Egg Donation: Should You Donate Fresh or Frozen?

January 13, 2016
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Are you researching to decide whether you want to become an egg donor? Then you’ll know that most likely, you have a variety of egg donor companies around you to consider, and each one is a little bit different. Some tout higher reimbursement. Others require that the donor be an open-identity donor. But did you know that depending on where you go, you most likely have the option to be a fresh egg donor or a frozen egg donor?

Egg Donation Agencies and Fertility Centers 

Agencies and clinics that work with fresh donor eggs retrieve, fertilize immediately and then transfer into the recipient at the same location. Any remaining embryos are then frozen.

Egg Banks

Egg banks, on the other hand, freeze donor eggs immediately in a process called vitrification. Eggs are retrieved, frozen, and placed into storage until they are send to an IVF clinic for use. Once they’re ready for use, they would be warmed and then transferred into the recipient.

So what are the differences between being a fresh egg donor and frozen donor egg one? Why should it matter to you? Well, deciding which path to take can have a huge effect on the time, effort, and reimbursements involved in being a donor. Read on for more information about how the path you take can impact you.

The Match Game: Matching Donors with Patients

No matter the egg donor program, all potential egg donors go through testing and screening before being cleared to become an egg donor. Whether or not you become a fresh or frozen egg donor, at first you go through the same process: you’ll have to be rigorously screened to ensure you’re healthy and emotionally ready to become an egg donor.

The similarities end there, in a big way.

Fresh Donor Eggs

As a fresh egg donor, you’ll then need to wait to be “matched”—as in, a recipient would need to pick you to be her egg donor, and you would start the process to have your eggs retrieved only after that happens. This could happen next week…or next year…or never. So, there’s no guarantee when or if you’ll actually donate—and thus no guarantee if you’ll be reimbursed for your time and effort. This can be a huge blow, especially if you were hoping to be reimbursed thousands of dollars and ended up receiving only a few hundred of that after waiting for years in the program.

Frozen Donor Eggs

If you choose to donate through an egg bank, you don’t need to wait to be matched to a recipient. After you undergo screening and are accepted into the donor egg program, you’ll be able to donate right away. The time you spend waiting to cycle in a frozen donor egg program can be a few short months. By comparison in a fresh donor egg program a donor only cycles if she is chosen by a recipient. There is no guarantee she will cycle. Egg bank donors are reimbursed for their time and efforts much quicker.

With Fairfax EggBank, you’ll also be receive incentives for the time and effort you’ve put into getting the initial testing done before you actually donate.

Timing is Everything: Syncing Cycles vs. Immediate Donation

If you choose the fresh donor egg route, that means that you’ll need to synchronize your menstrual cycle with that of your recipient. This is because immediately after your eggs are retrieved, they’ll be transferred into the recipient – your cycles need to be at the same stage for the procedure to be effective. This synchronization, unfortunately, can take time. It also takes careful coordination, and easy missteps can delay the process another couple of months. In some instances, you may be tasked to be part of a “shared donor egg program.” This would mean you would have to synchronize your cycle with two recipients who are sharing your donor eggs, which just makes the effort even more time-consuming and complicated.

As a donor with Fairfax EggBank, there’s no waiting involved when it comes to donating eggs. You can get started with the process on your own terms when you’re ready. The entire process is planned around you, your body, and your schedule—you can work around your job, class schedule, and other commitments. All you need to focus on is your own cycle.


More couples are choosing frozen donor eggs for the same reasons that appeal to donors: convenience and speed. These factors, along with success rates that compare favorably to fresh donor eggs, mean more and more couples are choosing frozen donor egg banks, including Fairfax EggBank. Thanks to donors, these couples have stronger options to help them realize their family dreams.

Find out more about the requirements for becoming an egg donor. Or, you can start the egg donor application. Help a couple struggling with infertility by becoming a frozen egg donor—and, thanks to the egg freezing process, you can donate on your schedule.

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