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Choosing Between Fresh vs. Frozen Donor Eggs

Published on 01/27/23

When it comes to IVF (in vitro fertilization), you have a choice of fresh or frozen donor eggs. To make the best decision, you need to give this a lot of thought. First of all, using a donor egg in itself can be a time-consuming and difficult decision. It can involve a lot of painful realizations, and you need time to think through it. Once you have made the decision, you’ll be pleased to know that it has a very high success rate in comparison to other reproduction-assisted technology. Then you need to choose between fresh or frozen eggs. To help you make that decision, here are some pros and cons for each type:

Fresh or Frozen Donor Eggs, What’s the Difference?

When you are working with fresh eggs, the eggs that have been retrieved from the donor are fertilized immediately with the sperm of the donor or the father. The embryos are then transferred to a surrogate or the mother. They may even be frozen for use at a later date. When it comes to frozen donor eggs, they are put into cryopreservation straight away, starlight after being retrieved – prior to the fertilization process. When they are going to be used, they are thawed out and then fertilized to create embryos. A decade ago, in 2013, as many as 20% of all couples used frozen donor eggs. This figure has grown exponentially since technology is getting more and more advanced. However, the frozen egg survival rate is still not as high as fresh eggs.   

Using Fresh Donor Eggs the Pros and Cons 


  • Higher success rates consistently – in 2017, there was a study comparing fresh and frozen egg success rates, and fresh eggs were found to have a success rate 19% higher than frozen eggs. 
  • Multiple embryos – intended parents are entitled to have all the eggs retrieved from the donor in fresh egg cycles. Due to the fact that fresh eggs generally result in more viable embryos, it is likely that the parents have more embryos to implant. It gives you more of a chance of a live birth. It also means that you can freeze some embryos if you choose. Meaning you can have a sibling for your baby.  


  • The unknown – a fresh donor egg cycle can be rather unpredictable. Somwerthgn may prevent the procedure from happening. Potentially the donor may react differently to the medications than what was expected. This could force a restart or even a cancellation. Although there is an extremely in-depth screening process along with regular monitoring, sometimes things go wrong.
  • Lack of coordination – when you work with a reputable clinic this is a non-issue. However, a fresh donor cycle may mean that you are trying to coordinate cycles with someone you never contact, which can cause some serious issues. 

Pros and cons of frozen donor eggs


  • Very little waiting time – as the egg is frozen, you do not have to wait the three months for a typical fresh egg cycle. You don’t need to sync cycles, for example.
  • Usually, it is more affordable – Generally speaking, it tends to be cheaper working with frozen donor eggs. However, you need to research clinics to ensure that you are getting the best rates and the highest success ratios. 


  • Not as many embryos – most of the time, you are working with fewer embryos. You are limited in terms of embryos, unlike fresh egg donation. To get the best price, some people share the egg cohort with other intended parents. Again this reduces the number of eggs you can work with.
  • Limited range of options -it is a hard decision to choose an egg from the donors out there. Doing this means you need to choose another person, i.e., not you, not your genetics, to create another human being. At least one parent is not going to be biologically related to their child. Conducting as wide a search as possible makes you feel as if you are taking back a little control in this. When you are working with the frozen egg stock, at there moment, there are fewer options. 

Cost Comparison

If you are concerned about the price, then using, a frozen egg is the least expensive option. 

There are generally six to eight mature eggs in a cohort, and the price of these can set you back between $13,000 to $16,000 or more. This cost is minus any of the IVF-related fees. A fresh cycle is more like $20,000, and that is prior to any of the other associated costs.