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Comparing Outcomes of Fresh vs. Frozen Donor Eggs

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Egg freezing is a viable option not just for women who want to preserve their fertility, but also for egg donors and women who are using donor eggs to have a baby. Donors’ eggs are frozen and women/couples purchase a cohort of eggs from a donor chosen from an egg bank’s database.

As compared to fresh egg donation, frozen egg donation is less expensive and provides a greater choice of donors and convenience – the donor and recipient don’t need to be synched for stimulation and retrieval, says Dr. Samuel Pang, a fertility doctor and medical director of IVF New England. A recent study in which IVF New England participated showed there are comparable pregnancy rates with fresh and frozen donor eggs.

The retrospective data analysis compared 80 fresh and 168 frozen donor egg cycles: average number of eggs per cycle, fertilization rate, number of embryo transfers, average number of embryos transferred, pregnancy and excess embryos for cryopreservation.

Fresh Eggs Frozen Eggs
Fertilization 76% 85%
Embryos Transfers 75 158
# Embryos Transferred 1.2 1.3
Clinical Pregnancies per Embryo Transfer 49/75 91/158
Frozen Embryos After Transfer 22.9 35.5
Clinical Pregnancies per Embry Transfer 72% 51.2%

IVF New England is a member of My Egg Bank, a frozen donor egg bank. Pang has seen a significant shift in patients who are choosing to use frozen donor eggs rather than fresh donor eggs for the reasons cited above. In addition, those patients are generally interested in having just one child using donor eggs. Using a frozen donor there is less of a chance of having frozen embryos for future IVF cycles.

“With the My Egg Bank Model they get six eggs thawed per cycle. Whereas from a fresh donor they get all the eggs from that donor – whether the donor produces 15, 20 or 25 eggs,” Pang says. “That’s the reason why the cost is much lower, because they are essentially sharing eggs with recipients of the same egg donor. And that also means they don’t typically have the opportunity to have a large number of embryos and potentially some embryos left over to freeze.”

Patients who choose a fresh donor egg cycle typically do so if they are planning to have more than one child and would prefer to have full genetic siblings for their families, Pang explains. Using fresh donor eggs they have a better chance of having embryos frozen from the cohort of eggs from their egg donor, allowing them to have multiple children, depending on the number of frozen embryos they have.

Researchers concluded that frozen donor eggs, “Offer potentially greater choice of donors, lower cost and more satisfaction through greater convenience with comparable pregnancy rates but with a lower chance for recipients to have frozen embryos for future cycles.”


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