Fresh or Frozen Egg Donation? What Does it Mean for You, the Egg Donor

Fresh vs Frozen Egg Donation - What does it mean for the egg donor?

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

Egg Donation Agencies and Fertility Centers 

Agencies and clinics typically work with fresh donor eggs. As a fresh egg donor, your eggs would be retrieved, fertilized immediately and then transferred into the recipient at the same location.

Egg Banks

Egg banks, on the other hand, work with frozen donor eggs. In this scenario, your eggs would be retrieved, frozen using advanced reproductive technologies, and then either stored or shipped to a fertility center. Once they’re ready for use, they would be warmed and then transferred into the recipient.

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

The Match Game: Matching Donors with Patients

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

The similarities end there, in a big way.

Fresh Egg Donor

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

Frozen Egg Donor

If you choose to donate through an egg bank, however, you don’t need to wait to be matched to a recipient.  After you undergo screening and are accepted into the donor egg program, you’ll be able to donate right away. The time you spend waiting to cycle in a frozen donor egg program, therefore, can be a few short months, while for a fresh donor egg program it can be a year or more—which also means you’ll be compensated for your time and efforts much quicker by choosing the frozen egg donor route.

Plus, with Egg Donor Central / Fairfax EggBank, you’ll also be compensated a portion of the overall compensation promise for the time and effort you’ve put into getting the initial testing done, even before you actually donate.

Going the Distance: Traveling and Egg Donation

Many egg donor agencies work with recipients across the country. If you donate your eggs through an agency, you may have to travel to the recipient’s fertility center for your egg retrieval procedure. Thankfully, most of the time your agency reimburses you for travel expenses. But the travel still means time and inconvenience on your part – it could warrant flying to remote cities. It also means you’ll have to miss up to a week in work or classes, which can put you in an awkward situation if you’re keeping the process confidential and your friends and family ask where you’re traveling to for an entire week.

If you choose to become a frozen egg donor, however, the need  for you to travel is removed. Thanks to advances in egg freezing, shipping, and thawing, eggs can be shipped to clinics around the country. That means you would be able to donate your eggs at your local clinic. Most of our donors at Fairfax EggBank take a day off for the procedure, and go back to work or school the very next day. So, no need to have to make excuses for why you were MIA for days and why you don’t have Instagram pictures from that “vacation” you went on.

Timing is Everything: Syncing Cycles vs. Immediate Donation

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

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

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

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