Fairfax EggBank’s Zika Virus Protocol

UPDATED FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  3/29/2016

Fairfax EggBank has been closely monitoring all new information on the Zika virus in order to protect our clients.

Based on the FDA guidelines and CDC recommendations, Fairfax EggBank has further tightened its policy, effective 3/29/16, to help prevent viral transmission of Zika. These actions are conservative precautions since there is no known case of Zika virus transmission through the use of donor eggs.

Donor guidelines:

Fairfax EggBank routinely collects information from our egg donors regarding any travel to a potentially infected area and travel of their sexually intimate partners.

  • Any donor who has traveled to a Zika area will be deferred to donate for 6 months
  • Egg donors with known and/or suspected Zika virus infection will not be allowed to donate until resolution of symptoms and a deferral of 6 months
  • Any applicant moving forward in the egg donation process is advised:
    • Not to travel to areas of active Zika virus transmission, and
    • If she had sex with an individual with Zika risk factors, she will be deferred to donate for 6 months

Recipient guidelines:

  • Please consult your health care professional for guidance and recommendations.

As new information regarding the behavior of Zika becomes available, we will update our policies and inform our donors and recipients. For more information regarding Zika please refer to the Center for Disease Control webpage.

As always, we remain deeply committed to ensuring our recipients conceive healthy babies. If you have any questions for Fairfax EggBank, contact us.


Trisha’s Journey Part II: Deliberating Fresh v. Frozen Eggs

[Download Trisha’s entire blog series in PDF form here]

The following blog is the second part to Trisha H’s journey to motherhood.  The words are all her own. Read Part I: The Beginning of My Fertility Journey and the Decision to Use Donor Eggs.

The Decision Journey Part II: Deliberating Fresh v. Frozen eggs

Fresh versus frozen… no longer a choice you only make when trying to decide which veggies to buy.  Believe it or not, you have this choice when it comes to donor eggs. Another easy decision to make, right?

The truth is, it is not an easy decision for everyone, if at all. But hopefully, I can share enough of my story and details around the options that will help you in your decision-making.

First, let me say, initially I had no idea there was a frozen donor egg option.  Actually, once we realized my eggs weren’t viable and having a baby naturally was probably never going to happen or, if it did, the struggle – emotionally and financially – would make it difficult to find happiness through the process, we thought adoption was the only or most likely option.  I thought to myself “What does it really mean to use donor eggs?  Where would we get the eggs?  Do we ask a stranger?  Do we ask someone we know? How do you do that and get them to still love you, knowing the process you are about to put them through with all of the medication, appointments, and procedures? ”  I know that there are plenty of recipients out there who have fantastic outcomes using a known donor – but personally, I preferred going through a professional donor egg bank to find my egg donor, especially knowing that these donors would be thoroughly screened for medical and genetic conditions. Furthermore, I felt that this route made the legal and donor-recipient relationship guidelines a lot cleaner.

Okay, let’s get down to what you really want to know.  We will start with fresh donor eggs.  As I am sure you can imagine (and gathered through the previous blog), I was really excited when I learned my dream of carrying my own baby could still be a reality.  A new kind of energy hit me – knowing I can still experience pregnancy with our very own child and shop around for the one who would give us the most special gift we could ever ask for, made life and the process of becoming a mom fun again. Over the next few weeks, I spent countless hours searching egg donor sites and combing through their databases of pictures and profiles.  There were so many options; it was like being a kid in a candy store.

As I searched egg donor sites, I stumbled across the option for frozen donor eggs.  My first thoughts were – what is the difference between fresh and frozen (besides the obvious), and how does the frozen donor egg process work?  Again, whose eggs would I use?  Without getting too deep, here is what I can tell you about the two separate options.

With the fresh option, there are more opportunities for you to hit some ‘thumbs down’ situations, many of which require you to wait longer than patience will sometimes allow (at least for me).  Let’s be honest, after all of the waiting we have already been through, what is the last thing we want to do when we approach a new ‘promising’ process?  That is right – WAIT!  Without a doubt and no matter how you receive your eggs, fresh will take longer than frozen.  Period.  Why?  There are several reasons, but for now I will name just a few.

  • First, you have to find your egg donor match, and then you need to ensure that the match is available. This can take weeks, even months, and several candidates before you find the ‘perfect’ match.
  • Also, while donors typically get some pre-screening tests done, it is only after they’re selected when they undergo the more thorough medical and genetic testing – so there’s the risk that you ‘perfect’ match may not work out if she doesn’t pass screening or an unfavorable medical/genetic condition manifests.
  • If your fresh egg donor does pass the screening with flying colors then, like your own IVF cycle, she then has to prepare her body for the process, using medication over a period of a few weeks/months before she begins her monitoring and collection process. You’ll also need to coordinate your own cycle so that it synchronizes with hers, which can add additional time.
  • You then need to cross your fingers that the donor complies with taking all her medications correctly and shows up to all her appointments. On top of that, you’ll have to pray that she’ll avoid any complications such as over-stimulation or premature ovulation, and that she’ll produce plenty of healthy, mature eggs.

In our ‘perfect’ world, all the steps above will just go according to plan though, right?  There I go with the sarcasm, again.

Another thought to consider is the cost of a fresh egg donor; it’s about twice the price of using frozen donor eggs.  Maybe this is because with a fresh cycle, a clinic would have to cover the costs for medication and appointments to synchronize the cycles of the recipient and donor, and compensate the donor for traveling and accommodations.  I’m not sure, but whatever is the reason, all your ears will hear is Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

Frozen donor eggs, on the other hand, are much more affordable, which takes away some of the stress.  But what I really like about the frozen option is you can get started IMMEDIATELY because the eggs are already ready to go.  Oh yes, you heard me correctly – IMMEDIATELY!  If you find the donor eggs you want today, you can move through the process and get pregnant as early as your next cycle.  Why?  Because all of the work the fresh donor has to go through is already done.  There is no screening of the donor, no stimulation, monitoring, or collection requirements… the eggs are already on ice waiting for you.  All you need to do is search through the photos and profiles and make your selection.  Yes, it is just that easy.  And trust me, you have several wonderful options to choose from with the egg banks that actually offer this as an option like Fairfax EggBank.

So, do I have your attention yet? Stay tuned for my next blog on how I went about choosing my egg donor.

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Let’s Chat!

I like to talk a lot – not only vocally but with my fingers.  Send me your thoughts and questions to success@fairfaxeggbank.com.  I promise to respond as promptly as possible.  Below is a list of planned blog topics, but if you have additional topics to suggest, as they relate to trying to conceive through donor options, please let me know.

Series:

The decision journey Part I: The beginning of my fertility journey and the decision to use donor eggs

The decision journey Part II: Deliberating fresh v. frozen eggs

The decision journey Part III: Finding the right donor

Part IV: How the process worked once I found my donor, and the cradle-to-grave (or “big fat positive” [BFP]) process

Part V: Resources I used throughout the decision process

Part VI: Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren)


Trisha’s Journey to Motherhood – A Donor Egg Blog Series

[Download Trisha’s entire blog series in PDF form here]

The following blog is the first installation of our inaugural Client Perspective guest blog series.  We are proud to introduce Trisha H. and the story she wishes to share about her journey to motherhood. The words are all her own.

The Decision Journey Part I: The Beginning of My Fertility Journey and the Decision to Use Donor Eggs

Hello, ladies. Welcome to my first blog series!

I hope you are well on your way to what will be one of the most exciting experiences of your entire life. I know I’m there.

Every day I feel the little thumps in my belly, I do mental cartwheels and somersaults (because let’s face it, I barely have the energy and coordination to walk in a straight line these days), while grinning from ear-to-ear in disbelief and with pure excitement.  After years of trying to conceive, never did I think I would one day be wobbling around with a little jelly bean growing inside of me.  As I type, he is bouncing all over the place… thank you double shot hot cocoa!

I guess you are probably wondering who I am, so I’ll just go ahead and introduce myself.  My name is Trisha and I am a 38 year old working professional who has gone through seven failed IUI and three failed IVF cycles using my own eggs. After my last two IVF cycles resulted in a total of 30+ poor quality eggs, we decided, through the support of our reproductive endocrinologist (RE), to opt for donor eggs.  Never in a million years did I think we would go with this option, but my goodness, am I ever so happy we did. Not only does it cost about the same, if not slightly less (depending on whether you choose frozen or fresh), than the traditional IVF procedures, it is also more promising if, like me, you can’t conceive using your own eggs.

I hope you will continue to join me in some ‘mommy-to-be’ chats over the next few months.  I plan to share my experiences with you, answer all of your questions, and help you arrive at the decision that is best for your family and you through your baby-making journey.  I know it is not an easy decision, especially to use “someone else’s” eggs.  But please – I BEG YOU, do not look at it like that… (I’ll wait while you toss that thought out of your head for good).  Listen, nobody can ever tell me this baby growing in my belly is anything less than my very own, as my blood and snack cravings continue to give him life.  Our connection is so magical that it overrides any thought of us not being genetically tied.  We are connected – PERIOD!  I mean, it was I, who just guzzled down a hot cup of cocoa to wash down my peanut butter and dark chocolate Kind bar.  And, as a result of this delicious snack time option, it is he who is bouncing around in his one and only mother’s belly.  Did I mention how amazing the feeling is of him bouncing around in there?

Okay, let me pause here… I need to save something for the next blog series, right?  I guess this is also a good time for me to tell you, I like to talk a lot – not only vocally but with my fingers.  So let’s chat!  Send me your thoughts and questions to success@fairfaxeggbank.com.  I promise to respond as promptly as possible.  Below is a list of planned blog topics, but if you have additional topics to suggest, as they relate to trying to conceive through donor options, please let me know.

Click to read Part II: Deliberating fresh vs. frozen eggs

Series:

The decision journey Part I: The beginning of my fertility journey and the decision to use donor eggs

The decision journey Part II: Deliberating fresh v. frozen eggs

The decision journey Part III: Finding the right donor

Part IV :How the donor egg process worked once I found my egg donor, and the cradle-to-grave (or “big fat positive” [BFP]) process

Part V: Resources I used throughout the decision process

Part VI: Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren)