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Should you Use a Frozen Egg Bank?
March 24, 2013
You’re going to have a baby using donor eggs. Until recently, your best option was a fresh cycle. I wondered, do donor egg banks reduce the burden on physicians, patients and donors? I spoke with Dr. Daniel Shapiro, Medical Director of Reproductive Biology Associates and Clinical Manager of My Egg Bank North America, in Atlanta, GA on the advantages of fresh versus frozen cycles. Here are some points to consider:
- With a frozen donor cycle, the eggs have already been retrieved and frozen. Once you choose your donor, you are guaranteed a cohort of eggs.
- There are very reliable thaw parameters from vitrified eggs. Typically 4 to 5 out of six will survive to be inseminated.
- The eggs are mature. When you look at 25 follicles in a fresh donor, it’s an estimate of how many are going to be mature. You don’t really know until you collect them.
- The donor donates on her schedule for a frozen bank, while in a fresh cycle the donor’s schedule is somewhat dependent on the recipient’s schedule and the recipient’s schedule is somewhat dependent on the donor’s schedule.
- In a fresh match if the recipient’s uterine lining isn’t ready in time for the retrieval, you’re either obligated to freeze all the donor’s eggs and wait for the lining to catch up, or you cancel the cycle. In a frozen cycle, you can continue to treat the recipient with estrogen until the lining is ready.
- A fresh cycle can be 2 to 3 times more expensive than a frozen cycle. Currently the market rate for a completed frozen egg cycle ranges between $15,000 - $16,500, up to $20,000 in the metro NY. A fresh cycle can be upwards of $45,000 - $48,000 K in the NY metro area if you’re using an agent.
Fresh donor egg cycles have been a proven, reliable treatment to build your family. But is it time to make egg banking the standard procedure for egg donation? I’d love to hear from you.