Differences between using a Fresh Egg Donor Agency and a Frozen Egg Bank


By Bradley Trivax, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.

Deciding between a fresh donor egg cycle and a frozen egg cycle is a very personal and individualized decision. Overall, one is not better than the other. It simply depends on one’s circumstances and particular needs. The important fact to remember is that the process of egg freezing has improved significantly over the past few years secondary to technological improvements in freezing and thawing protocols. The survival of thawed eggs has improved drastically with the newer freezing techniques. These changes allow for significant improvement in live birth success rates using frozen donor eggs.

Advantages of a Frozen Egg Cycle:

  1. Faster to start this type of cycle, faster to complete the cycle. The shorter time frame from choosing a donor to actual embryo transfer when using eggs that are already frozen is appealing to some. Less waiting, more control.
  2. No need for synchronization of menstrual cycle between the donor and the recipient.
  3. No stress of hoping your fresh egg donor is handling the stress and complexities of ovarian stimulation. With frozen eggs, this is already completed.
  4. Costs per treatment cycle are less when using frozen donor eggs vs. fresh.
  5. Some egg banks guarantee a certain number of embryos
  6. While often there is less selection of donors to choose from, the eggs are available for immediate use.

Advantages of a Fresh Donor Egg Cycle:

  1. All of the eggs retrieved during your donor’s cycle go to the recipient. They are not shared with anyone else.
  2. This allows for increased chance of having extra frozen embryos for future use if the cycle does not yield a pregnancy the first time. Additionally, the extra embryos could be saved for possible use to have a biological sibling at no extra cost to an agency or egg bank.
  3. There is usually a much larger selection of donors within the different donor egg agencies.
  4. Best if strongly desire a genetic sibling.

It is important to keep in mind that success rates using frozen donor eggs are dependent on the quality of the donor eggs, the ability of the clinic to perform effective freezing and thawing of eggs, and the expertise of the IVF program. As one might imagine, success rates vary greatly between IVF clinics and should be researched before beginning an involved and expensive process such as a donor egg cycle.

Learn more about egg donor IVF here.

Bradley Trivax, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. is a reproductive endocrinologist at Reproductive Specialists of New York, and Chair of Path2Parenthood’s Medical Council

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