23 Apr Frozen vs. Fresh
The decision on whether or not to use fresh or frozen donor eggs for In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a one that has emotional and non-emotional reasoning behind it. There are some basic differences in paper. But making this decision can be emotional for the mother and the father or the two members of a same-sex relationship.
Achieve pregnancy in a standard, straight-forward, natural cycle is an emotional ride. When couples have been forced to go through procedures due to infertility issues, that emotional ride becomes a roller coaster. It can be a series of ultimate hopes and dashed dreams. Modern medicine offers terrific solutions to resolve infertility issues, but this can involve setbacks as well.
Suffice it to say, no decision along this pathway is a minor one. But there are basic differences between fresh and frozen eggs that you will have to consider when you choose between the two.
First things first
The first thing to know is that there are no long-term health implications behind this choice. With through background screening in each case, fresh and frozen donor eggs have the exact same likelihood of growing into healthy, happy, adorable babies.
The key here is the screening process, not the type of eggs used. The screening process is your best way of finding attributes in your offspring that you are looking for and whether the donor eggs are fresh or frozen does not change that.
Chances of Reaching Delivery
A three-year study released in 2018 found that fresh eggs have a better chance of implantation that frozen eggs, but there are some big caveats that go along with that claim. The first is the conclusion that the chances of implantation doubled when a woman was implanted with one embryo at a time.
This sounds very impressive on paper, but it may not change any single decision for someone trying to get pregnant. After all, what good is doubling your chances of pregnancy if it still doesn’t guarantee a pregnancy? Doctors may still advise implanting more than one embryo under the assumption that for many women twins is better than no pregnancy at all.
The second caveat in the study concerns finances. Again – the idea that fresh donor eggs are better than frozen donor eggs is moot if you are financially unable to afford the fresh donor option. This statement, it should be repeated, is viable when you understand that price is the only issue in this case. Fresh eggs are not more expensive than frozen because of any long-term health considerations.
The risks of implanted embryos not resulting in pregnancy are both an emotional and a financial issue. Implanting embryos from fresh eggs involves a time-consuming procedure involving synchronized cycles between the donor and the recipient. If there is only a small number of fresh eggs available and none of them take, the process needs to begin again. This increases costs. Frozen eggs, on the other hand, do not require the process of cycle synchronization, which means less waiting time and less of a financial burden.
As mentioned, the wait time for fresh donor eggs can make a difference for some recipients. Often, women agreeing to donate fresh eggs have not completed the screening process, which includes medical, genetic personality and mental health screenings. This can take time. There is often a waiting list for fresh eggs. After that, cycles must be synchronized. All this takes times.
Frozen eggs, however, have all the preliminary screening done. They are available at any time. If a recipient is ready for implantation, there is no need to wait.
Frozen eggs allow a woman to purchase multiple eggs from the same donor, making it possible to have genetic siblings with future pregnancies. Genetic siblings are also available with fresh egg donations, but that would involve either freezing the surplus eggs that are harvested or making sure the donor agrees to undergo the same process in the future.
Genetic siblings are also created if multiples (twins or more) are born from different eggs. These would be fraternal twins or fraternal triplets (and so on), rather than identical twins. Fraternal twins are as different as any other set of siblings, even if they happen to have spent their time in the womb together.