Emotions of Choosing an Egg Donor

The following is a guest blog Written by Lisa Schuman, LCSW, a seasoned mental health professional who leads The Center for Family Building. Join her virtually in her monthly support webinar, aimed to address issues specific to third party reproduction including disclosure, development, and parenting. Learn more about her webinar here

So you want to find an egg donor who possesses qualities you see in yourself or perhaps even better?  That makes sense. Angelina Jolie adopted before she had a genetically related child, but most people choose to have genetically related children first. It’s natural to want children who will be connected to you and the people you love.

If you are a same-sex couple, a heterosexual couple with infertility, or someone who has suffered with an illness and genetic parenthood is no longer an option, it’s reasonable to feel sad about not being able to conceive with your own eggs and genetics.  This idea upsets some people more than others.  If you are able to seamlessly make this decision you are fortunate, but for most, the concept is difficult to fully digest and may affect the way you choose an egg donor.

When individuals and couples look at a picture of an egg donor it’s common to hear, “he looks like me when I was little” or “I was also athletic when I was a child.”  It’s also natural to want to replace yourself or choose characteristics you wish you possessed. With this in mind, it’s understandable why so many people look for a donor with the perfect SAT scores or who has movie star looks.

These choices are driven by emotion.  I would not suggest that you disregard your desire to feel some connection with the donor.  A connection is important. However, it also makes sense to be practical.

It’s not possible to choose temperament, as any parent will tell you, and extreme intellect is not necessarily inheritable either. This can be difficult to accept.  Having children is such an intimate experience and feeling that your children can be different than you or different than the child you imagined can feel hurtful.  The loss you can feel is very personal and carries a different meaning for everyone. Accepting this is important but it is also useful to accept that there are practical issues to consider when choosing a donor. It can be a relief to understand that although you cannot choose your children’s genetics, you can try to stack the odds for desirable traits in your favor.

It’s also important to remember that you are not only choosing an egg donor, you are selecting a person from whom your child will inherit half of her DNA – and this DNA is not always represented in the egg donor.  She can have blonde hair and blue eyes but if she has three red-haired brothers, you may have a red-haired child.  If he is tall but everyone in his family is short, you are not really choosing tall genes.  It’s understandable to be drawn to an egg donor because she is funny or has an advanced degree but since these attributes are not necessarily inevitable, you may be focusing on things you cannot control and losing sight of information that may be more useful.

Medical history is also more tangible than temperament or IQ.  Everyone wants a healthy donor.  But you can look beyond basic health. Everyone has some difficulty in their family.  It’s rare for everyone in a family to die from old age, never wear glasses, and have no asthma.  If you can identify the medical issues in the donor’s family and check to ensure that the genetically linked parent does not have the same difficulties in his or her family, you will not be replicating difficulties for your child.

You are your child’s parent.  There is no question about that.  But your child will have genetics that will be connected to someone outside the family.  In the age of the internet your child may be able to find valuable information about his or her genetics with the touch of a keypad.  This information may give your child all the medical assistance he or she needs. However,  in choosing a donor with the emotional AND the practical issues in mind, you will have the opportunity to  make choices that may positively impact your child and possibly choose the genetics that will give you the best chances of having a donor who resembles your family.

For many who use donor eggs to build their family, the wait has been long. Often this wait causes frustration and sometimes sadness.  When people feel frustrated, and desperate it is natural to think emotionally about decisions.

Emotions are important and need to be valued, but accepting the things you can control and making decisions based on useful information can give you the opportunity to get more of what you want.  You may have heard parents say, “I need to pick my battles” or “I am not going to sweat the small stuff.” Selecting an egg donor can be a stressful process, but thinking carefully about inheritable traits and stacking the odds in your favor can provide you with a better chance of achieving your desired outcome.

If you’re ready to start your egg donor search at Fairfax EggBank, visit our donor database

About Lisa Schuman, LCSW

Lisa Schuman, LCSW is founding Director of The Center for Family Building and Director of Mental Health Services at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut.

Ms. Schuman is former Chair of the Egg Freezing Task Force for the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and is a former board member of the American Fertility Association.

Ms. Schuman has won several awards for her research, has lectured extensively and has written numerous articles on a variety of family building subjects including LBGT and single parent family building.  She runs on line groups, counsels parents and parents to be and leads workshops for children who joined their families through gamete donation or adoption.

Visit her website: www.familybuilding.net

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!

Intro to My Donor Egg Story

Fairfax EggBank has partnered with Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) to launch a blog series written by Heather, a recent egg donor recipient at Fairfax EggBank. Our hope is that through PVED, Heather’s voice can be shared with others who are just beginning their donor egg journey and are seeking authentic experiences of others who have been through it.

Intro to My Donor Egg Story

If you’re reading this blog, you might be someone who is exploring the decision to use donor eggs. If that’s the case, you probably have a million questions you’re trying to sort out. How did I get to this point? Is donor egg the right choice for me? If so, how do I go about finding an egg donor?  Where do I even start?

I just want to let you know that all this soul searching, the confusion and doubts, the overwhelming feelings…it’s all normal. I’ve been in your exact shoes.

I have been beaten down by an emotional path of failed IVF and FET cycles. I questioned whether I will ever be the mom I’ve always wanted to be. I have been on the roller coaster of infertility with my husband, wondering if we will ever get to share our home with giggling children running down its halls.

But, guess what? I was able to stop that roller coaster…I’m finally pregnant! Donor eggs have given me that opportunity, and I have never looked back.

So, who am I? My name is Heather. I am (almost) 30 years old, and have struggled with infertility for two years. I have a professional career as a CPA. I’m a dog lover. I can be someone who is a tad stubborn…which, to think about it, offered me the strength I needed to never give up on my fight to become a mom. Like many of you, I’ve been through tests, surgeries, shots, retrievals, transfers and more.

I will share with you my journey in the upcoming blog series. Hopefully some of you will relate to my story and find encouragement that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And hopefully, like me, by choosing donors eggs you’ll also be blissfully pregnant a few short months from now.


Have questions for Heather? E-mail success@fairfaxeggbank.com


Heather’s Blog Series:

#1: Intro to my Donor Egg Story

#2: First Comes Love, then Comes Marriage, then Comes…Infertility?

#3: Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

#4: Selecting an Egg Donor

#5: Three Resources to Use for Your Donor Egg Research

About PVED

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

PVED is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Scappoose, Oregon

Their website contains a wide variety of information and ideas to help you in your family-building journey. If you can’t find what you are looking for, our listserves can link you to others who may have had similar experiences and are happy to share their knowledge.

Top Conferences in 2017 for Donor Egg Patients


If you are thinking about starting a family and need help getting started, there are a variety of conferences where you can learn more about egg donation and donor egg ivf. Fertility experts, service providers, and vendors will provide insight into the options available to you as a donor egg recipient. Meanwhile you will be surrounded by people just like you who are looking to start a family.

The list of the top fertility and family-planning conferences for 2017:

Manchester Fertility Show

mancheter-fertility-show-2017Whether you are just thinking about starting a family or have been trying for a while, The Fertility Show Manchester can provide advice, information, and support to help you on your journey. Their extensive seminar program provides access to experts and a wide range of exhibitors so you can explore the best options for you and get some of your questions answered.
When: March 25th-26th, 2017
Where: Manchester Central Convention Complex, Windmill St, Manchester UK
Learn More: https://www.fertilityshow.co.uk/manchester


American Fertility EXPO

american-fertility-expo-2017The American Fertility Expo will offer a full day of cutting-edge seminars by top fertility professionals, interactive workshops, networking opportunities with leading medical professionals, and the space to learn, reflect, recharge, and renew in a safe and discreet venue.
When: April 29th, 2017
Where: Pasadena Conference Center, Pasadena, CA 91101
Learn More: http://www.americanfertilityexpo.com/



resolve-fertility-conference-2017Exploring Paths of Hope: 32nd Annual Infertility & Adoption Family Building Conference. If you have been trying to conceive for over six months, this will be the conference for you.This conference is designed to address the medical and emotional issues associated with infertility and adoption. Attendees will learn about new treatments, be able to talk directly to doctors and specialists, explore parenting options and network with others experiencing infertility.
When: October 2017 (TBA)
Where: Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN 55431
Learn More: http://www.resolve.org/Regions/midwest/midwest-family-building-conference.html


RESOLVE New England 24th Annual Conference

resolve-new-england-conference-2017The 24th Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices and Adoption Conference is the largest educational consumer infertility conference in the country.
When: November 4th
Where: Boston Marriott Newton Hotel, Newton, MA 02466
Learn More: http://www.resolvenewengland.org/conference/



Men Having Babies

stacks_image_18880Surrogacy workshops, seminars, and exhibitions for gay prospective parents. Men Having Babies seminars provided hundreds of gay men a comprehensive overview of surrogacy by panels of experts and peers.
When/Where: Tel Aviv – March 2-3
Chicago – April 8-9
Dallas – June 10-11
Brussels – September 23-24
New York – November (TBA)
Learn More: http://www.menhavingbabies.org/surrogacy-seminars/


Gay Women’s Gathering: An Evening on Lesbian Pregnancy

path-to-parenthood-conference-2017A free event hosted in various cities which will feature a doctor, attorney, and sperm bank rep discussing everything you need to know about working with sperm donors, legal safeguards for LGBT families during the Trump-era and medical procedures, like insemination and in vitro fertilization, and Zika avoidance.
When/Where: Huston – March 22
Dallas – March 30
Miami – April 19
Beverly Hills – April 26
Learn More: http://www.path2parenthood.org/events


While online research can teach you a lot about infertility and the egg donation process, attending a conference will give you access to medical professionals, attorneys, and people just like you who can provide first hand testimony about their experience.

These conferences are intended to be informative and supportive during your family-planning journey. Now that you have this year’s line-up for conferences, which ones will you be attending?

Thank You Letter from a Recipient to Her Egg Donor

Below is a recent letter from an egg donor recipient, who wanted to express anonymously to her egg donor just how grateful she was.


I don’t know even where to begin with my gratitude to you.  I know that you and I will never meet, but I want you to know every day I am so thankful you have given me and my husband hope to become parents.  I think about the sacrifice it took for you to be selfless to help people have a family.

When I started the donor egg process, I have to admit I was thinking I wouldn’t find someone who matched me or had the same values as me.  After reading your profile there were so many similarities.  You and I were both softball players and we have a lot of the same physical features, but the biggest reason why I chose you was how you wanted your kids to be kind.  That is what I have always wanted for my children.

I don’t think you realize what you have given to our family. We are now excited and hopeful for the future.  When I was diagnosed with my form of infertility, which was premature ovarian failure, I was so scared and anxious about the future.  We now have a plan something to look forward to.  Please know we consider you an angel.  I thank God every day for you giving us this opportunity.  Both of us have longed for a baby for so long and because of you we are one step closer.

I hope that every woman that goes through this finds an egg donor that fits them as perfect as I did.  I will continue to be thankful for you every day for the rest of my life.  Once again thank you, thank you, thank you!  I am forever grateful and you will always have a special place in our hearts.



Your donor egg recipient

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 Journey Part VI: What We’ll Tell Others About Our Donor Egg Journey

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

The following is the final blog of Trisha H’s journey to motherhood. It is with bittersweet sadness that we conclude this series, though we are excited for the many new chapters Trisha and her family will create. Trisha, thank you so much for your invaluable contributions to sharing your voice and for the help you have provided to others going through the same journey.

Our Future – What Stories Will We Share with Friends/Family and our Child(ren)

What will we tell people about our donor egg journey?

This is a topic my husband and I discussed early on in our process.  I should probably start by letting you know that you readers know more about our journey than almost everyone in our personal lives. Apart from our mothers, my sister, and two close but not best friends, “strangers” are the only people who know our entire story.  Not that we are ashamed of our donor egg family, but because we know some people may not protect this decision with the tenderness it deserves.  It would shatter my heart if someone, especially someone we trust, ever used our family as a topic of mockery or gossip. As such, there are some parts of our story we elect to keep private to a certain degree.

Here is how we see it….

What is important is our child was made out of pure LOVE. He is our baby, who grew in my belly for 9 long months. We have an indescribable bond that is only shared between the two of us.  It is magical!  I still think about the day he was pulled (via c-section) from my belly.  The moment I heard him cry, I let out my own cry that came from a place so deep within my soul… a place I have never felt before.  I can still remember the instant and greatest love, joy, and relief that came over me… we finally got to meet our sweet baby boy, who looks exactly like his father, may I add. I am telling you, he is the number one reason I was born.

So, back to what we will tell people.  As far as family and friends are concerned, those who already know, are the only people, who are not “strangers,” we plan to tell (well, almost – keep reading about “others”).  What they know – because there is nothing more to share – is all they will know.  We trust in each of them to keep our family secret sacred.  For “others” in our lives, they will know our story about the challenges we faced when trying to conceive, and how we met our eventual success through IVF (just not the donor egg part).   With “strangers” and “others” in our lives who struggle with fertility (we will only tell other people we know in our lives – family, friends, or acquaintances – if they struggle with trying to conceive themselves), they will know our ENTIRE story.  We find it an honor to help other families make their own decision about their options to have a child, even if it means “others” in our lives knowing about our decision to use donor eggs… I believe helping families make the decision about their family is reason number two for why I was born.

Now, will we tell our son?  We still have not decided.  If we do, it will not be before he is 18 years old.  Some of the questions we ponder are – Why does he need to know?  How will it make him feel?  Will he see me differently?  Will he understand?  Will it hurt him?  Can we deal with the rejection, if it means being honest, should he decide to respond this way?  There are so many questions for which we do not have the answers right now.  And, any of what we will share will depend on his personality. Will he grow up to be an open-minded individual?  If so, and we decide to talk to him about how he was conceived, will we share our story about IVF only or the full truth regarding donor eggs?  Again, we do not have the answers at this time and do not believe it to be important right now, either.

In the end, whatever we decide to share, our son will always know he was made with lots of love sprinkled with a little bit of sugar and spice.  He will know it takes mommy parts and daddy parts to make a baby and, sometimes, when these parts are not working very well, doctors help mommies and daddies make babies like him.



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.


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

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

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

Fairfax EggBank’s Zika Virus Protocol


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.