How to Search & Use the Fairfax Eggbank Database

 

With so many decisions to make during the IVF process, the last thing you need to worry about is how to navigate through a database. Luckily for you, we have broken down what our egg donor database looks like and what qualifications each donor must meet to become an egg donor. Simply follow our pointers, and you’ll find the perfect donor to help you complete your family.

The Fairfax Egg Donor Database

At Fairfax, we place a high standard on who can become an egg donor. In fact, less than 1% of applicants actually become egg donors. This is because we want to give you the best chance at starting a family.

All of our donors go through an extensive medical and psychological screening process. The donors must fall within a healthy BMI (for the donor’s safety), refrain from all smoking and drug use, and pass an in-depth screening of their family history to check against potential inherited diseases or genetic disorders. For more information on our screening process, take a look at our blog post that goes step by step through the egg donor screening process.

Now that you know how we select our donors, let’s dive into the process of choosing one for yourself.

Finding An Egg Donor in 4 Steps

1. Select Your Search Criteria:

When you choose to search our database, you can specify which type of donor you are looking for. You can search for an egg donor based on a variety of criteria such as: ethnicity, hair or eye color, skin tone, blood type, RH Factor, religion, height, and/or highest levels of education.

You can choose to be as specific as you wish to help narrow down your options. For all of these categories, you may choose multiple choices such as donors with blue or brown eyes. Just select as many or as few boxes as you’d like to broaden or narrow your focus when searching for a donor.

2. Explore Your List of Donors:

From there, you are redirected to a list of donors who fall in line with the search criteria you’ve selected. Note that the more specific you are, the shorter your list of potential donors will be and vice versa.

You may choose to view your list in a grid format, which will still show all the search criteria but also include a baby photo of the donor next to their information.

3. Narrow Your Options:

The next step in the egg donor selection process is that you can start to compare donors that fall within your search criteria. Next to every donor ID is a drop-down menu with additional information that was gathered during the application process, which can be used to help in your decision-making.

You have the option to see an in-depth medical profile of the donor describing their genetic and medical background, personal behavior, and family history. Each donor has a personal profile which allows you to see a snapshot of who they are: their goals, motivations, talents, personality traits, academics, or any other family information the donor has provided.

Each donor also participates in an audio interview, which is available for you to listen to as one of the options on the pull down menu. You can also view writing samples from a set of essay question they were asked to fill out. This allows you to get a more personal feel and in-depth details about the donor.

All of this information can be viewed under the complete profile tab under the pull down menu for a complete overview about each donor.

4. Get in Contact:

Now that you’ve decided on a donor, your next step is to get in contact with FairFax EggBank and let us know which donor you wish to move forward with.

Take advantage of our Guide on How To Find and Choose The Right Egg Donor, if you’re having a hard time narrowing down your search to one potential donor.

We hope this guide to navigating our egg donor database was helpful and makes one part of a very complex process a little simpler for you. Feel free to contact us directly if you are still having trouble navigating the database.

Best of luck with starting your new family!


Our Favorite Donor Egg Blogs

At Fairfax EggBank, our team’s top priority is providing our recipients with the level of care and service they deserve. We aim to help minimize stress throughout their journey and help them achieve their goals to conceive and build a family of their own. Many of our donor egg recipients come to us looking for donor egg success stories. Below is a list of our favorite blogs that share the journeys of women who chose to share their story of starting a family through using an egg donor. While these are not all Fairfax EggBank recipients and the process and experiences they had may not be the same, their stories and advice can provide you will some insight as you pursue your own journey with IVF treatment using donor eggs.

 

Trisha’s Journeyhttps://www.fairfaxeggbank.com/blog/trishas-journey-to-motherhood/
Trisha is a donor egg mom or donor egg recipeient who shared her donor egg success story on our blog.  She is a 38 year old working professional who had gone through seven failed IUI and three failed IVF cycles using her own eggs before she decided to reach out to Fairfax EggBank. Her story is told through a series of blog posts which take readers through her decision to use frozen eggs, finding the right egg donor, and the medical processes she went through.

 

PVED (Parents Via Egg Donation) http://blog.pved.org/

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the donor egg ivf process. They blog information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

 

Facebook: @parentsviaeggdonation

Twitter: @pved

 

A Chick and Eggs https://chickandeggs.com/

This one is the journey of a women who states she’s “an infertile chick who made a baby with some other chick’s eggs. Which is weird,” and decided to blog about it using a good dose of humor to approach the subject of egg donation. She discusses her timeline of infertility as well as the trials and tribulations of being pregnant. One reader commented with “thanks for the laughs – I really need them.”

 

DE Mommy http://demommy.blogspot.com/

Here is “a family’s journey to adding a sibling (or two!) through anonymous donor eggs” after trying various methods to become pregnant and experiencing a great deal of heartache. She eventually became pregnant with twins and continues to blog about her family life.

 

My Path to Mommyhood http://mypathtomommyhood.blogspot.com/2013/04/anatomy-of-egg-donor-cycle.html

Jess is a married 40 year old special education teacher who has been on the path to mommyhood for seven years. She invites readers to follow her on “the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.” This was a 2012 Night of Hope nominee for “Best Blog.” She also shares links to “Useful Reads” about both infertility and adoption.

 

EGGtraordinary: Our Journey to Egg Donation http://journey2eggdonation.blogspot.com/

Hope was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure nine years ago but beat the odds and was able to have her own genetic child. She decided to grow her family further through egg donation, eventually having twin girls.

 

The Egg Donor http://eggciteddonor.blogspot.com/

From the perspective of a woman donating her eggs, this blog follows her journey as a four-time donor. As someone considering egg donation to start your family, it may be interesting to hear things from the point of view of the donor.

Twitter: @EggDonorDiva

 

Don’t Count Your Eggs http://dontcountyoureggs.typepad.com/blog/donor-eggs/

Maya is 35 and claims she has “tried anything and everything we could because time and options were running out.” She and her husband were able to conceive via embryo donation but her story includes posts about infertility, procedures, and coping before, during, and after she was able to start her family. Her blog was nominated in 2014 and 2015 for the Night of Hope “Best Blog.”

Twitter: @eggcountingal

 

Fairfax EggBank is confident in the quality of its egg donors, the expertise of its scientists, and the experience it has in freezing eggs. We hope that these blogs helped answer some questions about the journey of using donor eggs with ivf you may have. If you would like more information, please feel free to Contact Us.


Tips for a Healthy Donor Egg Pregnancy

 

Have you decided to pursue pregnancy through IVF with frozen donor eggs? You’ve probably been spending a lot of time researching your options, looking at using egg donors, and thinking about finances. In the middle of all that, it might be easy to forget about the most important part of this equation: you! How can mothers-to-be best prepare for a pregnancy with donor eggs? Check out our tips for a healthy pregnancy if you choose to go down the path of  IVF using donor eggs.

Pre-conception Health

You have the advantage of knowing that you are going to become pregnant. This means you can prepare yourself to become pregnant, both mind and body. The most important steps you can take before you become pregnant are:

  • Take folic acid every day for at least 3 months before getting pregnant. This lowers the risk of some birth defects of the brain and spine of your child. Taking a pre-natal vitamin with folic acid is the best and easiest way to be sure you’re getting enough.
  • You should stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Stay away from second-hand smoke as well after you become pregnant.
  • If you have a medical condition, make sure that you are under a physician’s care and they are aware you are trying to become pregnant. Anything from diabetes to depression should be well managed. Any medications should also be discussed with a doctor.

Healthy Eating and Nutrition

Pregnant women, no matter how they conceive, need to follow healthy eating guidelines. Everything that goes into your body can nourish your uterine environment—and can boost your embryo implantation success. Critical nutrients include:

  • Iron: Red meat, chicken, leafy greens, beans. Boosts blood cell production and overall cardiovascular health.
  • Calcium: Dairy, beans, some green leafy vegetables. Helps develop strong teeth, bones, and muscles.
  • Vitamin D: Dairy, some fish, some leafy greens. Helps your body absorb calcium and iron.
  • Vitamin C: Citrus, berries, many other veggies. Also helps your body absorb calcium and iron, and is vital to the growth and repair of tissues throughout your body.
  • Folic acid: Dark green veggies, citrus, dried beans, avocados. This is critical reduces the risk of birth defects in the early stages of fetal development and is important for the rapid cell growth of the placenta and your developing baby. Floci acid should be taken before and throughout your pregnancy. Pre-natal vitamin supplements are a fantastic option.
  • Healthy fats: found in olives, nuts, seed, and fish. Anti-oxidants and omega fatty acids boost brain development, among other benefits.
  • Avoid eating fish that are high in mercury, like swordfish and mackerel.
  • Consider limiting caffeine intake.

Seeing a common theme? Fruits and veggies are vital to your healthy pre-pregnancy body. Taking pre-natal vitamins Supplements can help (especially with folic acid), but there’s no substitute for a well-rounded, healthy diet. If you’re not a fruit or veggie fan, it’s a great time to try new recipes; you could also consult a professional nutritionist for suggestions on working more into your diet.

Exercise Your Body and Mind

We understand—it’s hard to find time to exercise when you’re busy with so many other things. But exercise does so much for your overall health and helps you get ready for a successful pregnancy. Aerobic exercise—walking, bike riding, swimming—boosts blood circulation, which in turn helps your uterine tissue. Flexibility and core training, such as yoga, helps keep your joints more flexible and can strengthen your pelvic floor. Regular exercise (along with healthy eating habits) can also keep your weight down—studies show that pregnancy risks increase for woman with higher BMIs (body mass index).

The benefits of exercise go beyond the physical. Exercise doesn’t have to be a slog—find something that you think is rewarding and fun, something that feels like a real break. A walk or a class with a friend can boost your mood. Yoga can help you reduce stress which is another huge factor in becoming pregnant and having a successful pregnancy.

Keeping your stress controlled to a healthy level is extremely important. Do what makes you happy, start a new hobby, consult a therapist for supportive care.  Getting enough sleep is also critical for you and your baby.

Time spent taking care of yourself is time well spent.

Special Concerns for Donor Egg Recipients

The recommendations we’ve made apply to any woman who’s trying to become pregnant. But women who decide to use donor eggs on their journey to motherhood might face some extra challenges. This includes women over 40.

The average age of women pursuing IVF with donor eggs is over 40. Older mothers may face some extra health risks, including high blood pressure and diabetes. This means it’s even more critical to take of your health through nutritious eating and exercise. It’s also crucial that you check on your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels checked. If you’ve spent years pursuing other fertility treatments, the idea of another doctor visit may not exactly be appealing. But a thorough medical checkup before you get started with your donor egg pregnancy will help you get ready for this big step.

Bottom line: All women hoping to become pregnant need to make their own health a priority, and that goes double for women try to achieve pregnancy through donor eggs. Healthy foods, regular exercise, and self-care are the best ways you can get ready for the journey ahead. Remember to consult your doctor and to develop a well-rounded plan for your pregnancy.


Gestational Surrogacy and Frozen Donor Eggs

 

For some families hoping for a child of their own, donor eggs may not be enough. Some couples need to also rely on a gestational surrogate for a successful pregnancy. A gestational surrogate is a woman who carries a pregnancy and delivers a baby for another family. This surrogate if often not related to the baby she carries; the pregnancy is achieved through IVF with another egg, which can be a donor egg.

So when is a gestational surrogate the best option, and how does it relate to the use of donor eggs — especially frozen donor eggs?

 

Surrogacy for Women Facing Infertility

A woman may have an issue with her uterus that prevents a pregnancy from being carried safely to term, this includes a missing uterus due to surgery or other health difficulties. At the same time, she may also have problems with her eggs due to age, ovarian health, or other genetic factors. The decision to use donor eggs, as well as a surrogate to carry the pregnancy, is a difficult decision. But for couples faced with these fertility problems, surrogacy with donor eggs represents their best chance at parenthood.

 

Surrogacy for Gay Males Couples Building Families

Male couples longing for their own children now have the option to use donor eggs with a surrogate. The definition of family is expanding, yet sometimes adoption can be a daunting process for male couples. Instead, surrogacy with donor eggs offers the chance to start their own family.

 

How Do Families Find a Surrogate?

Find a surrogate is not an easy process. Some couples go through agencies to find a healthy, screened young woman to act as a gestational surrogate. Some go through private channels to find one on their own. Both routes to find a gestational surrogate are emotionally and legally complicated, and take time, patience, and money.

 

What’s Involved with Using Donor Eggs and a Gestational Surrogate?

The steps involved with donated eggs and surrogacy are time-consuming and complex, especially if families decide to use fresh donor eggs from a live donor.

  • Both women have to find time in their busy lives for what is, after all, a major commitment for both (but especially for the surrogate).
  • Legal documents have to be signed.
  • In-depth screening must be completed for donor and surrogate.
  • Both women’s menstrual cycles have be synchronized through medication.
  • There are also travel arrangements and expenses for the couple, the donor, and the surrogate.
  • There’s no guarantee how the donor will respond to the medication, or how many eggs will be retrieved.

All the time and expense involved with a gestational surrogate can be very difficult for couples seeking a chance at parenthood through this method.

 

How Frozen Donor Eggs Can Help

Frozen donor eggs from a donor egg bank such as Fairfax EggBank have already been retrieved from rigorously screened donors, extraordinary women who have already taken the time and effort to donate their eggs. What does this mean for the surrogacy process?

  • Less time. With frozen donor eggs, the screening and retrieval have already been completed.
  • Less worry. Families only need to focus on the needs and scheduling of one special woman, the surrogate.
  • Less expense. No travel and legal expenses for the egg donor are required with frozen eggs.
  • Less surprise. When a couple purchases frozen donor eggs, the eggs are shipped in a cohort, or a set number of eggs. There’s no surprises about the number of eggs retrieved.

For couples hoping to build their families with the help of a gestational surrogate and donor eggs, frozen donor eggs can be a more affordable way to make their wishes come true. Please contact us if you have more questions about surrogacy with frozen eggs.

 


How To Find and Choose The Right Egg Donor

 

Deciding to undergo IVF with donor eggs is a major step on your fertility journey. But more tough choices follow. How can you find an egg donor that’s perfect for you? When it comes to picking an egg donor where do you start? Let’s break down this decision-making process into three questions that you can ask yourself at different steps in this egg donor search process.

 

1. Are you emotionally ready to move forward with donated eggs?

Simple question, tough answer. Using donated eggs to conceive is not easy decision for anyone. By this time, couples have often gone through many unsuccessful treatments already, which can be very hard on both partners. Do you need more time to reflect, think, or maybe even grieve? If so, go easy on yourself before making big decisions. On the other hand, some may be very ready to go on to the next step and don’t want to wait any longer.

2. Are frozen donor eggs right for you—or fresh?

Should you try to go through a cycle with fresh donor eggs from a synced cycle with an egg donor? Should you work with an egg donor agency that recruits egg donors and matches you? We’ve discussed who uses frozen donor eggs and why on our blog. If a larger number of eggs is important to you for a larger potential family, then fresh donor eggs might be a better choice.

However, if you’re tired of delays and you’re not interested in a large number of additional eggs or embryos (and higher costs), frozen donor eggs may be a better choice. You can receive a set number of donor eggs that have already been retrieved from fully tested and screened egg donors, ready to use on your schedule. You don’t have to wait for an egg donor to undergo screening and then synchronize her schedule with yours. There’s also a lower risk of unpleasant last minutes surprises, such as a failed screening test or a less-than-hoped-for number of retrieved eggs from your egg donor.

3. What are the qualities in an egg donor that are most important to you?

Early in their egg donor search many wonder “How to choose an egg donor?”. There should be some baseline requirements to have in place before you get bogged down with details like your egg donor’s eye color and personality.  At the basic level, egg donors should go through a rigorous screening process for physical and mental health, family medical history, genetics and much more. It should go without saying that the most important quality is passing this screening process. With frozen donor eggs, you can be assured that the donors have already been screened; this frees you to focus on other qualities that are important to you. Some criteria you might think about include:

  • Appearance: height, hair color, eye color. Many donor egg recipients are interested in donors with similar physical features.
  • Personal background: education, personality, career. Does a donor’s values and personality mesh with yours?
  • Background: ethnic, religious. Again, many families look for a donor with a background that matches their own.

To get a sense of what you can look for, see our egg donor search (free to browse egg donor profiles). You’ll see much more than the superficial. You can search on ethnicity, appearance, blood type, and more. In the egg donor profiles of these very special young women, you can see personal essays, personality types (including Myers-Briggs), childhood photos, information about hobbies and interests, and much more.

It may seem overwhelming to find an egg donor that’s perfect for you and looking for egg donors may take a substantial amount of time in order to find the right one. By answering these three questions, you can drill down to the donor that meshes with you and family. Check out our post from a real-life mom on how she found her egg donor. Have questions about our screening process, our egg donors, or our search criteria? Contact us with your questions, let us help you find the right egg donor.


The Fairfax EggBank Egg Donor Screening Process – Step by Step

 

If you’re thinking about using frozen donor eggs to conceive, you need to feel secure in your choice. What is the screening process for our egg donors? How can you know you’re receiving the best quality donor eggs as you begin your journey of becoming a parent?  The answer lies in Fairfax EggBank’s rigorous screening process. We know how much is at stake for you and your family. Let’s break down the steps involved in our screening process for a prospective egg donor, from beginning to end.

 

The Journey Begins:  Multiple Locations, One Process

The donor’s journey begins at one of our clinic locations around the country, ensuring a varied range of donors. We recruit at multiple locations, but it’s important to understand that our processes are entirely centralized. Fairfax EggBank manages all recruiting and screening to ensure that every egg donor is evaluated according to the same strict standards and protocol. This ensures the highest standard of accuracy, control, and quality when it comes to your precious donor eggs.

Complete Evaluation of Medical History and Genetics

Our team of reproductive endocrinologists, geneticists, nurses, genetic counselors and donor coordinators studies the donor’s individual and family health histories across three family generations. We look very closely all aspects of her own medical history: medications, surgeries, or hospitalizations, including any previous pregnancies.

Medical Testing and Screening

After this evaluation, our donor goes through pre-testing and review by a medical director. Here we perform infectious disease screening, along with detailed genetic carrier screening for a long list of disorders. This includes:

  • A physical exam
  • Infectious disease testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Drug usage testing, and
  • Fertility testing.

You can view our current screening panel here.

Our testing is conducted in accordance to recommendations and requirements by ACOG, ACMG, ASRM and the FDA.

Psychological Screening and Counseling

At this stage, we conduct an MMPI or equivalent, as well as a psychological evaluation administered by a mental health professional in order to assess the prospective egg donor’s mental health fitness, her commitment to the program, and whether or not she’s an appropriate candidate. We care about our egg donors—they’re very special people! We counsel each applicant at length on the egg donation process and how it affects her. Our donor learns about:

  • The time commitment and logistical concerns
  • Medication and how to perform injections
  • Physical symptoms and side effects, and
  • Medical risks involved in the procedure

Acceptance! The Donation Process Begins

After that intense screening process, you won’t be surprised to learn that less than .3% of our applicants are accepted into the donor program. This ensures our patients receive the highest quality donor eggs from the most committed, motivated egg donors. The egg donation process happens at one of our regional clinics. Then, thanks to our efficient, centralized process, the frozen donor eggs are shipped to our headquarters in Fairfax, VA…ready to be shipped to an egg donor recipient when she selects them.

Donating Again

If the previous cycle went well, donors can choose to donate eggs more than once after a successful cycle. We carefully evaluate our donors to make sure they’re ready to go through the process again—their well-being is a top concern.

 

It’s a long journey for a potential egg donor…but that journey is worth it to help those struggling to have families. Our egg donors and their donated eggs have gone through tough screening requirements to ensure our recipient’s success. Want more details about our screening process? Please read our comprehensive list of screening requirements. Or please contact us to learn more about donor screening and testing.


Trisha’s Husband’s Journey: Reflections and Advice to Other Partners

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

The following blog is the sixth part to Trisha H’s journey to motherhood – but with a twist. We feature Avi, Trisha’s husband, in commemoration of Father’s Day. The words are all his own.

Trisha’s Husband’s Journey: Reflections and Advice to Other Partners

Words can’t describe the way I felt when Trisha called to say – “WE’RE PREGNANT!!”  I had wanted to hear these words for more than four years while we were trying to have a baby.  Not just because I was ready to be a father, but because I knew it was so important for Trisha.  She wanted nothing more than to grow our family and be the best wife and mom for our family. And, I have to tell you, she is killing it. She is the absolute best!

As Father’s Day approaches, I reflect back on last year.  It was during Father’s Day weekend 2015 when we had our transfer.  I can remember when it was taking place, I looked at Trisha and then up at God and said in a silent prayer, “Please let this be the one.  Amen.”  Afterwards, as we sat in IHOP, watching the other fathers celebrate the day, I only hoped that for Father’s Day 2016, I’d be right along with them… and I am.  I am a proud dad of the most special little boy!!

Our son is only a few months old and doesn’t understand what we’re celebrating today.  But, I know.  And I couldn’t be happier.  Finally, I get to enjoy this day – starting today and for the rest of our lives – eating pancakes alongside the other dads and sons.

You know what’s even more exciting?  Thinking about the years ahead when we finish the day off on a father-son boating, fishing, and hiking trip.  Just us guys, enjoying ourselves as we get dirty and eat lots of junk food that’s not approved by mom HAHAHA!!  I can’t wait!

For all of you on the dad-to-be journey, I wish you all the luck in the world.  I know the road isn’t easy, but hang in there; especially for your wife or partner’s sake.  If you’re anything like me, you almost feel powerless; you wish you can take away the tears and hurt and pain but can’t.

As men, we want to fix everything, but with infertility, you’re limited on what you can do.  To be honest, patience is your best tool.  Always remember you’re in this ‘fight’ together.  You should allow this time to bring the two of you closer by talking about the process and sharing in the decision-making that’s best for your family.  Do not ever say – “It’s whatever you want.”  Have an opinion and be her comfort.  Most importantly, never let her feel like this is her fault.

What worked well for Trisha and me was finding a hobby the two of us enjoyed together.  We would hike a few days out of the month; it was great.  She also started “collecting” puppies and, as much as I didn’t want us to have any dogs, it was what made her happy and helped with the “void” – so puppies we got.  As a matter of fact, we now have three of them.  And, to be honest, the dogs brought each of us comfort during our struggle, and I’m thankful for each them.

Other advice I can give… attend as many, if not every, appointment you can with your wife or partner.  When she cries, let her – and don’t ever say “it will be okay” because that’s not what she wants to hear right now.   She hears that enough from people outside of the home.  From you, she needs to hear that together the two of you will get through the struggle, and whatever is in store for your future, you will accept and accept together.  Remind her you didn’t marry her for the children, although they will definitely be a blessing.  Instead remind her you married her because you love her and want to spend the rest of your life with her.  No matter what, you want to be there for her.  Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

Again, from one father to one-to-be, best of luck to you.  I’m telling you, you don’t know what smiling is until you see those eyes looking up at you for the first time.  Being a father is amazing… it’s the greatest gift God (and the egg bank LOL) can give to a man.  I love my son with all of my heart, and I will teach him how to love with all of his heart, too.

 

 ______________________________________________________

From Trisha – 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

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

Resources I used throughout the decision process

Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren) – Next Blog


Fresh vs Frozen Donor Eggs

An Honest View: When Are Fresh or Frozen Donor Eggs the Best Choice?

When you’re considering using fresh vs. frozen donor eggs to reach your long-cherished dream of pregnancy, it’s a major step in your journey. You’re probably doing a lot of research and homework on egg donors and the process of donor egg IVF. The biggest decision many of our recipients struggle with is whether to try a cycle using fresh donor eggs, or frozen donor eggs from an egg bank. What’s the best option for your particular situation? By taking an honest look at your priorities, you can make a choice that’s best for you.

 

Fresh Donor Eggs and Future Children

In a fresh donor egg IVF cycle, donor eggs are retrieved and immediately fertilized with the male partner’s sperm, with the resulting fresh embryos transferred to the recipient. Remaining embryos can be frozen for future frozen embryo transfer procedures. In other words, for future children and future siblings for your family.

If it’s critical for you to have these multiple frozen embryos, a fresh donor cycle might be the best way to go. Why? It’s a simple numbers game. Recent research indicates that fresh eggs are more efficient at generating viable embryos. While egg retrieval from live donors can be inconsistent and can involve a long waiting period, there is a potential for a greater number of eggs to be retrieved per cycle, and thus a greater possible number of embryos. Frozen donor eggs are usually provided in consistent but smaller cohorts (batches of eggs). Though frozen donor eggs are as likely to result in a successful pregnancy, it might not result in as many embryos for the recipient to use for future IVF cycles because of the smaller batch of donor eggs.

 

The Waiting Game

As we’ve discussed before, one of the big disadvantages of working with fresh donor eggs is the wait. The donor’s menstrual cycle needs to be synchronized with the recipient’s, which could be a fairly time-consuming process. And then, once the process starts, there’s no guarantee that the donor will produce the number of eggs needed for success. There is an element of high risk involved.

Many patients who choose donor eggs are often coming to this decision as the last viable option for a successful pregnancy, sometimes after years of other unsuccessful infertility treatments. Sometimes, at this stage, patients simply don’t want to go through another lengthy process. Frozen donor eggs, since they’ve already been retrieved from highly screened egg donors, are ready to be shipped, thawed, and used on your schedule alone, when you’re ready. For emotional and financial reasons, frozen eggs represent a better choice if you’re not up for a protracted cycle.

 

An Affordable Option

Finally, the cost of donor eggs is no small investment. Frozen donor eggs are a more affordable option for IVF treatment with donor eggs compared to fresh donor eggs. One reason frozen is more affordable is that recipients don’t pay for the egg donor’s travel expenses. Also, there are simply more variables at play when using fresh donor eggs. Unforeseen circumstances might pop up in the egg donor’s life—life has a tendency to get in to get in the way of the best thought out plans. Even if everything goes according to your plan, there’s no guarantee on the number of donor eggs retrieved. This is also a major risk in shared donor egg programs, there is no guarantee as to how many eggs will be shared and you need to wait for 1 or 2 other people to share the egg donor with you.

Frozen donor eggs represent less risk for the cost. You receive a set, guaranteed number of donor eggs from the egg donor you choose. Many frozen egg banks offer other guarantees; at Fairfax EggBank, we offer a frozen donor egg guarantee of least one good embryo from your purchased cohorts of donor eggs with the security of a replacement cohort if the first’s quality standard is not met. Thanks to egg freezing, IVF with donor eggs is within closer reach for families who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

 

As you make the difficult choice to use an egg donor, you deserve honest information about the choices available to you. At Fairfax EggBank, it’s important to us that you make an informed decision that’s right for your circumstances. Contact us if you have any questions about frozen donor eggs or choosing a frozen egg donor.


Donor Egg Journey for Same Sex Couples

 

Gestational surrogacy with donor eggs is an exciting family building option for gay couples hoping to become parents. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the process is easy—or cheap. Gay couples have many steps and decisions to make—and one of the most important is whether to use fresh donor eggs, or frozen donor eggs.

 

The Challenges and the Costs

Gay male couples who use a gestational surrogate with donor eggs for IVF face a time and cost-intensive process. The steps include:

  • Finding and screening gestational surrogates, including time, travel expenses, legal fees, and agency fees can reach $50,000 to $75,000.
  • Legal costs to prevent red tape and custody issues.
  • The costs of the IVF treatment itself.
  • Finding and screening egg donors, including another set of time, travel, and agency costs.

It’s a huge emotional and monetary investment for men committed to building a family. How does the choice of fresh or frozen donor eggs affect this investment?

 

The Risks of Fresh Donor Eggs

Fresh egg donors are often recruited through an agency. Once a couple selects an egg donor, it is recommended for the health of the unborn child that the donor is screened for any medical or psychological conditions. She usually goes through lengthy medical and psychological testing—and if you have your heart set on particular egg donor, there’s no guarantee that she’ll pass this screening.

After an egg donor passes the screening, synchronizing her menstrual schedule with your surrogate’s schedule takes time. Both women may need to travel to your location and need to work around their own busy personal lives as well—more waiting for you. There’s also no guarantee on how an egg donor will respond to treatment or how many eggs will be retrieved. A whole cycle may need to be canceled due to reasons beyond anyone’s control, and for eager dads-to-be, this delay can be very tough.

 

The Value of Frozen Donor Eggs

Frozen donor eggs have already been retrieved from carefully screened and healthy donors, in set cohorts (amounts of eggs), that are shipped to the IVF clinic of your choice. There’s no waiting for the egg donor to undergo screening, and no donor travel costs either. You also don’t have to wait for the donor and the surrogate to synchronize their schedules—you only need to worry about your surrogate, her travel expenses, and her schedule, along with any legal or agency costs.

Frozen donor eggs can make this complicated process not only simpler for gay couples, but also faster, more affordable and more convenient. This also means lower potential costs for gay couples facing legal fees and high surrogacy costs.

 

When Are Fresh Donor Eggs a Better Choice?

With all this in mind, there are some circumstances where fresh donor eggs may be a better option. There’s a greater chance that a higher number of eggs can be retrieved from a fresh donor, which means more embryos. If growing your family with multiple biological siblings is important, fresh donor eggs may give you a greater chance to fulfill that dream.

 

What Makes Fairfax EggBank Special?

Fairfax EggBank is a pioneer in egg freezing technology with many years of experience in vitrification and ART. What sets us apart from other donor egg banks?

  • Excellent customer service: Our warm, supportive, efficient customer service, plus our centralized logistics and shipping, help make the process easier and less stressful for our couples.
  • Diverse egg donors: Our frozen donor eggs have been donated by very special women held to high standards: highly screened, educated, and ethnically diverse. Feel free to browse through our egg donor database.
  • ID Option: What happens when children ask who their egg donor was? In response to parent requests, we offer a choice between anonymous egg donors and ID Option.
  • Find out more about what makes us the leading frozen egg bank.

At Fairfax EggBank, we’re proud to help gay male couples become parents. Have more questions? Please contact us.


Trisha’s Journey Part V: Donor Egg Resources I Used

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

The following blog is the fifth part to Trisha H’s journey to motherhood. The words are all her own.
To read about her fertility journey that led her to the decision to use donor eggs, click here.
If you want to learn more about how she evaluated using fresh vs. frozen donor eggs, click here.
To learn how she decided on her donor, click here.
To see what the process was after she purchased her donor’s cohort of eggs, click here.

Resources I Used Throughout the Donor Egg Process

Okay – I am probably telling you something you already know, but I will just go ahead and share it again… going through the process of deciding which donor egg options to select is NOT an easy task.  For some of us, when we opt for a donor egg cycle, we are literally putting all of our eggs in one basket.  As such, the last thing we want to do is make a wrong decision, right?  However, with so many choices and so many protocols that result successfully for other women, how do we know which are the right and wrong decisions for ourselves?  While I don’t have the answer to this question, especially because I second-guessed every decision I ever made for myself, I can tell you a good old, healthy scream worked for me whenever I encountered an indecisive moment.

So, what resources did I use throughout the donor egg process?  Let me preface this response by assuring you I do NOT work for Google.  But yes, Google was my very best friend throughout this process (Obviously, if your preference is another web browser, that option is equally as fine).  I “Googled” nearly every aspect of my donor egg process.

Finding the Right Donor Egg Bank/Agency

I would be remiss if I do not let you know that before deciding to use Fairfax EggBank, I researched other donor egg banks and donor egg agencies as well.  This research provided me the knowledge I needed to make the decision between frozen and fresh donor eggs.  It also helped to confirm Fairfax as the best choice for me.  As mentioned in one of the earlier blogs, before realizing we would need to use donor eggs, I was oblivious to our different options, although I notice other women mentioned donor eggs in a few IVF blogs.  Still, I did not realize this to be an option for me.

Before deciding to use Fairfax EggBank, I contacted perhaps a dozen other donor egg banks and donor egg agencies, and reviewed profiles of hundreds and hundreds of donors – in America and other countries.  I kept a log of each clinic and donor I was interested in learning more about.  By keeping all the information on a single spreadsheet, I was able to prioritize and eliminate donors more easily, many being fresh donors… which equaled an even longer wait and more costs.

Deciding on a Reproductive Endocrinologist and IVF Clinic

Another topic I Googled heavily is the research on different doctors.  First, I narrowed my list down to the top doctors, who have notable IVF success rates.  Next, I ordered them by donor egg program costs.  Because this was perhaps our one shot, I looked at doctors nationwide.  Although we live in Georgia, we decided to use a doctor in Arizona.  From what I gathered, in addition to their impressive success rates, the doctor worked with many other PCOS patients.  This was thumbs up in my book.

My research in this area started with the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), and once I had the list of doctors that interested me, I did a more granular review of each of the top doctors and their fertility programs, while also meeting face-to-face with most of the doctors.  I did this because I also wanted the chemistry to be a good match,,, I mean, if we were going to make a baby together, we had to make sure we loved him/her (our doctor) too, right?

Figuring out How to Pay for Donor Egg Costs

The cost involved in fertility treatments can be enough to make you lose your breath, even if you have outstanding medical insurance.  I have top-notch insurance, but it does not cover the donor egg portion of the process.  We had to purchase the eggs outright before our insurance actually kicked in.  To ensure we would have enough money to cover all expenses, we researched different options for financing, even high interest loans, because we wanted to understand all of our financing options should we not be able to get one through our personal bank.

ARC Fertility was the first financing firm we contacted.  They are an excellent source for financing, offering a variety of packages that are nearly tailor-made for all approved applicants.  The issue, however, is while they offer a donor package with a money back guarantee option, it is only available for fresh egg cycles.

Online crowd funding, like GoFundMe, is also an option.  We actually used this and raised more than $10K.  In addition to sending the fundraiser link to our family and friends, we had ‘request for donation’ postcards made with our picture and a snippet of our story printed on the front, and sent them to celebrities (seriously!), who have also experienced fertility issues and to the different medical doctors (offices) within a 10-mile radius of our home.  I am not sure if any of the postcard solicitations worked, but I can tell you we had several anonymous donors – so who knows?!

If the personal bank or crowdfunding options do not work and you still need financing, there are other lenders. Fairfax EggBank offers financing through CapEx and Prosper. There are also other options you can consider such as Lending Tree, Lending Club, and Avant.

 

Through the Internet, you have all the information you need at your fingertips.  I can only stress to you, do your research and try not to stress. Perhaps the most vital resource you will have and not yet mentioned is your own doctor.  Ask him/her about options related to funding and other helpful resources.  Through my doctor, I not only found Fairfax EggBank but also my acupuncturist, who came to the doctor’s office to give me two treatments on the day of transfer.  My doctor was a rich source of information.

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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- Current blog

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