At Advanced Fertility Care, recipients get a choice between a fresh and a frozen donor egg cycle. Our clinic leads Arizona and the entire Southwest in egg freezing. This has enabled us to freeze eggs from our most popular donors.
Why Choose a Frozen Donor Egg IVF Cycle?
If you prefer to choose a frozen donor egg IVF cycle the process itself is simpler and less expensive. Initial diagnostic evaluation of the intended recipient(s) would be almost the same as in the fresh donor egg IVF cycle. (see above: Step 3 Initial Screening Tests) However, one time saving difference is that a mock stimulation cycle of the recipient’s uterus is not necessary since frozen eggs will not be thawed and fertilized, nor will embryos be thawed and transferred if the actual uterine stimulation is suboptimal. This can save 2-4 weeks of the initial evaluation time in addition to hundreds of dollars of additional testing and medication costs.
Once the initial evaluation is completed, the next step for the recipient would be to choose from a list of donors that have ALREADY had their eggs retrieved and frozen. See Pricing for Frozen Donor Egg IVF.
Most recipients choosing to use frozen eggs, will be offered our “Blastocyst Guarantee” program in which we guarantee at least (2) TWO high quality blastocysts for transfer. In some cases of severe male factor infertility or if PGS testing of embryos is desired, a more traditional frozen egg package is offered in which recipients may select/purchase frozen eggs in groups of 6 eggs for use, however, no guarantee is offered for embryo creation.
Once both the frozen egg program and the donor eggs are selected and embryos are created, the female recipient will undergo a 4-5 week process which will ready the uterine endometrial lining for implantation using hormonal suppression of the ovaries, followed by stimulation of the uterine lining with estrogen and progesterone. Once the uterine lining has achieved the appropriate state for implantation, Advanced Fertility Care Physicians will perform the embryo transfer into the intended mother’s uterus. The moment of truth comes 10 to 12 days after the transfer when we perform the pregnancy test.
Frozen Donor Egg IVF Cycle vs. Fresh Donor Egg IVF Cycle
Pros and Cons
Prior to 2008, eggs, unlike embryos (fertilized eggs) could not be successfully frozen and thawed in the laboratory setting. Huge advancements in media and laboratory techniques have allowed specially equipped and trained embryologists to perform egg freezing with significant improvements in pregnancy success rates. At Advanced Fertility Care, we are proud to have been one of the earliest fertility centers in the Southwest and in the country to have been performing egg freezing studies since January 2009 and over the last 3-4 years, have seen success rates equal and surpass those of fresh eggs in many cases. We are also proud to have reported the first pregnancy in Arizona resulting from the use of frozen eggs. Due to these advancements in technology and success rates, egg freezing (oocyte vitrification) is no longer considered investigational and now considered a routine offering in fertility treatment.
Some benefits of frozen eggs versus fresh eggs include significantly decreased time to achieving pregnancy and significantly lower costs over traditional fresh donor egg IVF. Another advantage is for couples who are concerned with having excess frozen embryos after successfully completing their family. By choosing to use frozen donor eggs, only a small number of eggs are fertilized thereby greatly minimizing the chance of having excess embryos to freeze. Ultimately, for many couples with diminished ovarian function, the financial cost of undergoing a fresh donor egg IVF cycle may make successfully starting a family impossible. However, having the possibility of successfully starting or growing a family using donor eggs, but at a much lower cost, may make that dream a reality.