Guest Contributor: Rita Fields, MSC, ELD(ABB) – Fairfax EggBank’s Scientific Director
Using donor eggs is no easy decision. If you’re like most recipients, you’ll research your options carefully to choose the best egg donor at the best egg donor program available. Published success rates can provide you with cues on how strong a donor egg program can be. Below, we’ll define our success rates at Fairfax EggBank and what we do to maximize them, give you tips on how to compare success rates across donor egg banks, and help you optimize selecting a donor using success rates as a guide.
Our success rates are based on the reported cases across 2019 using our donor eggs. Be assured that we don’t cherry-pick to artificially inflate our success rates. The data is a candid reflection of the outcomes we collected from the 300+ IVF clinics we partner with.
This indicates that across all reported cases, 93% of all frozen eggs survived the warming process.
This shows that across all eggs that survived the warming, 69% of the cases reported resulted in 2 or more embryos for transfer or vitrification.
“Clinical pregnancy” is defined as a pregnancy that “is confirmed by both levels of hCG and ultrasound confirmation of a gestational sac or heartbeat (fetal pole).” Our stats show 56% clinical pregnancy rate per transfer.
Our ongoing pregnancy/live birth data represents 2014 – 2019 data outcomes. This number represents reported live births and continuing pregnancies that have not yet delivered.
*”Reported” indicates the cases that submitted outcome data. The limitation of working with 300+ IVF clinics is that data is not always easily procurable.
Our team strives to provide recipients with a superior selection of egg donors and frozen donor eggs. We have extensive expertise in the niche field of donor egg banking; not only do we have 30+ years of experience in donor eggs, but we also leverage our sibling company Fairfax Cryobank’s expertise in gamete banking, quality control, and distribution.
For ongoing efforts to maximize success rates, we:
At the onset of a clinic partnership, Fairfax EggBank collaborates with each IVF clinic’s lab. Rita Fields, Fairfax EggBank Scientific Director is a nationally respected embryologist, leveraging her 30+ years of experience to collaborate with IVF clinic partners.
“Our protocol is state-of-the-art and requires on-site collaboration between our embryologists and the lab team responsible for warming donor eggs for the IVF clinics,” said Fields. “This ensures they feel confident in using our proprietary thawing protocol. This mandatory collaboration has proven effects. When we launched this protocol, it was on a case-by case basis, but after seeing a noticeable difference in outcomes between the clinics that didn’t undergo the collaboration session and those that did, we made the logical decision to ensure all clinics are provided support through an initial on-site collaboration.”
Our goal is successful warming and embryo development. We provide clinics with whatever support they need to be successful using Fairfax EggBank donor oocytes. This includes diligently reviewing data and techniques with each clinic’s team, and helping any new team members through our protocol. We’ve seen success in virtual support, especially during months where travel is limited. When it comes to troubleshooting, our embryology experts are responsive either remotely or in person.
“One of the most important parts of being available to our clinic partners over the years has come to light during the pandemic,” said Fields. “Our ability to provide support virtually has been made easier by our long-term relationships with each of these labs.
We are committed to the success of our donor eggs, and review performance at each clinic, though it relies on the clinic to report their outcomes, which can be delayed due to scheduling with their patients. Understanding our quality efforts is important.
Fields explains: “Quality control of all oocytes in our program is one of our main missions. We dedicate a lot of resources to keeping up-to-date with outcomes to ensure that donor oocyte performance is maintained at a high level.”
To be candid, you will not be able to make an apples-to-apples comparison when looking at frozen donor egg banks. Frozen donor egg banks are not regulated like IVF clinics, which report and show data using a specific or rigid methodology.
When you do review other egg banks, we recommend you look at the pool they are reporting on. Are they reporting all cases, or are they cherry-picking the top cases? If you have any questions about their success rates versus ours, don’t hesitate to ask us about them.
You want to ensure you’re choosing the best egg donor at the best donor egg program, and that your IVF clinic also has demonstrated success using fresh and frozen donor eggs. To that end:
If you don’t see the success rates listed on the website, ask your clinic directly for them. Ask for the stats in writing and get the methodology.
If your clinic reports to SART, you’ll be able to view its success rates on SART’s website. Evaluate their success in donor eggs, both in fresh and frozen. To supplement this data, also ask the IVF clinic for any current data they have not yet reported to SART.
We do caution you when comparing success rates across IVF clinics. When comparing success rates, it is important to consider the many factors that contribute to the success of the IVF center. Read more on that here.
Your donor egg program should be able to furnish you with any historical performance on the donor of interest if that data is available. While knowing if a donor is “proven” – as in, her eggs have resulted in a clinical pregnancy or live birth – can be helpful, we do advise that you not automatically eliminate anyone who is not a proven donor. Again, there are factors to consider that can influence success rates. The IVF clinic’s expertise, the quality of the lab, the recipient’s health, and other factors all contribute to the outcomes of the donor eggs.
We hope you now understand frozen donor egg statistics and how to leverage them in your decision making. If you have any questions, please send us a message or call us at 888.352.5577.
Meet Rita Fields, MS, ELD/TS(ABB)
Article updated November 16, 2020. Original article published May 14, 2019.
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