ASRM and SART Released the Following Comments on “Outcomes of Fresh and Cryopreserved Oocyte Donation,”

August 11 , 2015
by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Orginally published in ASRM Bulletin Volume 17, Number 28

Comments attributable to James Toner, MD, President of SART and Rebecca Z. Sokol, MD, MPH, President of ASRM.

James Toner, MD, SART President remarked, “We appreciate Dr. Kushnir and his colleagues’ sharing their analysis comparing the outcomes of cycles using frozen donor eggs with outcomes of fresh donor egg cycles. This year, for the first time, SART included frozen donor egg cycles in its National Report, enabling this large-scale, nationwide comparison to be done.

While frozen donor egg cycles resulted in a somewhat lower percentage of live births than fresh in this national report, this outcome is not unexpected since recipients of frozen eggs typically get fewer eggs for a treatment half as expensive as traditional donor egg with fresh eggs. 

As the researchers pointed out, egg freezing has only recently been widely adopted, and these results show how effective this approach can be for those needing donor eggs.  It is not yet known whether these reassuring outcomes will be seen in woman in their 30s and 40s.  

A more complete understanding of these outcomes will take time. Eggs may remain frozen for many years and the eggs frozen from a single retrieval may be thawed and fertilized singly or in pairs, delaying knowledge of the full cycle outcome for years.”

Rebecca Z. Sokol, MD, MPH, ASRM President added, “There are a host of reasons that a patient may need to freeze her own eggs.  When faced with chemotherapy or other cytotoxic treatment, egg freezing is the best hope of preserving a woman’s fertility.  If sperm cannot be obtained at the time of a fresh IVF cycle, egg freezing can salvage the cycle. 

Frozen egg banking gives patients access to a wider field of donors and provides greater flexibility for both donors’ and recipients’ scheduling and coordination, advantages that may outweigh slightly lower success rates for some patients.

We need to recognize that cryopreservation is a procedure that requires specific technical expertise and proficiency. While great improvements in technique and outcomes have been made in recent years and we expect to see more in the future, patients should be cautioned that putting their eggs into storage today is no guarantee of having a baby tomorrow.” 

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