Egg freezing enables a woman or a couple to save reproductive eggs for later use. Typically, after a series of hormones used to increase the body’s egg production and a retrieval process, eggs are frozen and stored at an egg bank. These banks maintain frozen eggs as needed for their future fertilization for a fee.
Egg Bank Charges
Almost all egg banks will charge a fee for storing retrieved eggs. These charges vary on the size and quality of the bank, but range anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars per year. The cost is not per stored egg, but rather the number of dishes used for storage. An egg bank may or may not be associated with the professional hired to retrieve eggs. Many times, fertility experts that retrieve eggs will refer the patient to the egg bank, but will have no involvement in the storage and maintenance of eggs. Other times, the physician specialist may be associated with the egg bank.
Egg Bank Storage
Some banks will only store unfertilized eggs, others fertilized eggs, and some will store either. The charges for what is being stored will vary and will also depend on the type and length of maintenance, and whether the eggs will be delivered to the bank after fertilization or whether the bank will perform the fertilization.
Egg Retrieval from the Bank
Each egg bank will have a set of guidelines in place for the process to be used when requested eggs to be unfrozen will be used. Typically, there is no charge for unfreezing eggs, but some banks may charge a nominal extra fee should extra handling be required. The timeframe for retrieval requests range anywhere from a few days to a month or two.
Retrieval of frozen eggs from the bank also depends on whether the bank will be performing the insemination of fertilized eggs. If so, the bank will charge extra fees for this procedure. The bank may also charge fees if they are required to transport the eggs securely and safely to your physician.
Egg Bank Users
Egg banks will store eggs donated by individuals intending to use them at a future date, or from donors intending to sell them to known or unknown recipients (or from both). An egg bank, therefore, can be used for donated or not donated eggs. The guidelines, procedures and available services will differ depending on the parties’ relationship.
Egg Bank Services
In addition to taking care of eggs, egg banks may perform retrieval or donation procedures. In the case of retrievals, the bank would perform the entire retrieval process, including ovary stimulation and the retrieval procedure. In donation situations, not only would the bank perform the retrieval procedure, but would also investigate and pay donors. This would mean that it would invite women interested in donating eggs anonymously for use by women unable to become pregnant by use of their eggs. For a fee, these donors would donate and assign rights to the egg bank over their donated eggs. Additionally, some egg banks may also contain or be associated with sperm banks.