Are You Better with Fresh or with Frozen?

Part of the donor egg process is deciding between Fresh Eggs and Frozen Eggs.

Fresh Eggs

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 you 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 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 are, 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?

Frozen Eggs

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 the donor eggs and retrieves them before you even see them on our 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 for 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.

Comparing Fresh vs. Frozen

Fresh Eggs Frozen Eggs
Speed of Delivery Slow Immediate
Availability of Multiple Embryos Multiple embryos available When a recipient receives 6 eggs, they are likely to obtain 2 embryos
Scheduling Flexibility Need to sync and schedule Complete flexibility
Uncertainty Potential risks associated with donor availability and retrieval outcome 100% chance of viable eggs
Donor Selection Larger selection Smaller but, growing selection
Estimated Cost $25,000 to $40,000 $15,000 plus your doctors fees

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 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 use as eggs as needed and not freeze embryos?

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?


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?


All donor eggs are screened for infectious diseases, but frozen eggs are re-screened after the 6-month quarantine to detect any infectious diseases that may have been present at the time of retrieval, but was not detectable.

Donor Selection

Do you want the largest possible selection of egg donors to find comfort in your choice?


To what extent do final cost for donor eggs affect your choices?