Vitrified Donor Egg (Oocyte) Program

Vitrified Donor Egg (Oocyte) Program

As a result of improved technology it is now possible to successfully freeze a woman’s eggs. In the past, ice crystal formation during traditional freezing resulted in damage to the structure of the egg. With vitrification, eggs are rapidly cooled from a liquid to a vitreous or solid state without any ice crystal formation. On warming, the survival rate of vitrified eggs is greater than 90%. Using these warmed eggs results in the same fertilization and pregnancy rates as fresh eggs.

For patients who require donor eggs for conception, one option is to use vitrified donor eggs from an egg bank. The decision to purchase anonymously donated eggs is not an easy one with significant emotional, social and physical implications. Take time to understand the issues prior to proceeding. Our councilor will go into considerable depth to help you make the best decision if you decide to explore this option.

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. There are no donor egg banks in Canada.

The eggs are warmed and fertilized in our laboratory by injecting a single sperm using ICSI into each egg. The resulting embryos are assessed daily and an embryo transfer of one to two embryos is usually performed 5 days later. The embryos are replaced in the recipient uterus which has been hormonally prepared with estrogen and progesterone. If extra embryos are available these can be frozen for future pregnancy attempts.

Please consult the physicians at the clinic and check out our frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) for further information about the vitrified donor egg program.