Ask a Doctor About Using Frozen Donor Eggs

September 4th, 2013
Eve Feinberg
Q: What is the benefit of using frozen donor eggs?

A: There are so many advantages to using frozen donor eggs. The egg donor has already undergone stimulation and egg retrieval so the eggs are ready and waiting. This eliminates a lot of uncertainty regarding the donor stimulation cycle and the worry about donor compliance. Furthermore, the time it takes to undergo a donor egg cycle is shortened and depends only on your schedule. Many of the other details such as legal agreements are taken care of. It is a much more streamlined process with fewer variables. 

Q: How have egg freezing techniques changed in the last few years?

A: Oocyte vitrification is a newer freezing method that was developed in the last decade and has dramatically improved the success of egg freezing. The egg is the single largest cell in the female body and is hard to freeze properly because of the potential to form ice crystals that can disrupt the cell’s DNA. Vitrification does not form ice crystals and the egg faces much less damage as a result.

Q: What does this mean for women who are considering using donor eggs?

A: In the future, I predict women will be able to order eggs from donor egg banks in the same way that we have been able to order sperm from sperm banks. Frozen donor egg banks are a huge game-changer and for the better!

Q: Who is a good candidate for frozen donor eggs?

A: The criteria are the same as for anyone considering donor eggs. When the cause of infertility or IVF failure is thought to be due to oocyte quality, donor eggs are recommended.

Q: How do pregnancy success rates differ when compared to fresh donor eggs, or the fresh eggs of a patient?

A: Many studies have shown that pregnancy rates from frozen donor eggs are the same as from fresh donor eggs. I have seen this in my practice as well.

Q: Are there common fertility problems that can be addressed through frozen donor eggs?

A: Many fertility problems are linked to egg quality and can be overcome with donor eggs. These include recurrent miscarriage, repeated IVF failures and diminished ovarian reserve 

Q. Why is a money back guarantee program important?

A. Money back guarantee programs such as Donor Egg Bank USA's 100% Assured Refund® Plan are an incredible option for patients because if the treatment does not work, the patient still has the financial means to pursue other options like adoption. 

Q: What patients might benefit from this treatment option?

A: Money back guarantees are great for patients who want to be able to focus fully on their current treatment cycles while having a back-up plan in case treatment fails.

Q: Why are you such a proponent of this family building option?

A: One of my patients had the first live birth (twins!) from frozen Donor Egg Bank USA oocytes. Not only are frozen donor eggs incredibly successful, they are easy to coordinate, less expensive, and faster than doing a fresh donor egg cycle. I am a huge fan and have had repeated success thus far.

Q: How has using donated eggs changed in modern times?

A: There is no wait time for available egg donors. It makes out of state and international egg donation cycles much easier to coordinate. Furthermore, some couples are hesitant to use egg donors that live in the same state, but are reluctant to pay more for an out-of-state donor’s travel. Frozen donor eggs widen the geographic area from which donor eggs can be obtained.

Q: Why did you go into the field of infertility treatment?

A: I have always had a deep desire to help other people and I have always craved intellectual challenge. Becoming a reproductive endocrinologist was the ideal combination of science and humanity. Reproductive medicine is not about numbers, statistics or graphs. It is about connecting with people and using your knowledge and expertise to make a profound difference in another’s life. I love what I do and feel fortunate to have the privilege to work in such an amazing field.

About The Author

Eve Feinberg

Dr. Eve Feinberg is a reproductive endocrinologist with Fertility Centers of Illinois. She is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and has received both the Patients’ Choice and Best Doctors’ Awards.

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