Donor Eggs – Fresh vs Frozen

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Donor, IVF Services, Resources

Factors to consider when deciding between fresh vs frozen donor eggs for IVF

The decision to use donor eggs can be a deeply emotional process for some people since it involves using genetic material that is not your own during the IVF process. As challenging of a decision it can be, it can also be a deeply liberating and life-affirming option for all types of people seeking to be parents who are in need of a donor for any reason. In modern fertility treatment there are so many ways to build a family on your own terms. Once you’ve decided to use donor eggs you’ll have other decisions to make: which bank to use, which specific donor to work with, whether you’ll be using fresh or frozen donor eggs.

The Pros and Cons of Fresh vs Frozen Donor Eggs are Unique to You

There are endless opinions out there about fresh vs frozen donor eggs and many doctors or online articles that will tell you that one is objectively better than the other, but the reality is that each situation is unique. Are you going to be undergoing IVF and carrying the pregnancy? Will you be working with a gestational carrier? Do you have a donor that you would like to use? Are their eggs going to be fresh or are they frozen? All of these factors will influence your decision between fresh vs frozen donor eggs. You may feel strongly in one direction or another but try to keep an open mind to your doctor’s assessment of your particular set of circumstances.

Fresh Eggs Can Be More Cost Effective in Certain Circumstances

Understanding price is very important in fertility care. A good fertility clinic will do all they can to ensure that you are choosing the most cost-effective treatment that will lead to the highest rate of success. 1:1 fresh egg donation involves the patient or patients selecting an egg donor who then undergoes egg retrieval to harvest fresh eggs for fertilization and transfer into the patient or gestational carrier’s uterus on the same day. This can be more affordable because it involves fewer steps. It can also be helpful for patients who are hoping to have multiple pregnancies with genetically related siblings, as the remaining embryos can be frozen and stored for future cycles exclusively for that patient. In frozen donation there may be other children who share the same genes as your child because they used the same donor. The downside is that a successful egg retrieval and the number of eggs retrieved is not guaranteed. If a large number of eggs are harvested, that greatly increases your chance of successful fertilization and implantation.

Frozen Eggs are More Easily Accessible but Involve a Thawing Process

A major benefit of fresh vs frozen donor eggs is that you may be able to find a good match faster with a frozen donor egg because the donor has already undergone the retrieval process. This makes the timing much more flexible. It’s far more convenient to work with frozen donor eggs and you will likely have more donor options. However, frozen eggs have to be thawed before fertilization. Defrosting technology has vastly improved as fertility technology has gotten more advanced, and in 2023 a study in a hospital found that 74% of frozen eggs survived the thawing process. That percentage continues to go up.

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Ultimately Selecting an Egg Donor is About What’s Right for You

The decisions you make in fertility treatment, like fresh vs frozen donor eggs, can feel very heavy. It’s normal to worry if you’re making the right decision or if you’re going to get the outcome that you’re hoping for. Having the right team around you to advise and support you is the best way to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible. Even when there are bumps along the way, a good team will be able to effectively address them. At Pacific Northwest Fertility we have our own trusted donor egg program that offers both fresh and frozen egg options. Reach out to PNWF today to schedule an initial consultation and discuss whether using donor eggs may be the right path for you.