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Egg banking – embryologist perspective

Rocío López
Embryologist at Pregen (UR Vistahermosa), PreGen (UR Vistahermosa)

Category:
Advanced Maternal Age, Donor Eggs, Egg Freezing

embrylogist-perspective-on-egg-banking
From this video you will find out:
  • What are the pros and cons of egg banking?
  • What does the egg- and embryo-freezing process look like?
  • What are the indications for fertility preservation?
  • When egg donation treatment is usually indicated?
  • How are the egg donors selected?
  • How does the egg donation matching process work?
  • What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous egg donation treatment?

What is Egg Banking?

In this webinar, Rocío López, Embryologist at PreGen (Vistahermosa UR), Alicante, Spain, discussed egg banking from her perspective as an embryologist.

What is Egg Banking? - Questions and Answers

I am trying to understand the difference between the known carrier match test and another test called the GeneXMatch. I do not fully understand the difference between these tests to be performed between the donor and me.

There are two ways to match the donor with the recipient. The first way is phenotypical matching characteristics such as eye colour, skin colour, skin and hair high colour are matched. The other way is gene matching. We perform a blood test of the egg donor and the partner of the recipient, in this way, we can know if they have some genetic diseases, and it’s the same for the partner of the recipient, and we do the matching and making sure that both of them are not carrying the same pathology.

There are two types of panels. The basic panel where we study 50 diseases, and the other one is a much bigger panel where we can study more diseases. In our clinic, we don’t use GeneXMatch, so it’s hard to advise on that.

What is the percentage of eggs that survive the thawing when vitrified at 40 based on your experience?

The quality of the oocytes decreases at 38-40 years old. The survival rate is not affected however, the quality, genetics, morphology of the oocytes will be affected. That’s why it’s better to preserve fertility earlier at around 32 and until 35-36 years old.

If we want 2 children with an egg donor, is it possible to have the same donor for both? I assume embryos would be vitrified again after the first use? 

In Spain, we have a limit of the number of times the donor can donate, it’s a maximum of 6 donations. If you go for a fresh egg donation, and you transfer either 1 or 2 embryos, but you have some surplus and let’s say, it’s positive, and if you keep vitrified embryos, you can use these embryos in the future.

If both transfers are positive, you get two babies, of course, I guess that you mean that both children to be brothers or sisters we can do that of course, but we can never guarantee that we will have surplus embryos to freeze, in case, we don’t have embryos to freeze, then we can try to ask the donor if in the future she will be able to donate. That’s more or less what we do nowadays, it’s always important to remark that according to Spanish law, there is a maximum time that a donor can donate, which is a maximum of six times, we also need to take that into account. However, as soon as the donor can donate, we can use the same donor.

Can you combine Fenomatch with GeneXMatch, or do you need to choose one or the other, and do you use Ovomatch at your clinic? 

We only use Fenomatch. Apart from using Fenomatch, which is a tool that minimizes the risk of human error when selecting the donor, we also use 3 filters, like a genetic filter, biometric filter, to find the best donor that will match you.

The maximum percentage will be the best option for you. We also perform psychological screening of the donor, we also screen the donors with the six most common autosomal recessive diseases such us, fragile X syndrome, Cystic fibrosis (CF), we also perform a karyotype. We don’t use GeneXMatch or Ovomatch, we just use Fenomatch, and we ask the recipient to do a selfie with no makeup, no filter, no glasses, and we will use this picture, upload it on the software, and we will get a result.

How many cycles of egg freezing are needed to obtain enough eggs? 

We usually need around 8-10 mature eggs to have good preservation from the patient. That will depend on the patient’s ovarian reserve and age. It can be one or two cycles. For us, a good number will be between 8-10 eggs.

Authors
Rocío López

Rocío López

Rocío López is an Embryologist at Pregen (Vistahermosa UR), Alicante, Spain. Rocío obtained her Master degree in Reproductive Medicine and Genetics at UMH (Alicante, Spain) in 2018 and her Bachelor degree in Biotechnology at UE (Madrid, Spain) in 2017. She's also a member of the Association for the Study of the Biology of Reproduction (ASEBIR), since 2018 and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), since 2021.
Event Moderator
Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka is an International Patient Coordinator who has been supporting IVF patients for over 2 years. Always eager to help and provide comprehensive information based on her thorough knowledge and experience whether you are just starting or are in the middle of your IVF journey. She’s a customer care specialist with +10 years of experience, worked also in the tourism industry, and dealt with international customers on a daily basis, including working abroad. When she’s not taking care of her customers and patients, you’ll find her traveling, biking, learning new things, or spending time outdoors.

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