4 Myths about Frozen Donor Eggs

There is a lot of information swirling around about frozen donor eggs these days—including a few misconceptions and half-truths. We would like to set the record straight.

Posted on Feb 26, 2016
4 Myths about Frozen Donor Eggs

Myth #1. Freezing damages donor eggs. Does the process of cryopreservation (freezing) reduce the viability of eggs? Early efforts at cryopreservation using a slow-freezing technique did initially cause cellular damage. But technology has advanced a great deal since those early days, and even since the first baby was born from a frozen egg in 1986.

In the past decade, an ultra-rapid method of “freezing” (vitrification) has been developed, bringing an alternative to the slow-freezing technique. This sophisticated technology solidifies the cell into a glass-like state and prevents formation of ice crystals. This lowers the risk to these highly delicate eggs, which means that vitrified eggs have a higher survival rate than those using slow-freezing techniques.1,2

Myth #2. Success rates are lower with frozen donor eggs.
A JAMA study of 11,000 in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures using donor eggs in 2013 found that frozen-egg cycles overall were 8 percent less successful than fresh-egg cycles in producing live births.

However, success rates are not really generalizable. It is better to look at clinic-specific success rates. As an early adopter of vitrification with many years of experience, Pacific Fertility Center (PFC) has enjoyed frozen donor egg success rates that are currently better than the national average. With frozen donor eggs, we have an 86 percent thaw rate and 85 percent fertilization rate.

In addition, our pregnancy and delivery rates for fresh and frozen donor egg cycles are virtually the same.

Myth #3. Patients receive fewer embryos with a frozen cycle—surely that lowers my chances.
It’s understandable that you may have this question. You will most likely receive more embryos with a fresh donor egg cycle than with a frozen donor egg bank cycle (average 8 embryos versus 2 embryos).

What’s even more important is the outcome: Although patients, on average, receive more embryos from a fresh donor egg cycle than a frozen donor egg bank cycle, the pregnancy and delivery statistics for each transfer that is performed to attempt a pregnancy are the same.

Myth #4. In the end, frozen donor egg bank cycles cost the same as fresh cycles.
Actually, frozen donor egg cycles are about half the cost of fresh donor egg cycles.


  1. The Practice Committees of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Mature oocyte cryopreservation: a guideline. Fertility and Sterility. January 2013. Vol. 99(1):37–43.
  2. Khalili MA et al. Ultrastructure of human mature oocytes after vitrification. Eur J Histochem. 2012; 56(3): e38.
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The Pacific Fertility Egg Bank Blog is an informative resource for future parents, highlighting a comprehensive range of topics important to both sides of the egg donation process. Popular topics include egg bank information, our egg donor database, egg donor cost, success rates, finding an egg donor and more. If you would like to learn more about our San Francisco-based egg bank, contact us today.