New Discount Donor Egg Program Offers Low-Cost Alternative to Traditional Donor Eggs

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A low cost Donor Egg Program (EcoDEP) launches at the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), a leading New York fertility center.

Center for Human Reproduction

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.

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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