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Are Frozen Donor Egg Cycles the Best Option for You?

If there’s one thing we know at Asian Egg Bank, it’s that there’s no wrong way to make a family. Whether a child is born through adoption, surrogacy services, egg donation, or IVF, the only thing that matters is that he or she is healthy and happy.

In an effort to bring the gift of parenthood to couples dealing with infertility, we’re proud to offer fresh and frozen egg donation services. And though both are viable, safe options, we’ve found that frozen egg cycles are becoming an increasingly popular choice.

The Difference Between Fresh and Frozen Eggs

If you’ve decided to use a donor egg, you can choose between two cycle types — fresh and frozen.

Fresh Eggs

In a fresh egg cycle (sometimes referred to as a matched egg cycle), the donor is chosen by a couple months before her eggs are retrieved. The donor’s menstrual cycle is then synced with the recipient’s cycle so that the retrieved and inseminated eggs can be implanted in the recipient right away. Typically, this process takes several months.

Frozen Eggs

In a frozen egg cycle, the eggs intended parents choose from have already been retrieved and are in a “bank” from which parents can choose from. Because they’ve already been retrieved, eggs can be implanted in the recipient as early as her next cycle.

The Advantages of a Frozen Egg Cycle

  • Convenience. Frozen egg cycles are largely renowned for their ease and convenience. Because only one woman’s schedule and cycle needs to be coordinated (rather than two), frozen eggs are often a better option for busy intended parents.
  • The process can begin almost immediately. Typically, intended parents turn to egg donation after years of trying to conceive naturally, so the last thing they want to hear is that it’ll be another few years before they can hold their child in their arms (which is sometimes the case with fresh egg cycles). Because frozen eggs can be implanted relatively soon after they’re chosen, there’s less wait time for intended parents to undergo.
  • Less expensive. A frozen egg cycle is typically less expensive than a fresh one, because the eggs have already been harvested.
  • Fewer surplus eggs. Frozen egg cycles also create fewer surplus embryos that may end up being discarded.

Is the Frozen Egg Donation Process Safe?

Both fresh and frozen egg cycles are FDA approved and perfectly safe. Donated eggs are treated like organs by the FDA, meaning eggs themselves (and the retrieval process) are highly regulated. Children have been born from frozen donations for decades. Years of research have proved that frozen egg donation is safe for the donor and intended mother.

The mental health of both parties is also a main concern of ours. Because we want women to donate for the right reasons, potential donors go through a qualification process, which is designed to weed out women looking for a paycheck. A potential donor’s mental health, as well as the health of her immediate family, is also taken into great consideration.

Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that every person involved in the process — the donor, intended parents, and eventual child — is well cared for, happy, and healthy.

Myths About Donor Eggs and Frozen Egg Cycles

1. Most people who use a donor egg choose fresh eggs.

According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), 20% of donor egg cycles in 2013 were frozen. Today, that number is significantly higher, due to advances in egg freezing and thawing processes.

2. Using fresh eggs will improve your chances of conception.

Numerous studies have found that fresh and frozen egg cycles have virtually the same conception rates, and that one is not more likely to lead to a baby than another.

3. The sooner the egg was frozen, the healthier it is.

Because the flash-frozen process eliminates the possibility of ice crystals forming on the egg, we’re happy to say that whether an egg was frozen last week or last year, they’re all equally viable.

4. Women always donate for the money.

While it’s true that each of our donors is compensated for her time and egg, their motives are always personal and altruistic. We’ve found that many of our donors have friends and family members who have struggled with infertility, and simply want to help another family accomplish their dreams of having children.

5. Donors can become responsible for the child that’s born from their egg.

The donation process is strictly regulated, meaning legal contracts are drawn regarding who is expected to care for the child born from this process. Egg donors do not have any legal rights to the offspring created from their eggs. This protects the donors from becoming responsible for the child, should something happen to the intended parents, and it protects intended parents from a donor seeking custody.

The Egg Donation Process at Asian Egg Bank

  1. Screening: First, we require every donor to fill out a brief questionnaire that asks about her physical, mental, and sexual health, as well as basic personal information.
  2. Application: If a donor’s first screening questionnaire is approved, she’ll be asked to fill out a second, more detailed application. She’ll also be asked to undergo psychological and medical testing to ensure your interview questionnaire was truthful.
  3. Donor Database Listing: Once her screening and application have been completed and approved, her information can be added to our egg donor database.
  4. Match With Intended Parents or Apply for Frozen Egg Donation: As a donor, she’ll be asked if she wants to undergo a fresh or frozen cycle. If she qualifies for our Frozen Egg Banking option, she can begin the process right away.
  5. Ovarian Stimulation: Ovarian stimulation will take place two weeks before the egg retrieval process is scheduled. The purpose of ovarian stimulation is to increase the number of eggs she produces and the chances of a successful pregnancy. Ovarian stimulation takes place in the form of hormone injections. Egg donors are required to give themselves 1-2 injections a day and the injections must be administered at specific times.
  6. Egg Retrieval: The final, and arguably quickest, step is the egg retrieval. The procedure takes roughly 20 minutes to complete and most patients are able to return home shortly after they wake up from the light IV sedation they’re placed under.
  7. Implantation in the Intended Mother: If an intended mother chooses to undergo a frozen cycle, steps 1-6 take place months before she actually receives the once frozen egg. Once she has chosen an egg, it is fertilized with either her partner’s sperm or donor sperm, and then placed in her uterus.

Asian Egg Bank was established to satisfy the ever-rising demand for Asian egg donors. Thanks to rigorous quality and screening standards, we are able to offer the highest quality eggs to improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.