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Frozen Donor Egg IVF: Using a Frozen Egg Bank to Maximize Your Savings
December 5, 2012
If you’re looking into your options for a donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, you may be confused about which type of donor egg to pursue- fresh or frozen.
A fresh donor egg cycle is coordinated with the recipient’s fertility clinic. The menstrual cycle of both the donor and recipient must be perfectly timed to ensure retrieval and transfer occur at just the right time.
The cost of a fresh donor egg cycle includes the cost of traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the added donor fee. The recipient must also pay the cost of the donor’s fertility drugs for that cycle. Overall, a donor egg cycle could range between $30,000-$40,000.
A frozen donor egg cycles provides several savings that a fresh donor egg cycle does not; both time and money. This includes the freedom to transfer the donor eggs when it is convenient for the recipient and significant savings due to the shared pool of frozen eggs from one donor to 3 or 4 recipients. Frozen donor eggs are stored at a frozen egg bank. Your fertility clinic may have its own storage facility, or may be an affiliate clinic of a larger frozen egg bank.
Daniel Shapiro, M.D., a fertility doctor at Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta, Georgia, has helped establish My Egg Bank North America (MEB-NA), a network of high quality infertility centers providing frozen donor egg bank services to patients across the United States and Canada. “The benefit of using frozen donor eggs is that it makes the process user friendly for everyone. It drops the price dramatically (average is just over $16,000), and you are splitting donors. This provides lower cost without compromising successes. They are still given, on average, a 60% chance at pregnancy,” he says.
Frozen donor egg and fresh donor egg cycles are quite similar in how donors are screened and approved for participation in the donor program. Recipients can rest assured that their donor has completed a battery of medical and psychological evaluations. In either type of donor cycle, the recipient will be able to select their donor from a profile database.
For those considering frozen over fresh donor eggs, Dr. Shapiro tells patients to be aware of the frozen egg bank’s size and its success. Asking questions about the number of donors in their roster, size of their frozen egg inventory, and data on pregnancy outcomes can be helpful in deciding to use a frozen donor egg bank. Similarly, knowing where your donor eggs are coming from will help you to understand who and what is involved in the process.
Overall, frozen donor egg is an efficient option for any woman pursuing donor egg. Not only does it alleviate risk for mistimed donor and recipient cycles, but also the financial burden associated with expensive fertility treatments.
For a comprehensive list of questions to ask your Frozen Egg Bank, Read: Frozen Egg Banks: What You Need to Know about Your Frozen Donor Egg Cycle.