Using Frozen or Fresh Donor Eggs for Pregnancy with Global Donor Egg Bank in Orange County, Southern California
The combination efforts of the medical and administrative expertise of West Coast Fertility Center combined with the scientific and research development of Frozen Egg Bank, Inc. (FEB) have merged to create Global Donor Egg Bank making frozen donor eggs available worldwide and transporting them to any destination around the globe according to local regulations.
Age is one of the most important limiting factors causing infertility. It is often not appreciated that the most fertile years in a woman's life may occur when she is the least able to start her family. A woman has about 20 peak reproductive years usually from about age 15 to 35, followed by an accelerated period of declining egg quality leading to infertility, miscarriage, and potential birth defects. Unanticipated delays in findin a life partner or waiting too long to have children due to life's uncertainties can have a devastating effect on the family building plans for many women.
Even after attempting advanced treatment such as IVF, a woman may discover too late that the effect of aging has led to irreversible changes in her egg quality giving rise to embryos with low implantation potential. These problems accelerate faster after age 38. In some cases, we recommend the use of healthy eggs from a young donor that match the intended mother's physical appearance. What are the differences in fresh or frozen donor eggs?
- Traditional Fresh Donor Eggs
- Frozen Donor Eggs
- The Benefits of Frozen Donor Eggs
- Frozen Donor Services at Global Donor Egg Bank
Through the use of traditional egg donation, thousands of couples have achieved a pregnancy and become parents. Egg donation involves the intentional use of eggs (oocytes) provided by a healthy, young egg donor for in vitro fertilization and subsequent embryo transfer to a matched and synchronized recipient. Egg donors are selected to match the physical appearance of the intended mother. The donor may be a directed donor (someone personally known by the recipient) or anonymous, which means the donor is screened and evaluated by our Center, but her personal identity is kept anonymously. Currently, most donors in the U.S. are young healthy women who are compensated for their time commitment, travel and medical expenses.
The first successful pregnancy resulting from egg donation occurred in 1983 and involved a patient who was diagnosed with premature menopause. Today, the indications for egg donation have expanded to include not only premature ovarian failure (hypergonadotropic hypogonadism) but also young patients who have not been successful with IVF due to poor egg quality or suboptimal embryos, are excellent candidates for egg donation. Finally, the method may be chosen in order to avoid the possibility of transmitting a significant genetic illness for which the female recipient is known to be a carrier.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer requires the harvest of eggs from the donor who has received ovarian stimulation to increase the number of mature eggs available for retrieval, followed by the insemination of the eggs in the laboratory. Sixteen hours later, fertilization is documented by the appearance of the 2 pro-nuclear particles inside the fertilized egg(s). The early embryos are monitored for several days prior to their transfer into the uterus of the prepared recipient. Typically, the embryos are loaded into a soft straw and guided into the uterus under ultrasound visualization to place the embryos as accurately as possible.
The Egg Donation Process
- Evaluating the potential recipient
- Selecting the donor
- Screening the donor
- Obtaining informed consent from both the recipient(s) and the donor
- Synchronizing the donor and recipient
- Prescribing hormone replacement for the recipient
- Stimulating the ovaries of the donor
- Retrieving the eggs (harvesting the donor's eggs)
- Insemination of the eggs
- Transfer of the embryos
WCFC developed the frozen donor egg technique to provide couples with an alternative to traditional donor eggs as described above. Some of our patients have opted for the use of frozen donor eggs. Donors have been screened using FDA criteria and their oocytes have been frozen and catalogued. This method helps to avoid some of the logistical problems associated with traditional egg donation including difficulties with the synchronization of donor and recipient cycles, medication errors, inadvertent donor pregnancy, non-compliance with FDA regulations and others. Furthermore, some of the travel costs and other expenses incurred with standard egg donation can be eliminated.
By inseminating only a limited number of thawed eggs, we can avoid creating surplus embryos which may be abandoned or discarded in the future, thus removing an additional emotional burden from the intended parents. The cost savings is very considerable at 50% to 70% savings when using frozen donor eggs instead of fresh donor eggs.
The success rate with frozen eggs from young healthy donors is on par with the success from frozen embryos. Our pregnancy rate per frozen egg transfer is 53% and compares favorably with our frozen embryo rate of 46%. The uterus is evaluated prior to using frozen eggs to verify its readiness to receive frozen eggs.
The use of frozen donor eggs makes it possible to perform a more controlled ovarian stimulation of the egg donor independent of the recipient's menstrual cycle. At her convenience, the recipient mother can select the donor's stored cryopreserved eggs which can be thawed in order to achieve a pregnancy. This innovation in egg freezing technology dramatically improves the efficiency of the egg donation process thus minimizing the cost donor egg fertility treatment for the intended parents.