The increasing demand for fertility treatments, driven by the rise in the average maternal age, has led to a surge in interest in egg freezing
Many women are exploring options to freeze their eggs as a proactive approach to managing their fertility. However, the cost of egg freezing can be a significant barrier for many individuals.
Fortunately, some fertility clinics offer a solution that may make egg freezing more affordable: egg donation.
In certain clinics, if you choose to donate some of your eggs, they provide the opportunity to freeze your remaining eggs free of charge. While it is challenging to determine the exact number of clinics offering this option, it is not uncommon to find such programs available.
It is important to note that egg freezing is not a guarantee of future pregnancy, but it offers an option for individuals who want to preserve their fertility.
Traditional egg donation programs, where donors receive compensation, have been in existence for a long time. However, the “freeze-and-share” model focuses on the altruistic aspect of egg donation, making it more personal and meaningful.
While the exact number of egg freeze-and-share programs is unknown, their emergence can be attributed to the removal of the “experimental” label on egg freezing by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the growing demand for fertility preservation.
Women choose to freeze their eggs for various reasons. Some see it as an opportunity to prioritize their education, career, or personal growth before starting a family. Others freeze their eggs for medical reasons, such as battling a health condition or having a family history of infertility. The decline in egg quality and quantity with age makes egg freezing an attractive option for those who want to preserve their fertility.
The interest in egg freezing has skyrocketed due to advancements in technology and rising maternal age. Success rates have improved significantly, and more women are considering fertility preservation options. The COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in motivating individuals to rethink their priorities, including family planning.
While the demand for donor eggs continues to exceed the supply, egg freeze-and-share programs offer a potential solution. Many heterosexual couples, especially those in their late 30s to 40s, are seeking donor eggs after unsuccessful attempts with their own eggs. By participating in these programs, individuals can both freeze their eggs and contribute to helping others achieve their dream of starting a family.
The compensation for egg donation varies depending on the clinic and other factors. On average, most clinics in the United States offer between $5,000 and $10,000 per egg donation cycle, excluding medical care and travel expenses. Some clinics may offer higher compensation for repeat donations or elite donors.
Although the cost of egg freezing has gradually decreased due to increasing demand, it is still a significant financial commitment for most individuals. The average cost of a single egg freezing cycle in the U.S. ranges from $15,000 to $20,000, and multiple cycles may be necessary. This high cost makes egg freezing inaccessible to many women.
Egg freeze-and-share programs aim to alleviate this financial burden
Eligible donors can receive free egg freezing, including storage for a specific period, after which they may need to pay standard fees for storage and embryo creation.
The specifics of egg freeze-and-share programs may vary among clinics. Donors are required to meet certain criteria, including passing medical and psychological screenings. They can choose to donate directly to a known recipient or enter a registry. The process aims to create a meaningful connection between donors and recipients, fostering a more personal and less transactional experience.
Egg freezing and donation provide opportunities for individuals to pursue their desired family planning timelines and address fertility challenges. However, it is essential to understand that no fertility procedure guarantees pregnancy. Consulting with a reproductive endocrinologist can provide valuable insights into fertility preservation options and personalized guidance based on an individual’s specific circumstances.