Today’s post is a slightly different one but one that I know will be very popular for those who are currently trying for a baby and finding it more difficult than expected. This is story of Kaitlyn & her husband.
When my husband and I made the decision to try for a baby, we were expecting a completely blissful experience. We did not, however, expect to spend endless hours charting my ovulation or hundreds of dollars on home pregnancy tests that would all turn out to be negative. And most importantly, I didn’t think I’d ever be told my eggs just weren’t good enough for conception – but alas, that was our reality. This unforeseen fact left us searching for affordable options and exploring fertility methods we’d never given much thought to before. For us, the answer to our dilemma seemed easy. We decided that donor eggs were our best option. Figuring out which direction to go with them, however, was not so simple.
Weighing Your Options
After we made the choice to pursue egg donation, we learned that there are two different routes you can go: a fresh cycle or a frozen cycle. Like most people, we automatically assumed that fresh was better. With no freezing or shipping process involved, we were bound for greater success, right? As it turns out, the present-day success rates of frozen donor egg IVF nearly mirror those achieved in a fresh cycle. Thanks to a revolutionary flash-freezing process known as vitrification, frozen eggs are now cryo-protected from damaging factors, such as ice crystal formation. This technology ensures that donated eggs are in the same condition after thawing that they were on the day of collection.
Well, I’m sure fresh cycles are cheaper since the eggs are retrieved on site, right? Actually, another perk to choosing frozen eggs is the vast reduction in cost compared to fresh. A frozen cycle is so much less involved than fresh, leaving couples with far fewer fees to pay for. Let’s explore in more detail how fresh and frozen cycles really work.
Understanding How Fresh and Frozen Cycles Work
When it comes to starting a fresh or frozen donor egg cycle, the first step will always be finding the right donor for your family. With fresh cycles, you select from a smaller pool of women localized near you. Since much of fresh donor egg IVF depends on syncing up the menstrual cycles of two different women, proximity is necessary. Frozen cycles are able to take this limitation out of the equation. Frozen donor egg storage facilities have already taken care of finding donors from all over the country. These women have been thoroughly screened to check for problems in their medical, psychological, and personal histories. Their eggs have already been collected and are waiting patiently for the right couple to choose them.
In both fresh and frozen cycles, your body will have to be prepared for the upcoming embryo transfer after you’ve chosen a donor. When doing a fresh cycle, this will not only involve initial screenings to determine the reproductive health of both donor and recipient, but it will mean coordinating both women’s cycles to ensure the donor is ready for her eggs to be retrieved right around the same time your body is ready for the transfer. Scheduling complications are more likely to occur during the fresh donor egg process. Maybe your donor is sick or has some sort of prior obligation that requires them to miss an important appointment; the fact of the matter is that when another person is involved, more planning is needed to make sure the projected timeline doesn’t go awry.
Unfortunately, this means that fresh cycles are more likely to lead to a cycle being postponed or cancelled. In frozen cycles, the only person’s schedule you must work around is your own. When you decide you’re ready to start your IVF treatment, all you have to do is start! You’ll move right into taking the proper medications needed to prepare your body for implantation. This often includes birth control, estrogen, and progesterone. The frozen eggs you’ve selected from your storage facility will be shipped to your fertility clinic where they will be thawed and fertilized to await transfer. When your body has been properly prepared and your doctor feels you’re ready, you’ll go to the clinic and have the embryo transferred into your uterus during a pain-free procedure involving a thin catheter.
Finding Your Happily Ever After
Two weeks after your embryo transfer, you’ll head back to the fertility clinic for a blood pregnancy test that will hopefully yield positive results…I know ours did. I never dreamed that I would need another woman’s eggs to help start the family I’d always hoped for, but at the end of the day, all that matters is the final result. Using frozen donor eggs made our family whole. And while there were so many twists, turns, and things to figure out during our infertility journey, I have no doubt that we made the best decision possible.