Guest Contributor: Rita Fields, MSC, ELD(ABB) – Fairfax EggBank’s Embryology Liaison
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 2017 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 250+ 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, of the cases reported, 79% of the oocytes fertilized normally after ICSI.
“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 54% clinical pregnancy rate per transfer.
Our ongoing pregnancy/live birth data represents 2014 – 2017 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 250+ 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, we deploy our Embryology Liaison, Rita Fields, MSC, ELD(ABB), to visit the IVF clinic’s lab. Rita is Fairfax EggBank’s invaluable asset and a nationally respected embryologist, leveraging her 30+ years of experience as an embryologist to collaborate with IVF clinic partners. She will meet with the team responsible for warming donor eggs and ensure they feel knowledgeable and confident in using our proprietary thawing protocol. This mandatory collaboration has proven effects – Rita affirms “there used to be a time when this collaboration wasn’t always mandatory. 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 enforce the policy on all clinics.”
Rita’s goal is to be your IVF clinic’s ongoing collaborator in maximizing successful outcomes. Rita avers “We will provide clinics with whatever support they need to be successful using FEB donor oocytes. She works diligently to review data and techniques with your team.” If the team requires quick trouble-shooting, Rita or Andy Dorfmann, MSc, ELD(ABB), Fairfax EggBank’s Scientific Director, is responsive to addressing them, either remotely or in person.
We screen our donor extensively before allowing them into the program. Only those that exhibit excellent health and have stellar fertility testing results will be used. Once these donors complete a cycle, our Embryology Panel will carefully evaluate each frozen egg and will only use the ones they deem are good-quality metaphase II oocytes. Finally, once these eggs are used, we’ll rigorously try to obtain outcomes on them. If we see a donor is showing a pattern of poor results, we will pull her and all her donor eggs so that future recipients won’t be able to use them. Rita 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 donor egg banks. 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 aquí.
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. As mentioned above, we rigorously monitor every donor. If we see a donor is showing a pattern of poor outcomes, we’ll remove her from our donor database.
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.
Rita is a seasoned embryology expert, working as an embryologist for nearly 30 years. At Fairfax EggBank, she is constantly traveling across the country and abroad to the 225+ IVF clinics we support. She is pivotal to ensuring that both the IVF labs that are freezing donor eggs and IVF labs that are warming them are doing so according to Fairfax EggBank’s strict protocol. Her goal is that by working with other embryologists, we can employ best-practice protocols to be able to offer donor egg recipients the best results using Fairfax EggBank’s donor eggs.