Facts about Donor Egg Banks for Women
Preserving fertility by safely storing a patient’s eggs for the future is the primary purpose of egg banks. For women who already have poor egg quality, however, freezing eggs is not recommended. Instead, egg banks provide another valuable resource—healthy donor eggs that greatly increase the chances of a live birth. At the Donor Egg Bank at Santa Monica, we are fortunate to work with many highly desirable donors, giving our patients a wide range of choices.
Egg banks for women have a supply of frozen donor eggs offer hope for women who did not or could not freeze their own eggs before their mid-thirties. Advanced maternal age is the primary factor that impacts egg quality and the chances of conceiving naturally or through IVF with the patient’s own eggs. After the age of forty, women have a greatly diminished ovarian reserve and the quality of the remaining eggs is reduced.
For women over forty, and for younger women with multiple failed IVF cycles with poor egg quality as the suspected cause, using donor eggs is often a viable alternative. Maternal age is not a significant factor in the success rate for women carrying embryos conceived with IVF using donor eggs. Even women in their fifties who are in otherwise good health have a high likelihood of achieving pregnancy and a live birth.
Why Can’t Older Women Still Use Their Own Eggs?
Fertility issues are always evaluated on a case by case basis. Certainly some women can and do conceive naturally in their forties. Others are able to successfully use their own eggs in IVF treatment. However, reproductively older patients must evaluate their choices carefully in deciding whether to pursue traditional IVF using their own eggs. As women age:
All of these factors reduce the chances of IVF resulting in a live birth. The financial and emotional cost of multiple failed IVF attempts can be a hardship. Using donor eggs reduces the likelihood of disappointment.
Patients who wish to use donor eggs have two options: fresh eggs or frozen eggs. If the recipient desires a direct transfer of fresh eggs, the donor and the recipient must both be at the same place in their cycle at the same time. The necessary adjustments are made using a regimen of hormones for both women. This process can take several weeks since the window of opportunity for successful transfer is narrow.
In contrast, frozen eggs can be thawed and fertilized without further involvement from the donor. This approach is much less costly and the success rates are similar when the vitrification method of preservation is used. For women over forty who have been waiting many years to have a child, the option of being able to move forward with the process faster can be very appealing.
Of course, as with any fertility choices, there are many factors to consider when deciding on a course of treatment. To learn more about our donor egg bank options for women or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (866) 991-1990, or find out more about our Egg Bank Location here.