The Anatomy of Frozen Donor Egg IVF


    So you’re ready to have a baby? For some lucky couples, they just have to think about getting pregnant and, like magic, it happens. Sadly, it’s not that way for everyone.

    FACT – Infertility isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s a disease of your reproductive system that takes away your natural ability to have a child. It’s not your fault. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states about 6.7 million women in the United States are unable to have a child naturally… but there is help.

    Donor Egg IVF is your solution – a program that offers hope to couples that are having trouble conceiving. A bright ray of sunshine for many couples struggling with the emotional turmoil associated with not being able to get pregnant. Something to smile about.

    There are oodles of reasons frozen donor eggs are desirable if you are having issues getting pregnant.

    What to expect – The beginning

    Step one: make an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist to be assessed. During your appointment, you will receive a complete head to toe reproductive evaluation. Keep an open mind, because according to experts at Attain Fertility, up to 20 percent of couples have more than one trigger factor for their infertility. There is hope.

    Next up – Shop for your donor

    After you are given the “green light” from your fertility doctor, it’s time to start looking through a database filled with potential donors. After you pick your donor, the frozen eggs are shipped to the reproductive facility of your choice and stored safely until you are ready to use them.

    Time to get pregnant!

    First you will need to prepare your uterus to accept these frozen eggs, so you will immediately start taking estrogen (orally) and progesterone (either vaginally or by injection). This will help your endometrial lining thicken for implantation. At this stage, the eggs you’ve chosen are thawed and quickly fertilized with sperm – a time sensitive procedure. These embryos are left to work their magic for up to 5 days and then your fertilized eggs are placed in your uterus.

    Tips to improve your success rate – IVF and ICSI

    Studies show that when frozen eggs are thawed, they often have a hardening of the outer layer of the egg (the zone pellucida), which makes it difficult for sperm to break through the egg casing and fertilize. Using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) increases your success rate tremendously.

    What are the advantages of frozen over fresh eggs?

    – This is a time sensitive procedure, and using frozen eggs cuts down the time required to get pregnant. Frozen eggs are ready to use immediately and can save you up to 2-3 months as opposed to fresh eggs.

    – You have increased your selection when you use frozen eggs. With a wider choice of eggs, you have more opportunity to select exactly what you want.

    – When you choose the frozen option, the egg treatment cycles are generally much faster and more reliable than the fresh route. You do not need to worry about the possibility that the donor will not produce enough eggs, or will cancel due to unexpected circumstances.

    Information is knowledge and knowledge is power – giving you what you need to make better decisions for you.

    Be wary of the risks – Without risk there is no reward

    Even with frozen egg IVF, there are still possible risks involved, but calculated risks are a good thing. There is question as to whether or not it’s safe to actually freeze eggs. To date, there is no scientific evidence to suggest freezing donor eggs isn’t a perfectly viable option. Freezing the eggs unfertilized is hugely advantageous. Through the use of vitrification, these unfertilized eggs are viable for up to 30 years.

    Vitrification is a flash-freezing technique that exposes the unfertilized eggs to advanced cryoprotectants. This process prevents the possibility of ice crystal formation during freezing and storage, which improves the quality of the egg upon thawing.

    Keep in mind, too, that this is a fairly new process, and one downside is a slightly lower pregnancy rate when using frozen eggs. This is something that will, without a doubt, improve with time, more research, and understanding into the process.

    Does freezing the egg increase risk for chromosomal abnormalities?

    A fair question, and thankfully, the answer is no. There is no scientific evidence that shows frozen eggs give you an increased risk of any sort of chromosomal anomalies. So, you can breathe a deep sigh of relief.

    VIP – It is the quality of the egg, fresh or frozen, that ultimately influences the success rate of this procedure, according to Advanced Fertility Specialists.

    Cost factor reality

    For many couples struggling with infertility, they will do just about anything for the opportunity to have a child. It’s good to know that there are all sorts of programs and assistance available to help couples get pregnant, if you are willing to search for it.

    Where there is a will there is a way, and thanks to the advancement of modern technology, there is real hope for couples with fertility issues to become successfully pregnant through the miracle procedure of IVF.

    Good luck!


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