At Indian Egg Donors till last year, we did not carry frozen eggs. But now we have created our own bank of frozen eggs and recommend them strongly.

This is because until recently, the science of freezing in assisted reproduction was relatively flawed. As a very large cell, the human female egg cell is comprised mostly of water. With the traditional slow freezing technique used until recently, ice crystals formed in the cytoplasm of the cell affecting the genetic material and the cell integrity. In addition, this method of freezing led to a great deal of attrition when embryos were thawed, and they averaged around a 60% survival rate. As eggs are even more fragile than multi celled embryos, the thaw survival rate was even lower for eggs. Thus, this technique was not particularly well suited for the creation of an industry leading egg donor bank and the optimization of survival and success rates

A new freezing technique has largely replaced traditional slow freezing and has led to vastly improved thaw survival and success rates, now equaling fresh cycles. Vitrification is the flash freezing of embryos or eggs which leads to none of the cell damage and crystallization present in traditional slow freezing techniques. With vitrification, the water is removed from the egg cell and replaced with another agent, then cooled in liquid nitrogen at high speed. When vitrified embryos are warmed, average survival rates are now around 98%, and average survival rates for warmed oocytes (eggs) with this new technology are now between 90% and 95%

It is for this reason that The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), in 2012, removed egg freezing from the list of experimental procedures. Multiple studies have concluded that there is no significant difference in fertilization rates, implantation rates, or pregnancy rates between vitrified eggs and fresh eggs. It is this scientific advancement in assisted reproduction that has led to our ability to create our industry leading donor egg bank

Frozen Donor Eggs Vs Fresh Donor Eggs Statistics

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the foremost authority in the world in reproductive medicine, recent studies suggest the following comparison between frozen (vitrified) and fresh donor eggs used in IVF:

  1. 74.2% of frozen eggs vs 73.3% of fresh eggs successfully fertilize
  2. 39.9% implantation rate with frozen eggs vs 40.9% implantation rate with fresh eggs
  3. 55.4% pregnancy rate with frozen eggs vs 55.6% pregnancy rate with fresh eggs used in donor cycles

It is this technology which is rapidly changing the landscape of third party egg donation in assisted reproduction from the use of fresh donor eggs to frozen donor eggs.

Egg Donor Genetic Carrier Screening

Intended parents’ biggest desire is to have a healthy child. We live in an amazing age with rapid advances in science and genetics which allows for the pre-donation genetic assessment of all of our egg donors. Our egg donor testing is some of the most advanced in the business, and we follow the recommendations of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Medical Geneticists and Genomics. It is designed to detect genetic mutations associated with a number of hereditary disorders with greater than 99.9% accuracy. It is conducted by the acquisition of blood or saliva from the egg donor. Unfortunately, our testing does not and cannot detect every genetic disease, but it goes a long way to reducing risk.

All our donors undergo advanced genetic carrier screening before being selected. Many people are carriers of genes associated with hereditary genetic diseases but they have no impact on their lives. If both partners are carriers of the same gene mutation (autosomal recessive inheritance), there is a higher risk that the conditions can be passed on to a child, and many are clinically significant.

Certain populations are more likely to have certain gene mutations such as: Ashkenazi Jewish, African American, and French Canadian. As all our donors are fully screened and the results available, sperm donors are encouraged to have testing as well to assess the risk of autosomal recessive conditions being passed on to the child. Our testing facilities have genetic counselors who can do risk evaluations after testing has been completed.

It is important to remember that in most cases both the egg donor and the sperm donor must be carriers of the same genetic mutation in order for it have a statistical chance of presenting itself in offspring. In most cases, if both partners are carriers of the same genetic condition, 25% of fetuses will be affected, 50% will be carriers of the genetic mutation, and 25% will not be carriers of the defect. In some cases like Fragile X, it is passed soley through the X chromosome, and females have a 50% of passing on the mutation. We typically test for the following conditions, although testing can vary on donors:

  1. Cystic Fibrosis
  2. Tay-Sachs Disease
  3. Sickle Cell Disease
  4. Fragile X Syndrome
  5. Beta Thalassemia
  6. Alpha Thalassemia
  7. Bloom Syndrome
  8. Canavan Disease
  9. Familial Dysautonomia
  10. Fanconi Anemia Type C
  11. Gaucher Disease
  12. Mucolipidosis IV
  13. Niemann-Pick Disease
  14. Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is egg donation?
  • Egg donation is the process of a third party female donating her eggs (oocytes) to assist infertile individuals and couples.
  • Who is a good candidate for egg donation?
  • Good candidates for egg donation include those with premature ovarian failure, those with poor ovarian reserve which if often caused by age, those who have the potential to pass on a genetic disease, those with repeat failure with IVF, and same sex couples.
  • How do we prepare for an egg donation cycle?
  • Recipients of an egg donation cycle will undergo various tests to assess their suitability for an assisted reproduction cycle including the assessment of their uterus.  The endometrial lining will be thickened using estrogen and progesterone until it is optimal for embryo transfer.  Medication will be continued until the beta blood test for pregnancy and beyond if there is a pregnancy.
  • What are the success rates with egg donation?
  • Success rates with egg donation are typically significantly higher than those with IVF using one's own eggs, as success is fundamentally linked to the age of the eggs utilized.  The national average live birth rate with egg donation, as reported by The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, is 56%.   Rates will vary from clinic to clinic though.
  • What is the cost of using frozen donor eggs?
  • Indian Egg Donors  has a variety of financial plans to meet your needs between $14,000 to $24,000.  Costs vary depending upon the backgound of the donor.  For example, a high school graduate's frozen eggs, which are easily available will cost you less than those of a PhD student or Physician, which are dfficult to source.  Prices are per cohort of six eggs.
  • Are frozen donor eggs as good as fresh eggs?
  • According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, using vitrification, or flash freezing of eggs, there is now absolutely no difference between the success rates between frozen and fresh eggs.
  • What screening is performed on donor eggs?
  • The screening process for our egg donor bank exceeds the recommendations of The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for human tissue donation.  Learn more about our egg donor testing
  • Can I know the identity of the egg donor?
  • Unfortunately, all egg donors in our egg bank are anonymous and identities cannot be known, as are the intended parents’ identities to the egg donors.
  • What factors should be considered when choosing donor eggs?
  • Every individual and couple has different reasons for choosing an egg donor.  Most of our donors are considered to be ‘proven donors’, meaning they have demonstrated an ability to produce a child, either through their own pregnancy or a previous successful donation.
  • How long does the egg donation process take?
  • One of the great benefits of an egg donor bank is that it is immediate.  There is no waiting for the long process of donor screening and cycle alignment.  Eggs can be fertilized immediately and embryos can be ready for transfer in 5 days after fertilization. To obtain a list of frozen eggs immediately available or expected in the future, please contact Dr. Vijaya at Indian Egg Donors at 1-212-661-7177.

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