It’s an amazing time to be a reproductive endocrinologist, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have access to advanced technology that can help so many patients.
Only a few decades ago, women with blocked fallopian tubes had little recourse in attempting pregnancy. In vitro fertilization (IVF) offered a revolutionary treatment to these patients who would otherwise be unable to conceive. IVF quickly opened the door to cutting-edge treatments for all types of infertility.
Prior to the 1990’s, men with low sperm count also had few options for fertility. The advent of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has enabled the majority of these patients the ability to conceive.
Today we have become so good at assisted reproduction that we often only put one embryo back into the uterus -- and still have incredibly high pregnancy rates. We can even know the embryo’s entire genetic makeup before it is ever placed in the uterus.
However, despite all of these advancements and tools at our disposal, reproductive endocrinologists are often faced with the challenge of treating women who do not produce or are unable to use their own eggs. Many doctors and scientists are trying to solve this dilemma, but at the present time, using an egg donor is the best solution for patients who want to conceive a child.
Egg donation gives patients their best chance at pregnancy, regardless of diagnosis. This is an excellent solution and has helped many women become pregnant. However, getting to the point of accepting donor eggs as an option is often emotional and time consuming. Even when the decision is made to use an egg donor, there still remains a long and expensive path to go down. So although patients may emotionally be ready, the prospect of enduring that journey is enough to discourage many.
Utilizing frozen donor eggs, however, decreases many of the daunting issues surrounding egg donation cycles. It’s less expensive, there is less chance of cancellation, and because the eggs have already been donated, the process takes significantly less time. These considerations were the deciding factor in enabling several of my patients to carry a child when they would have stopped treatment otherwise.
Participating in frozen donor egg banking with Donor Egg Bank USA has been amazing and incredibly helpful for me because, once again, revolutionary technology (the ability to freeze an egg without damage) has enabled yet another group of patients the ability to start their family when just a few years ago, it was impossible