The Daily Mail reported a 45-year-old woman from Argentina has given birth to a set of twins from the donor eggs she had frozen 12 years ago. The successful birth breaks the previous record, where a women gave birth with 7-year-old eggs.
Buenos Aires resident, Monica Zapotoczny and her husband, Guillermo Husak, are now the proud parents of twin girls that were conceived from the eggs she had frozen at the age of 33. After numerous failed attempts at IVF treatment, the couple thought they would never be able to have a child of their own.
Then, after one final attempt in 2011, Zapotoczny became pregnant and gave birth by cesarean section in January of this year. The news offers new hope to cancer survivors who are holding off having children as well as career-driven women who don’t want children now but may want to have children later in life.
“It was a miracle. The joy we feel is indescribable, our family is complete,” Zapotoczny told the Daily Mail. “I hope other women who freeze their eggs can take hope from this that their dreams can one day come true.”
To this date, about 1,000 babies have been born from frozen eggs worldwide. In the past scientists found that a woman is significantly more likely to get pregnant if she is able to insert a frozen fertilized embryo, rather than just an egg in her womb.
For the best results, fertility experts recommend that women freeze their eggs in their twenties and early thirties when their eggs are the healthiest and store them in a safe egg donor database.
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A review of websites that specialize in donor egg collection and distribution found that almost a third of such sites do not follow ethical guidelines, which include not offering potential donors higher sums of money for a Gattaca baby and informing donors about the potential risks associated with the donation procedure.
According to jezebel.com, approximately 64 percent of websites that mentioned specific donor traits said they paid more to women who had successfully donated eggs in the past, meaning donations that had led to successful births.
Though researchers would like to see these sites possibly governed by stricter regulations, they also worry that if the donation racket is too regulated, the supply of eggs for infertility treatment would be reduced.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine said there probably should be more force behind what are essentially firm suggestions, not laws, especially with regard to the age minimum because younger people, though not exactly thoughtless, might not be far-sighted enough to seriously consider the risks associated with the procedure.
Medical health experts are concerned that such websites are exposing donors to health risks, since paying more for proven egg donors encourages women to donate more often. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, though, cautions that women shouldn’t donate more than six times in their lives. The study also suggests that donor websites that engage in this kind of unethical compensation are devaluing donors by paying for part of their bodies rather than for their time and discomfort.
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Older women should consider using donor eggs from younger woman, a new study shows.
Predictably, women under the age of 34 have the greatest chances of becoming pregnant through IVF.
However, according to research older women with low ovarian reserve can achieve pregnancy by using donor eggs from younger women.
The study looked at the chances of conception by taking into account age, the diagnosis that caused the patient to seek fertility treatment, whether additional preserved embryos, and the stage when the embryos were transferred.
Lead study author Barbara Luke, professor and epidemiologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing states that when women require fertility treatment, there isn’t a simple answer about their chances of conception, and a lot of factors needs to be considered.
After the third treatment cycle, women aged 31 and younger had a 63 to 75% chance of ending up with a baby, compared with women 41 or 42 who used their own egg and had a 19 to 28% chance. Those 43 or older had a 7 to 11% chance. When donor eggs from younger women were used, the rates were much higher, usually hovering between 60 and 80%, for all ages.
What this says is that using a younger egg improves the chances of conception.
The study was published in the June 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. It tracked data on nearly 250,000 women and 471,000 in vitro fertilization cycles from 2004 to 2009 at 400 clinics, resulting in 141,000 babies.
The study shows that women over 40 should evaluate their odds and consider using a donor egg more quickly.
The research also took into consideration infertility diagnoses that could influence chances of success. Low ovarian reserve was associated with lower odds of a live birth. Fibroids, endometriosis or adhesions on the uterus were also associated with a lower success rate.
On the flip side, other factors like male infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome and tubal factor infertility, had less of an impact.
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Finally, an affordable donor egg program! According to an announcement made today by the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), their New York based clinic is now offing patients a discount donor egg program! This is great news for couples who have previously been unable to afford this costly infertility treatment.
The cost for donor eggs typically runs around $20,000 or more depending on the State that you live in. This is an exorbitant cost for couples who have likely already gone through several rounds of IVF or other infertility treatments which also can run in the 10’s of thousands of dollars.
The discount donor egg program being offered by the CHR is priced at $14,950 and uses frozen eggs. Typically, in standard donor egg procedures fresh eggs are used from a donor. However, frozen donor eggs which have been left over from other donations are more cost-effective for couples seeking this treatment.
According to the announcement made by the CHR, the clinic offers a wide range of egg donors which allows them to easily match frozen eggs to recipients in this program, which they refer to as their Eco Donor Egg Program, or Eco-DEP.
“The large number and diversity of available egg donors allow CHR, uniquely, to match donors closely to patients, and with practically no waiting period.” – Dr. Norbert Gleicher, Founder of the CHR
While the use of frozen eggs is still considered experimental, world-wide data has shown very positive pregnancy success rates with this procedure compared to standard donor egg programs.
If cost were not an issue the CHR says they would first recommend their standard program due to higher and more reliable success rates. However, this new discount donor egg program allows to them reach out to a clientele who would otherwise not be able to afford such a procedure.
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November 07, 2011 (New York, NY) —As an alternative to its standard Egg Donation Program, the EcoDEP discount donor egg program offers patients an opportunity to receive donor eggs at a much lower total cycle cost of $14,950. The cost of a standard egg donation cycle is approximately double this cost.
“Because CHR, likely, offers the largest and most diverse pool of carefully selected egg donors in the world, and because of the program’s excellent pregnancy rates, CHR’s standard Egg Donation Program has served a worldwide clientele successfully for years,” explains Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director of CHR. He adds: “The large number and diversity of available egg donors allow CHR, uniquely, to match donors closely to patients, and with practically no waiting period.” However, CHR recognizes fertility patients’ current economic realities. Dr. Gleicher continues: “Traditional egg donation is expensive. Looking for a less costly alternative, we created a radically different low cost donor egg program. EcoDEP, the new frozen donor egg program, utilizes frozen-thawed donor eggs instead of fresh donor eggs, and instead of giving one recipient all of the eggs from a donor, the program splits one donor’s eggs amongst up to three recipients.”
In the EcoDEP donor egg program, donor eggs are frozen after retrieval in batches of at least five. Once a recipient chooses a donor with frozen eggs as her “match,” a batch of five frozen eggs is thawed, fertilized with partner sperm, and resulting embryos are transferred to the recipient’s uterus.
Although a number of recent studies from around the world reported comparable pregnancy rates from fresh and frozen donor eggs, the use of frozen eggs is still widely, including at CHR, considered “experimental.” As such, patients will be required to sign an informed consent, acknowledging the experimental nature of EcoDEP. Like all in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes at CHR, EcoDEP outcomes will be closely monitored, serially reported to CDC and SART, but also immediately published to the public on CHR’s website, as soon as statistically valid numbers become available.
“Choosing between standard egg donation and the new lower-cost EcoDEP requires careful consideration of advantages and disadvantages,” says David H. Barad, MD, CHR’s Director of Clinical ART. “If costs were not an issue, traditional egg donation would be the first choice of most patients, since it offers broader donor selection and higher cumulative pregnancy chances.” Dr. Barad continues: “But, only too often, second best choices have to be made in life, because first choices are unaffordable. EcoDEP will give many women their first access to egg donation. This may also be the first chance at pregnancy for these patients – and ultimately, this is what CHR stands for.”
About Center for Human Reproduction
Center for Human Reproduction, or CHR, is a leading fertility center in the United States with a worldwide reputation as a “fertility center of last resort.” Under the leadership of Drs. Norbert Gleicher and David H. Barad, CHR is now offering the EcoDEP program for finding an affordable egg donor. For more information, visit http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com.
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