Fresh versus frozen eggs? Egg freezing by oocyte vitrification is a major innovation for potentially preserving a woman’s future fertility especially in young women needing ovarian-toxic treatments and for those who may wish to postpone pregnancy for social or economic reasons. Egg banks selling previously vitrified donor eggs are purported to offer women needing donor eggs a less expensive alternative than using oocytes obtained from a ‘fresh’ donor.
A recent study from Brazil published in the September 2016 issue of Fertility and Sterility (FertilSteril 2016;106:615-22) including 8,210 mature eggs obtained from 425 egg donors showed that following insemination by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), embryo development was significantly better from inseminated fresh oocytes that from previously frozen eggs. This study implies that many oocytes need to be obtained from women desiring to preserve their future fertility potential and in women needing donor eggs, fresh oocytes obtained from a fresh donor may be better in the long run than using previously frozen donor eggs.