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Fresh vs Frozen Egg Donor Treatment: The Main Differences

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Creating life is one of the most beautiful and most human things we can do. Whether by accident or by careful planning, there’s nothing quite like passing down your love and knowledge to a little one. In the past, getting pregnant might have been difficult, near impossible, for some people. But today, thanks to modern technology anyone can become a parent with the help of modern fertility treatments! These treatments have helped countless women who couldn’t conceive on their own become happy and healthy mothers.

Today, the most popular kind of fertility treatment comes in the form of egg donation which has two different approaches. The first approach uses fresh donor eggs while the other uses frozen donor eggs. While both methods offer the same end result, they differ in technique, cost, and benefits. If you’re looking to be a parent soon, and are looking to learn more about these treatments, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything you need to know about the fresh vs frozen egg donor treatment. Here are the main differences between the two, to help you decide which is right for you. 

Frozen eggs are cheaper

Although fertility treatments are more readily available today, they are still quite expensive. The cost of these treatments is an important factor to take into consideration when making a decision. Generally speaking, the frozen egg treatment(s), or cryogenic fertility treatment(s), are less expensive than using fresh ones. When using frozen eggs, there is no need for synchronisation which makes things a lot cheaper. Another thing to keep in mind is that with frozen donor eggs there is a 100% assured refund plan, should things go pear-shaped. Whereas with fresh eggs, this option is only sometimes available. Be sure to check with your donor bank or fertility doctor, to be on the safe side.

Quicker start with frozen eggs

After money, time is the second most important aspect of any fertility treatment. Generally speaking, when it comes to speed and ease of treatment, using frozen eggs has fresh eggs beat. When using frozen donor eggs, you don’t have to wait for a donor to be found and matched as the eggs are already frozen and ready for immediate selection. Since you don’t have to wait for the donor’s cycle to line up with your cycle, the treatment can start sooner and smoother when using frozen eggs. If you’re in a hurry, using frozen donor eggs means that you’re able to kickstart your pregnancy and become a parent sooner rather than later.

More freedom with frozen eggs

How quickly you can start your treatment is one thing, but when you can start, is a different issue. When it comes to planning your pregnancy and when you would like to have a baby, things can get pretty stressful. If you’re planning on using fertility treatments, going for the option that brings you the least amount of stress and the most control, is ideal. If you’re looking for more freedom of choice when to start your pregnancy cycle, then using frozen donor eggs might be for you. With fresh eggs, the doctor chooses when to start your cycle depending on the donor and/or other recipients, which can take more time. Whether you want to become an egg donor, the choice entirely depends on you.

Fewer risks with fresh eggs

When it comes to choosing which egg donation method to go with, you need to think about the risk factor. Generally speaking, although the wait might be longer, there are fewer risks involved with using fresh donor eggs. Fresh donor eggs in IVF have been around since 1984 with a substantial amount of history and research behind it. Another benefit of not using frozen donor eggs is that there are fewer risks involved. There is no risk associated with egg survival through the freezing and thawing out process. You can rest easy knowing that you’re in good hands when it comes to using fresh donor eggs.

Fresh eggs are slightly more successful

The success rate is, of course, a very important part of your fertility treatment journey. This journey is not a cheap or easy one, and as a future parent, you want to choose the treatment that will get you the best results. Thanks to the smart investment of time and money into fertility treatments, both fresh and frozen donor eggs have a high success rate. However, if you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, the success rate when using fresh donor eggs is slightly higher. This is due to the fact that fresh eggs have an easier time being implanted and accepted by the body than frozen ones. 

Smaller donor pool with fresh eggs

The donor pool is an important aspect to think about once you’ve started thinking about fertility treatments. If you have the choice, you need to think long and hard about what kind of genes or attributes you would like your unborn child to have. As a mother, the way you live can impact your unborn child’s life as much as the genes they get from their donor. By being careful with your selection, you can choose the best features and attributes for your child. Frozen donor eggs come from a larger, national donor pool, giving you more variety to choose from. Fresh donor eggs are sourced from regional donor pools, which, although it makes things quicker, gives you less variety.

Pregnancy and children can be touchy subjects for many, and not all wish to have their own kids someday. For those who do, and even for those who struggle to do so, there are plenty of reliable ways to conceive a child. When it comes to the choice between fresh vs frozen egg donor treatments, there are a few things to consider. Success rates, risks involved, cost, time spent, freedom of choice, and donor pool sizes are all things to consider. 

Although the technology for fresh egg donors has been around for longer, has a higher success rate, and has fewer risks involved, there are a few downsides. Treatment involving fresh egg donors usually takes more time and money, and your choice of donors is more limited. With frozen egg donors you can kickstart your conception much faster and with more freedom at a lower cost. Whatever road you choose to go down, remember to do enough research and to choose the treatment that you think is best.

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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