Donation, it can be a highly successful treatment for patients who no longer have sufficient quality eggs within their ovaries.

You choose your frozen donor eggs from a donor egg bank catalog. This is similar to choosing donor semen from a sperm bank.

Once you select the egg donor of your frozen eggs, the egg bank will ship your selected frozen eggs to our Clinic. The egg banks our embryologists recommend are Fairfax Egg Bank, Donor Egg Bank USA at California Cryobank, and Cryos International-USA.

Probability of Success
The likelihood of a successful pregnancy depends primarily on the fertility potential of the egg donor who provided your frozen donor eggs rather than your uterine receptivity or age.

The probability of a successful outcome with frozen donor eggs approaches the success of using "fresh" donor eggs.

Frozen Donor Egg IVF Offspring
Children conceived with the help of either "fresh" or frozen donor egg treatment are genetically linked to the male partner and the egg donor, but the female partner is the one who becomes pregnant, nourishes the baby throughout the pregnancy, and experiences the childbirth.

The baby would get one set of genes from the dad and another from an egg donor, but you, the mom carrying the pregnancy, would make that baby your very own. There is a new science of epigenetics that describes how our environment modifies the gene expressions and possibly the genes themselves.

The epigenetic marks transmitted from the mother are a fine-tuned mechanism to control gene activation during the complex process of early embryogenesis. And this maternal influence continues throughout the pregnancy. You will imprint yourself onto the baby! By the time your son or daughter is born, that baby will be biologically yours.

"Fresh" and Frozen Egg Donor IVF Comparison
In "fresh" Donor Egg IVF, the egg donor undergoes ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. The eggs are inseminated with partner (or donor) sperm, and fertilized eggs are cultured in the laboratory. The resulting embryos are cryopreserved and subsequently transferred into the recipient mother’s uterus.

In a Frozen Donor Egg IVF, the egg donor’s ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval have already taken place. The eggs have been vitrified (cryopreserved, frozen) by the egg bank. The cryopreserved eggs are shipped to Bay IVF, where they are thawed, inseminated and the resulting embryos are frozen and subsequently transferred into the recipient mother’s uterus.

In both types of donor egg treatments, egg donors are tested for genetic and infectious diseases and are psychologically pre-screened.

Advantages of Frozen Donor Egg IVF
The Frozen Donor Egg IVF may possibly be less costly than "fresh" Donor Egg IVF. The treatment length is shorter, and, possibly, you may not need to decide what to do with extra embryos that might be left over after a successful "fresh" Donor Egg IVF treatment.

Advantages of "Fresh" Donor Egg IVF
"Fresh" Donor Egg IVF may have a higher success probability, and you may possibly have enough extra frozen embryos to improve your chances for a genetic sibling in the future.

Treatment Logistics
The rate of development of embryos from frozen donor eggs may be unpredictable, and it may not be possible to match the recipient's uterine lining development with the development of the embryos.

This is resolved by thawing and inseminating the frozen donor eggs and freezing (vitrifying) the resulting embryos. The frozen embryos are thawed and transferred into the uterus in a subsequent Frozen Embryo Transfer.

Most embryos will survive the cryopreservation and thawing process. The implantation rate of the thawed embryos is equal to the "fresh" embryo implantation rate.

Obstetrical Care
Once your Frozen Embryo Transfer treatment at Bay IVF is completed (approximately 6-8 weeks into your pregnancy), your pregnancy will become indistinguishable from a conception through intercourse, and your obstetrical care should be no different than if you conceived without any treatment.


Frozen Donor Egg IVF Procedure


Frozen Donor Egg Procedure


Frozen Donor Egg IVF is a two-stage treatment. The first phase consists of development and freezing (cryopreservation) of embryos.

  1. Obtaining donor eggs from an egg bank
  2. Thawing of vitrified donor eggs
  3. Fertilization of eggs (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
  4. Culture of embryos
  5. Cryopreservation (vitrification) of embryos
  6. Embryo storage


The second stage consists of the Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle.


Development and Storage of Embryos


  1. Obtaining Donor Eggs from an Egg Bank

    Once you have finalized the selection of your donor eggs, the egg bank will communicate with our Clinic, and our Embryology Laboratory will make preparations to receive your eggs. After their cryopreservation in the egg bank, eggs are stored and transported in liquid nitrogen containers. Once your eggs arrive at Bay IVF, they will be kept in liquid nitrogen storage until it is time to thaw them.

  2. Thawing of Cryopreserved Donor Eggs

    Since it is expected that not all cryopreserved eggs will survive the freezing-thawing process and since not all thawed eggs will fertilize or develop into healthy embryos, you will be purchasing a cohort of eggs. You should expect to receive between 5 and 8 vitrified eggs from the egg bank.

    Such a cohort will likely produce some good quality embryos suitable for transfer.

  3. Fertilization of Eggs

    The male partner collects a semen specimen by masturbation the day of thawing your eggs. The highest quality sperm are extracted from the semen, and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is performed. In ICSI, a single sperm is inserted into an egg. ICSI is necessary for the fertilization of cryopreserved eggs.

  4. Culture of Embryos

    Evidence of fertilization can be seen the next day, 16 hours after ICSI. The fertilized eggs are transferred into a growth medium and continue to be cultured in our laboratory.

    A normally fertilized egg (zygote) will show two pronuclei representing the genetic material from the egg and sperm.

    The following day, embryos should divide into 4 cells, the day after into 8 cells.

    This picture shows a morphologically exquisite, day three, 8-cell embryo. At this stage, human embryos are still microscopic and invisible to the naked eye.


Eight Cell Embryo


By the fifth to seventh day after the insemination, embryos should reach the blastocyst stage (80 or more cells).

This picture shows an advanced stage of blastocyst development. Notice the central fluid-filled cavity. The cells within the blastocyst have already differentiated into the inner cell mass (at seven o’clock) that will give rise to the fetus and the trophectoderm cells that will form the future placenta.




  1. Cryopreservation of Embryos

    Embryos that develop normally are cryopreserved. Preparation for the freezing process involves removing water from within the embryos and replacing it with a cryoprotective substance to prevent ice crystal formation during vitrification and subsequent thawing. The embryos are then flash cooled to −196 °C (−321 °F). Such rapid freezing (vitrification) prevents damaging water crystal formation.

  2. Embryo Storage

    Following the vitrification process, the embryos are transferred into a liquid nitrogen storage chamber in our Clinic. Theoretically, there is no limit on the length of storage, but conceiving past the age of 40 may result in a high-risk pregnancy.


Once you decide to conceive with your cryopreserved embryos, you will have one or two embryos thawed and transferred into your uterus. A large majority of the embryos will survive the vitrification and thawing process. The implantation rate of the thawed embryos should be the same as the "fresh" embryo implantation rate.

If you are successful, your pregnancy becomes indistinguishable from conception through intercourse, and your obstetrical care should be no different than if you conceived without any treatment.

Please use the following links for financial information about Frozen Donor Egg IVF and to schedule a consultation.



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