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Frozen Egg Banks: What You Need to Know About Your Frozen Donor Egg Cycle

Considering a donor egg from a frozen egg bank? Here are some things you should know about the frozen donor egg process before you begin.

What is a Donor Egg Cycle?

A woman might consider using donor eggs in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle if she has poor egg quality, quantity, or has had several unsuccessful IVF cycles. The intended recipient selects a donor, usually from a database and coordinates her menstrual and fertility drug cycle with the donor. The donor's eggs are retrieved and transferred into the recipient's uterus on the same day or frozen for later use. The recipient then carries the pregnancy as in a typical IVF cycle.

What is the Difference Between Frozen Donor and Fresh Donor Egg?

A frozen donor egg protocol is different from a fresh donor egg protocol in that it does not require the donor and recipient to coordinate their menstrual cycles. Frozen donor eggs are banked and can be available for transfer when the recipient is ready.

Additionally, the cost of a frozen donor egg is between 30-50% less expensive than a fresh donor egg cycle. The reason for this is simple. During a fresh donor cycle, the recipient pays for the donor to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), the donor’s fertility drugs, and an additional donor fee. The costs associated with donor eggs from a frozen egg bank are shared because the egg supply from one donor is distributed between 3 or 4 recipients.

Questions to Ask Your Frozen Egg Bank

If the convenience of a donor egg cycle through a frozen egg bank appeals to you, here are some questions you should ask to ensure you are choosing the facility that is right for you:

  1. How much does a frozen donor egg cycle cost at your facility? Are there any additional fees (donor fee, fertility drugs, etc)?
  2. What is the age restriction for egg donors? Do you have an age restriction for donor egg recipients?
  3. What sort of screening process do donors undergo before being approved by your facility?
  4. How large is your select of egg donors? How will I go about picking my donor?
  5. What information is included in the donor’s profile? (photos, medical history, etc)?
  6. What data can you provide regarding frozen egg live birth success rates from your facility?
  7. What is standard procedure for recipients at your frozen egg bank? Will I be expected to travel to your facility?
  8. How long will the frozen donor egg process take from beginning to end?
  9. How much contact will you have with my fertility clinic?
  10. What information do you need from me to begin the process?

Using frozen donor eggs can make pursuing the donor egg option much more time and cost efficient. It is important to consider your options and ask questions to make an informed decision.


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