Vitrified Donor Egg FAQ

Vitrified Donor Egg

Why are Donor Eggs Needed?

There are many circumstances in which the use of donor eggs may be required for conception.  If a known egg donor is not available then purchasing vitrified (frozen) eggs from an egg bank in the United States is an option.

Some common reasons for using vitrified eggs include:

  • Women who have had their ovaries removed due to disease
  • Women who have had medical treatments (for example for cancer) which has damaged the ovaries resulting in infertility
  • Women who were born without normally functioning ovaries
  • Women who have had early menopause or are of advanced reproductive age
  • Women who carry a genetic disease that would result in having genetically abnormal children
  • Same sex couples wishing to have children

How are Donor Oocytes Used?

Vitrified eggs are shipped to the Regional Fertility Program from My Egg Bank.   These are warmed and fertilized in our laboratory with sperm from the intended father.  Fertilization is performed by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) in which a single sperm is injected into each egg.  The fertilized eggs are then assessed on a daily basis until the day of embryo transfer, which will be 3 – 5 days following the day the eggs are injected with sperm.  The resulting embryos/blastocysts are then replaced into the recipient uterus that has been hormonally prepared with estrogen and progesterone.  Estrogen and progesterone will be continued until the time of the pregnancy test 16 days after embryo transfer if day 3 embryo were transferd or day 14 post transfer if day 5 blastocysts were transferred. If extra embryos are available following treatment, these can be frozen for future pregnancy attempts during a frozen embryo transfer cycle. To reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies normally no more than two embryos or one to two blastocysts will be replaced into the recipient at any one time.

What are Possible Side Effects and Complications of the Medications?

There are normally few side effects to the medications used during this treatment.  A few women may experience “hot flushes” from the nasal spray used to take control of the menstrual cycle.  Some women who are  sensitive to taking oral estrogens may experience mild nausea and fatigue.  Estrogens can also increase the chance of blood clots although this is a very rare complication.

How are Vitrified Donor Eggs Purchased?

Vitrified donor eggs may be purchased from egg banks in the United States.  There are no donor egg banks in Canada.  The Regional Fertility Program is currently collaborating with My Egg Bank in the United States, from whom vitrified eggs can be purchased. These are sent to the Regional Fertility Program for use in an IVF donor egg treatment cycle. This process facilitates the use of donor eggs without the necessity for travel and treatment in the USA.  If you participate in this program it will be your responsibility to select an egg donor that is suitable for  you and to purchase the donor eggs required for your treatment directly from the egg bank.

How Do I Get My Treatment Started?

If you decide after consultation with your RFP physician you wish to use vitrified donor eggs, a personalized treatment plan will be created.  You will then need to pay a non-refundable registration fee (see price list below) at that time. This fee covers the provision of the initial program information, administration costs, as well as the required counseling session with a clinic psychologist.  The counseling session should be completed prior to starting treatment.

You and your partner will need  to complete blood tests for infectious diseases  as well  other appropriate tests ordered by your doctor. A “mock” cycle using estrogen and progesterone may be performed to ensure it is possible to develop a suitable uterine lining for an embryo to implant and develop. The adequacy of the endometrial lining is confirmed by a vaginal ultrasound examination.  Once all the prescreening is completed a coordinator from My Egg Bank will allow access to donor information on their website and help you choose a donor.

When your vitrified eggs have been received by the clinic and it is time to begin your treatment a nurse will contact you with a schedule, prescriptions and all the information that you will need to get started.

What are the Success Rates with the Vitrified Donor Egg Program?

As with all assisted reproductive treatments there is no guarantee of success or that you will have a normal baby.  The use of vitrified eggs is a new treatment and success rates as well as the long time outcomes of babies conceived in this way will not be fully known for many years. There are many points where the process may fail including failure of the eggs to survive warming, failure of the eggs to fertilize, failure of the fertilized eggs to develop into embryos and finally failure of the embryos to implant and grow in the uterus.  Miscarriage of the early pregnancy can also occur as it can in any pregnancy.  Success rates are very favourable with a clinical pregnancy rate of 57% per embryo day 5 transfer for the 114 vitrified donor egg cycles that were done in 2016.

What are the Costs/Fees?

The clinic requires full payment prior to cycle initiation as this is a non-insured procedure. All expenses related to this treatment are the responsibility of the patients undergoing this therapy. Payment may be made by Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Interac, Cash or Certified Cheque. We regret that we are unable to offer payment plans.

In the event of cycle cancellation, fees will apply based on services received up to time of cancellation.

The cost of IVF does not include medications.



Registration fee

This covers the costs of providing initial information, administrative costs and counseling fees. This fee is non-refundable.


Vitrified Egg Donor IVF Cycle

This includes pretreatment evaluation, consultation, organization of treatment, provision of all information, monitoring during treatment, laboratory fees including oocyte vitrification, all overhead charges, ICSI assisted embryo hatching.


Cost of Frozen oocytes (6 eggs)

Approximately $11,000 USD

Mock Cycle


Drugs costs

You will be given prescriptions for all necessary medications and you will be responsible for purchasing these medications from a local pharmacy.  In some cases the costs can be recovered through your drug insurance plan.  The cost will vary according to how much medication is required.




Embryo Cryopreservation

Includes the first year of storage.  Since many patients will have embryos to cryopreserve this fee must be paid at time of set up.  If not required the fee will be refunded promptly upon completions of treatment.


Ongoing storage of embryos beyond the first year, per annum for all embryos



Under most circumstances, partial refunds are given if treatment cannot be completed. Fees are charged based on administrative and treatment costs incurred prior to cancellation. Once the vitrified eggs are warmed and ICSI has been completed patients are not eligible for a refund.

    Refunds: Fee charged if treatment is accepted by the patient and later cancelled prior to initiation of the IVF treatment.


    Refunds: Fee charged if cancellation occurs prior to egg warming.


Thawing and replacing frozen embryos (FET).

This includes cycle monitoring, all surgical and laboratory fees. Costs vary according to the amount of monitoring required.  No refund is given in the event that no embryos survive thawing.

    FET: Hormone prepared cycles


    FET: Natural cycles


    FET: Cancellation fee after cycle setup


You are responsible for any additional costs incurred, such as travel and accommodation costs. Please note that all fees are quoted in Canadian dollars except as noted and are subject to change without notice. A 2% per month interest fee will be charged on all overdue accounts.