But statistics might not tell full story, experts say
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Randy Dotinga
TUESDAY, Aug. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be less likely to give birth if they use frozen eggs from donors instead of fresh donor eggs, a new study finds.
Use of frozen donor eggs is increasing, and some IVF centers have established frozen donor egg banks, the researchers said.
"Our research demonstrated that -- contrary to some claims made mostly by commercial interests -- frozen eggs offer a lower chance of pregnancy and delivery chance after IVF than fresh eggs," said study co-author Dr. Norbert Gleicher, medical director and chief scientist with the Center for Human Reproduction in New York City. "Patients should be made aware of this fact, before making a choice."
Until recently, fresh eggs, often from anonymous donors, were usually used for certain IVF procedures, said Gleicher, who is also president of the Foundation for Reproductive Medicine.
"Eggs from usually young, mostly anonymous egg donors are fertilized with partner sperm and transferred into the uterus of a woman, who usually no longer has her own eggs to work with," he explained.
But women often had to wait months for fresh eggs, while frozen eggs can be stored.
Dr. Rebecca Sokol, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said frozen egg banking gives patients access to a wider field of donors and provides greater flexibility for scheduling and coordination. She considers these "advantages that may outweigh slightly lower success rates for some patients."
The study results don't address the likelihood of births from eggs a woman freezes for her own later use.
The new study, published in the Aug. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined over 11,000 IVF procedures that used donor eggs in 2013. The numbers come from centers that perform 92 percent of all IVF procedures in the United States, the study authors said.
Twenty percent of the procedures used frozen eggs. Of the frozen-egg procedures that resulted in the transfer of an embryo into a woman desiring a child, 47 percent resulted in a live birth. The number of live births was 56 percent when fresh eggs were used.
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