Pacific Fertility Egg Bank Celebrates its 5th Anniversary
This past August marked the 5th anniversary of the Pacific Fertility Egg Bank (PFEB). Today, as always, our vision remains that of broadening access and options for patients who want to expand their families by using donor eggs. To that end, last year we transitioned our program away from offering a guarantee of two Day-3 embryos to a guarantee of two cryopreserved blastocyst embryos. This helps maximize the chance of pregnancy success, and it is one of the most compelling guarantees for intended parents looking to use frozen donor eggs.
Our high pregnancy rate directly contributed to a recent PFEB milestone. This past spring, we celebrated the 100th baby born through our PFEB program. Each baby born is a testament to the dedication and extensive technical expertise of PFC physicians and embryologists. This progress also mirrors a growth in the use of frozen donor eggs nationally. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), there has been a 34 percent increase in embryo transfers using frozen donor eggs from 2013 to 2015, the most recent year statistics are available.
Here are some specific benefits of our new blastocyst embryo program.
Less uncertainty. With PFEBs blastocyst guarantee, patients know exactly what to expect. Unlike other egg banks that only offer cohorts of frozen eggs, PFEB patients are guaranteed to receive two cryopreserved blastocyst embryos. Patients no longer need to worry about the number of eggs needed, if the eggs will survive warming (thawing), and whether they will develop into usable blastocyst embryos.
Convenient scheduling. Another great advantage is that donor and recipient menstrual cycles do not require synchronization. The donors eggs have already been retrieved and are ready for immediate use. Patients can choose to plan their frozen embryo transfer at a time that is most convenient for them, once the blastocyst embryos have been created and cryopreserved.
Faster treatment times. On average, PFEB patients complete their treatment cycles within two months from donor selection. By contrast, a traditional fresh donor egg cycle requires coordination and synchronization with the chosen donor, and treatment from start to finish can take as long as three to six months.
Less expense. Traditional fresh donor egg cycles can be quite costly, sometimes upwards of $50,000 or more. By using frozen donor eggs through PFEB, you are guaranteed two cryopreserved blastocyst embryos for roughly half the cost of using fresh donor eggs.
Quality control. PFEB is the first independent egg bank in Northern California providing all technical services under one roof from egg freezing and thawing to fertilization and embryo growth and eventual transfer. Having everything under one roof allows patients to avoid the unknown effects of having the eggs frozen, transported, and thawed across different laboratory facilities.
Large database of donors. Patients have the opportunity to select from among a large and diverse group of donors. We currently have about 55 donor profiles of frozen eggs ready for selection and immediate use, and are always adding more. All donors are thoroughly screened for a wide range of medical and genetic disorders. In addition, we provide background information about each donors personal history, education, occupation, and family history.
Great results. Using cutting-edge thawing techniques, our embryo thawing survival rate is 95% and our current clinical pregnancy rate is 53% per transfer event. Most of our patients transfer one embryo at a time. The second guaranteed embryo can be kept frozen for use at a later time, if needed or desired.
As we celebrate our 5th anniversary, we hope to continue providing more convenient, cost-effective options to our patients. And we look forward to continuing our efforts in building familiesone healthy baby at a time.
1. Practice Committee of SART and Practice Committee of ASRM. Fertil Steril 2012;97:835842.