Egg and Embryo Banking - Questions to Consider

How much does egg or embryo banking cost? What about insurance coverage?
The cost for egg or embryo banking ranges from $5,000 to $7,000, with an additional $2,000 for the injectable medications. It’s best to check with both your doctor and your insurance company regarding coverage for the procedure.

How do I choose between embryo freezing and egg freezing?
There are several important differences between embryo freezing and egg freezing:

Pregnancy rates with frozen/thawed embryos are higher than pregnancy rates using frozen/thawed eggs.

  • To date, embryo freezing currently has the highest chance of pregnancy. Pregnancy rates average between 50% per frozen embryo transfer for young patients, and vary by institution.
  • The pregnancy rate using frozen/thawed eggs averages 30% because only a few eggs survive the freezing and thawing process to be fertilized.
  • Egg freezing is still considered investigational—researchers are continually trying to improve the technique so that more eggs can survive the freezing and thawing process to be successfully fertilized.

Candidates for embryo freezing and egg freezing are different.

  • Women with partners or an available sperm donor are candidates for embryo freezing.
  • Women who do not have partners or an available sperm donor, or who do not wish to create and store embryos for various reasons, are candidates for egg freezing.

Click on the link to the right for a list of questions to ask your doctor to help you decide whether embryo or egg banking are options for you.

Why are frozen eggs less likely to achieve a pregnancy?

  • The large, mature eggs that are collected for egg banking are more delicate than embryos. Therefore, there is a greater chance that ice crystals can form during the freezing process that can damage the embryo’s cells and delicate arrangement of genetic material within the cells.
  • New research is focusing on improving the freezing process to reduce ice crystal formation in large, mature eggs, and on ways to use smaller, immature eggs to achieve a pregnancy. These smaller eggs would have less water than the larger, mature eggs, and thus have a lower chance of forming damaging ice crystals during the freezing process. These procedures are still considered investigational, however.

What happens to my frozen embryos or eggs?

  • A storage agreement is signed by the patient at the time of initial storage. This agreement outlines how long the eggs or embryos will be stored and the final disposition of the material.
  • When a woman feels she is ready to use the eggs or embryos to attempt a pregnancy, she will contact her Oncofertility physician.