Are there any restrictions on who may use frozen eggs?
Generally speaking, all patients with diminished ovarian reserve or egg quality can use frozen eggs. There are a few exceptions, however. Couples that require sperm retrieval by TESE or TESA, couples where the total motile fraction is less than 5 million sperm, or patients who want PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) performed on their embryos cannot use the egg bank (these patients will need to use a fresh egg donor). The reasons for this exclusion are two-fold: 1) Egg lot thaws do not provide enough eggs to assure a quality outcome if the couple has severe male factor infertility or desires PGD. 2) The cost associated with purchase of additional eggs for patients with severe male factor or genetic testing brings the cost of a frozen cycle up to that of a fresh one, so we do not recommend using the egg bank in these situations. For severe male factor and genetic diagnoses, fresh cycles prove to be far more cost efficient even if the initial expense is higher that that for frozen eggs.
What are your requirements for donors, and how are they screened?
Women ages 21-30 answer our advertising and apply to the egg donor program. The donor team reviews the donor applications and profiles and selects the profiles of young women likely to pass screening. Donors must meet certain height and weight requirements. Educated donors are strongly preferred. Donors are subjected to genetic, medical, endocrinological, psychological, and ultrasound testing to determine if they are eligible. Included in the psychological consult is a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory / Personality Assessment Inventory (MMPI/PAI). Eligible donors are also screened and interviewed by one of the My Egg Bank partner physicians. All donors who pass screening meet FDA standards.
What is the difference between fresh and frozen donor cycles?
Fresh egg donation cycles involve stimulation of the donor, retrieval and insemination of her eggs, with transfer to the recipient, all within a few weeks time.
With a frozen donor egg cycle, donors have been treated in advance, with the eggs collected and frozen for future use. Recipients using frozen eggs will select their donor, as the eggs are needed.
Is there an age cut-off to be a recipient?
We accept women up to age 55 for our recipient program. Women between the ages of 45-50 must have a medical clearance and perinatal specialists clearance prior to entering the program. Women between the ages of 51-55 must have a medical clearance and perinatal specialists clearance with no chronic health illnesses. The embryo transfer must be completed prior to the 56th birthday.
How much does a treatment cycle cost?
A conventional fresh donor egg cycle can costs between $25,000 and $50,000 depending on geographic market. Frozen donor egg cycles through the My Egg Bank network vary from provider to provider, but on average will run roughly half the cost of a traditional donation cycle.
Are the medications included in the cycle cost?
The cost of the medications for the donor IS included in the cycle cost. Medications used to prepare the recipient's uterus for embryo transfer are not included, but are much less costly.
Will the donor know if a pregnancy occurred?
We do not inform donors of the success or failure of the donation. However, we do invite some donors to make additional donations. These donors may conclude (correctly) they are being invited back because they initiated a pregnancy.
What are the advantages of using frozen donated eggs?
Substantially lower cost, high success rates, convenience - no need to synchronize the recipient and donor cycles or wait for donor matching, the recipient controls the donor selection process and the process eliminates the potential ethical and financial burdens of maintaining unused embryos.
What are the requirements to become a recipient?
While each network affiliates requirements may vary slightly, generally speaking a physician consult, screening blood work and cultures, pap smear, mammogram (>40 yrs), flexible sigmoidoscopy (>50 yrs), medical clearance letter (>45 yrs), uterine evaluation, sounding (trial embryo transfer), psychological consult. The male partner will also need screening blood work and a semen analysis.
What is the time frame involved for a cycle?
Once a match has been made (which can take 6-9 months in traditional donor programs), a traditional fresh donor cycle takes about six weeks (from first injection to the pregnancy test). Frozen donor cycles through a My Egg Bank network provider take about four weeks to complete.
Can my OB/GYN do some of my initial testing to take advantage of my insurance coverage?
Yes, most affiliate centers can write an order for your OB/GYN to perform some of the screening.
What is the percentage of success with each treatment cycle?
: Success rates for egg bank recipients through December 2012 are as follows: The overall pregnancy rate is approximately 60%. The elective single embryo transfer pregnancy rate is also about 60% while the double embryo transfer rate is approximately 70%. Pregnancies from double embryo transfer have a 50% chance of being twins and for this reason MEB strongly advises single embryo transfer whenever possible. None of this data is recorded with CDC or SART. To date, the CDC and SART registries do not include donor egg treatment cycles from frozen eggs. RBA has consistently shown pregnancy rates in excess of 60% for the last 10 years (one exception was 2005) in egg donation cycles initiated with FRESH donor eggs, and in the transition from primarily 'fresh' egg donation to 'frozen egg' donation, RBA and now MEB have not seen any decline in overall pregnancy and delivery rates.
Can I see a photo of the donor?
We do not show adult photos of our egg donors. Our promise to protect donor identity allows us to recruit a large number of highly qualified donors. We do publish baby photographs of our donors on the egg bank database.
What information is given to me about the donor?
You will receive a copy of the donor's profile, family medical history, and genetics report.
How can I assess the personality of my donor?
Every donor who is approved and listed on the web site has gone through a full battery of psychological tests. We are not in a position to make a full assessment of the donor's personality beyond that which we can read in the psychology report. Be assured, however, that all of the donors are screened very carefully and that donors at risk for any kind of psychological problem are excluded prior to treatment. On a less formal note, the donors should all be considered highly motivated, energetic young women who are acting in part for altruistic reasons.
How do you find your donors/how do you recruit/advertise?
We advertise for egg donors locally and at colleges and universities, through various publications, billboards and on the radio. A large number of donors are referred by their friends who have previously donated to My Egg Bank.
Are all your donors college-educated?
No, but we have a strong preference for college educated donors. Our donors who have not graduated from college generally have some other highly desirable trait(s) to make them candidates for our program. We review each egg donor's personal background/history thoroughly before accepting her into our program.
How does the matching process work?
With fresh egg donation cycles, the donor coordinators and physicians try to find and offer the closest possible match to what the recipient desires in her donor.
The My Egg Bank website contains a database of information about all of our available egg donors. Recipients will have the opportunity to review the available donors and forward their selection choices to the donor coordinators.
Can I exercise while going through treatment?
Exercise is not contraindicated during your recipient cycle; however, once the embryo transfer is performed, you will want to only perform low-impact exercise until your pregnancy test.
What are the side effects of the medications I will be taking?
Some of the possible side effects of the cycle medications include headaches, hot flashes, minimal weight gain, water retention, and mood swings.
Can I travel during treatment?
Once your recipient cycle begins, it is important to be available for any needed appointments. Your nurse, prior to your cycle, can assist you in planning for these appointments.
Who do I call with questions?
During the matching and treatment process, we encourage you to contact the donor coordinator of your home center with any questions. There may be some questions that will be directed by your home center to the MEB staff.
When can we have intercourse after ET and if I am pregnant?
After your transfer, we ask that you refrain from intercourse until your pregnancy test, approximately 10-12 days later. If you are pregnant, as long as you are not experiencing bleeding or discomfort, intercourse is not contraindicated.
Can I fly on a plane after my ET?
Air travel should be fine following the embryo transfer. It is extremely important to have your blood pregnancy test drawn at the appropriate time following the transfer.
If I am pregnant, is it normal to lightly spot or have some abdominal cramping?
Spotting (dark red or brown) can be quite normal early in pregnancy. However, if you experience bright red bleeding, that soaks a pad an hour, immediately get off your feet and call our office.
Intermittent mild cramping and slight twinges on either side may also be normal. If cramping is moderate to severe, and not relieved by Tylenol, this may not be normal and should notify our office.
When will I be able to tell if I am pregnant?
Pregnancy testing is scheduled 10-12 days after the embryo transfer, depending on the stage of the embryos at transfer.
How long will I stay with the practice once I am pregnant?
Typically you will not be discharged to your OB/GYN until 8-10 weeks of pregnancy. You will have several blood tests and ultrasounds to determine appropriate growth of the pregnancy before you are released.
Do I need to divulge to anyone that I used donated eggs?
Pursuing donor eggs as a treatment option is a very personal decision. It is patient preference to share this information with others. We do recommend sharing this information with your OB/GYN, as he/she will be continuing your care once you are discharged from our practice.
Current data from psychological journals on this subject suggest disclosing this information to the child at the appropriate time in the future.
Can I be a recipient if I have had my fallopian tubes removed or am menopausal?
Is it necessary when being matched with a donor to have a blood type match?
No, unless you are planning on not disclosing the information to your child.
Can I go to my pharmacy to purchase my cycle medications?
Yes, you may use your regular pharmacy to purchase your medications for your recipient cycle. However, some of the medications may need to be pre-ordered, as some pharmacies may not keep some of the medications in stock.
Does My Egg Bank offer a guarantee on the donor eggs?