Comparing Fresh vs. Frozen
- Speed of Delivery
- Availability of Multiple Embryos
- Scheduling Flexibility
- Donor Selection
- Estimated Cost
Before 2004 donor eggs were traditionally obtained through fresh donor IVF. These eggs are called “fresh” for one simple reason – you’re going to try fertilization immediately after the eggs are retrieved or removed from the donor, and therefore, we don’t need to freeze them.
Retrieving fresh eggs is not as simple as one may think. Once you’ve chosen your egg donor, she’ll begin a regimen of hormone treatments to mature her eggs. She’ll need hormone supplements to stimulate her ovaries, and the timing of her menstrual cycle must coincide precisely with yours (or your surrogate’s). The donor is preparing or maturing her eggs at the same time you are preparing your body to accept them as fertilized embryos.
Eventually the eggs will be retrieved and your doctor will attempt to fertilize them. A few days later the embryo or embryos are transferred into your (or your surrogate’s) uterus.
There are some logistical challenges to manage in traditional fresh donor IVF. When you actively involve a third person in your reproductive life, you must consider her ongoing availability over a 3 – 6 month period, trust that she will pass her screening tests up to 30 days before actual egg retrieval, and trust her commitment to following medical protocol. The egg donor can often be located in a different city than you and will need to travel to you when ready to donate her eggs. All of the costs of the fresh cycle are variable, and can change depending on circumstances (Will she need more medication? Will she have to re-test for problems? Will she need to have her plane ticket changed?).
Pregnancy using already retrieved, frozen donor egg is truly a tremendous step forward. In 2004 scientists at The World Egg Bank developed egg freezing technologies now used by fertility doctors throughout the world. The World Egg Bank screens, prepares, and retrieves the donor eggs before you even see them on our frozen roster. Instead of attempting fertilization right away, we freeze the eggs and store them for later use.
At a time of your choosing, the eggs are shipped within days to your doctor, where they are thawed and fertilized. Independent research shows that the probability of success is essentially the same in both the frozen and fresh egg processes.
The frozen egg process happens on your own schedule and this means that there’s no need to synchronize your menstrual cycle with your egg donor’s. You do not have to wait 3 – 6 months, or longer, for the egg donor to complete screening and egg retrieval, nor accept the risks of dealing with obstacles along the way and unexpected costs. This also eliminates the need for an egg donor to travel. Finally, each of our egg donors are rigorously tested and only healthy looking, mature eggs are frozen. For these reasons, a growing number of our clients prefer the frozen egg process.
When deciding between Fresh Eggs and Frozen Eggs, recipients usually think about these factors:
|Speed of Delivery||How long can you wait for your donor eggs? Are you able to undergo months of planning or is it important to have your donor eggs now?|
|Availability of Multiple Embryos||Is it important to have a high probability that you will have “extra” embryos, or do you prefer to start with a smaller number of eggs which typically leads to the production of 2 to 3 embryos, therefore not having multiple embryos remaining in the case of a pregnancy?|
|Scheduling Flexibility||Do you want to schedule your attempt to become pregnant on your own timeframe or are you able to coordinate your schedule with the egg donor’s plans?|
|Uncertainty||Are you able to accept the uncertainty associated with the fresh process? Is there value to you in the certainty and predictability of receiving screened, mature frozen donor eggs?|
|Safety||We screen donors to the highest standards nationally and internationally incorporating worldwide screening requirements.|
|Donor Selection||Do you want the largest possible selection of egg donors to find comfort in your choice?|
|Cost||To what extent does the final cost for donor eggs affect your choices?|
Cost: Compare Frozen vs. Fresh Cycle Costs
Cost is a critical factor when considering your donor egg options. The advantage of using Frozen Eggs – either already banked or through a Custom Choice Cycle™ – is that the cost never varies. Additionally, you assume no risk; donors cannot fail screening if you choose already banked eggs, and The World Egg Bank allows you to simply select a new donor if your Custom Choice Cycle™ donor is not proven and fails screening or opts out for personal reasons. The costs of traditional Fresh Cycles can always vary depending on the location of your donor and the clinic costs for your donor’s medication and retrieval. Furthermore, your clinic may prefer to do some of the screening themselves, which can increase costs as well. Below please find The World Egg Bank’s Frozen/Fresh Cost Comparison.
***These costs vary and are paid to the intended parents clinic.
****Canadian shipping $750. Other International shipping $1600.