What’s a “Blastocyst Guarantee” and Why Should I Care?
As you learn more about using frozen donor egg with the help of Donor Egg Bank USA™ you’ll notice that included in each of our five financial plans is our “Blastocyst Guarantee.” Now, let’s dig into exactly what that means, beginning with…
What Is a Blastocyst?
Once an egg is fertilized, it becomes known as a zygote. That zygote will then begin to quickly divide over and over again, a process known as cleaving. What once was a single-cell zygote, will then become an embryo, a ball of hundreds of cells. And while that alone is amazing, what comes next is especially important.
As early as the fourth day after fertilization, the embryo reaches a stage of development called a blastocyst. A blastocyst is a larger ball of cells with a hollow center called the blastocoel. The blastocyst has a thin layer of cells along the edge called the trophectoderm (which will eventually become the placenta of the developing infant) and an area with a tight bunching of cells known as the inner cell mass (which will become the developing infant).
Ideally, the blastocyst will continue developing and we’ll see the blastocyst begin hatching, slowly protruding from the zona pellucida (the strong membrane that surrounds the egg and dividing embryo) until it has totally broken free to reach the hatched stage. This is the time that it is ready to attach to the endometrium that lines the uterus.
Why Is a Blastocyst so Important?
The truth is, not every fertilized egg will continue dividing and developing. Some will stop short of becoming a blastocyst. And some embryos can be transferred before becoming a blastocyst and will result in successful outcomes. However, good quality blastocysts offer an additional level of competence for the best chance of pregnancy. Which is why your doctor and embryologist prefer embryos at this stage of development to be available for transfer.
How Likely Is the Egg to Become a Blastocyst?
First, the good news. Currently, 53%* of Donor Egg Bank USA’s fertilized eggs become good quality embryos. That means that more than half of our frozen donor eggs that were fertilized grew to become blastocysts. Additionally, 66%* of our egg thaws have resulted in excess vitrified embryos. Which is to say, that a significant number of recipients had more than one blastocyst result from their egg lot(s), leaving them with additional blastocysts to be preserved in case they were interested in conceiving a sibling in the future. And, in even better news, 60%* of our embryos transferred resulted in a clinical pregnancy.
What If the First Egg Lot Doesn’t Contain a Blastocyst?
So, let’s say you purchase an egg lot (which is 5 to 8 eggs), but once thawed and fertilized, none of the eggs reach that ideal blastocyst stage. While disappointing, if you’re partnering with Donor Egg Bank USA, you can take solace in the fact that you are covered by our Blastocyst Guarantee.
Here’s what it promises:
Using quality sperm, this guarantee ensures you will achieve usable blastocysts for transfer, freezing, or biopsy that equal or exceed the number of egg lots you've purchased, or we will provide a replacement egg lot at no charge. When a replacement is provided, no additional blastocyst guarantee will be in place. †
Here’s what the guarantee provides:
You will receive another egg lot (at no additional charge), so that when you’re ready, you can try again. And that’s the case regardless of the financial plan you use. So, if you didn’t have a resulting blastocyst and you chose a Single Cycle Plan or Single Egg Lot Plan, you’re entitled to one replacement egg lot. A Double Egg Lot Plan entitles you to two replacement egg lots, should your initial egg lots fail to result in two blastocysts. And our Assured Refund Plan® and Multi Egg Lot Plan offer even greater protection because they both include our live birth guarantee: bring home a baby or receive a 100% refund.
Now you know why you should care about our Blastocyst Guarantee. Here’s why we at Donor Egg Bank do as well. We are committed to providing the very best when it comes to qualified donors, proven freezing and thawing processes, consistent research and innovation, and everything else it requires to help you grow your family with frozen donor egg. However, we also want to offer you something that’s equally valuable, and that’s peace of mind. Which is why we believe that including our Blastocyst Guarantee in each of our plans (and offering plans with our live birth guarantee) is essential — to provide yet another way to help make your path to parenthood even better.
*These statistics are our network averages (compiled from all data points received from our clinics) for the 2022 calendar year.
†See Intended Parent Agreement for further details.
Considering using frozen donor egg to help grow your family? Just reach out to our qualified team at Donor Egg Bank USA to find out more, including information about our Assured Refund Plan® option and our live birth guarantee. Or, if you’re ready to get matched to your ideal donor, start your search here.