Fresh or Frozen? How to Choose the Right Donor Option for You
An important contribution to a diagnosis of infertility is the quality of your eggs. As you get older, the quality and number of your eggs tend to decrease, making it more challenging to conceive. There may be a point in your reproductive journey where your chance of achieving a successful pregnancy may be higher using eggs from a donor.
To begin the process of finding an egg donor, you first meet with RMA of New York’s Third Party Team. This team is committed to matching you with a suitable donor and providing compassionate care throughout your reproductive journey. A member of the team asks you to list the characteristics you are looking for in a donor. You can indicate the importance of specific clinical characteristics, such as hair color, eye color, and even blood type, as well as racial and height preferences. Once your profile is complete, the team will work diligently to find your perfect match.
The screening process to become an egg donor candidate at RMA of New York is quite thorough and involves selection of candidates who match your stated preferences. The team identifies women who are 21-32 years old and are in good physical and psychological health. Each donor is required to have a comprehensive gynecologic exam as well as a psychological evaluation. While you cannot meet your donor or see adult photos of them, the Third Party Team will share donors’ profiles and baby photos with you.
Once a match is made, you can begin the egg donation process. The donor takes medications to prepare her body for egg retrieval, and after approximately two weeks of monitoring, her eggs are retrieved and fertilized with your partner’s or donor sperm using in vitro fertilization (IVF). As the recipient of a donor egg, you have two options how to use the fertilized donor eggs:
* Fresh embryo transfer
The resulting embryos mature in the lab and are transferred into your uterus after 5 days. This option requires you to synchronize your menstrual cycle with the donor’s using medications so that your body is prepared to accept the embryo for implantation and, hopefully, pregnancy soon after the eggs are retrieved.
* Biopsy and Freeze All Embryo Transfer
This option is similar to fresh embryo transfer, however, after the embryos mature in the lab, they are frozen and preserved until you are ready to undergo a frozen embryo transfer. This option allows for embryos to undergo Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) – a form of genetic testing that looks for specific genetic disorders – prior to being transferred.
There are several advantages to choosing to use a fresh RMA donor. One of the greatest benefits is the personalized matching process. Because the team selects and gets to know your donor, they can act as a liaison between you and her. Choosing to use a fresh donor also offers more financing options. You could potentially share the eggs of your donor with another recipient. In this scenario, you would receive half the eggs and another patient uses the other half, significantly reducing the total cost to you. Additionally, the Third Party Team can work with your insurance agency to evaluate possible financing options that could reduce the price of using a fresh egg donor. Finally, PGT can be performed on the embryos to evaluate whether they are chromosomally normal.
Having a strong support system can be helpful as you go through the egg donation process. RMA of New York makes available our expert, Dr. Georgia Witkin, Director of Psychological Wellness Services as you begin the egg donor process. Dr. Witkin recognizes that your choice to use an egg donor is highly personal, and comes with its own set of concerns, questions, and emotions. Dr. Witkin’s goal is to help you understand the process and clarify questions you may have about donation, including when and how to talk to your future child about the egg donation process.
RMA of New York is dedicated to providing a diverse range of options to ensure that your family-building goals are fulfilled. If you have questions regarding egg donation, or think you might be a candidate to receive donor eggs, please contact RMA of New York at 212-756-5777.