Affordable Fertility Treatments
Medically reviewed by Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS - Written by CHR Staff - Updated on Nov 15, 2019
Eco Donor Egg Program (EcoDEP)
All-Inclusive Cost of $17,850*
The Most Cost-Conscious Donor Egg Program
There is no denying that the cost of egg donation is high, averaging nationally at about $25,000 per cycle, plus the cost of medications for both the donor and the recipient. With the absence of insurance coverage for egg donation, the cost of egg donation can be prohibitive for many patients who might otherwise consider pursuing this fertility treatment option that comes with the highest pregnancy rates. This is why CHR offers an innovative, lower-cost frozen donor egg program, EcoDEP, in addition to the standard egg donation program. Frozen donor eggs available in this program are listed here.
Affordable Egg Donation
Dr. Norbert Gleicher, answers common questions about low cost egg donation using our "EcoDEP" program.
Simply put, EcoDEP is a uniquely cost-conscious, affordable egg donation program. It utilizes frozen donor eggs, retrieved and frozen in advance - a new, though still experimental, alternative to our standard egg donation program, which always uses freshly donated eggs.
CHR established EcoDEP to offer patients who cannot afford a standard egg donation cycle a more economical alternative to our center's standard egg donation program (SDEP). In SDEP, recipients typically receive all eggs and embryos from a single donor, although with the recent update, recipients now also have a choice of receiving a smaller number of eggs for a correspondingly smaller egg donor fee in SDEP. With EcoDEP, recipients typically receive five (5) frozen donor eggs. A comparison chart between EcoDEP and standard egg donation program is available below.
The all-inclusive cycle cost for EcoDEP is $17,850, donor medications and ICSI included*, for five (5) frozen eggs. Recipients also have an option of purchasing more or fewer frozen eggs in EcoDEP, with the cost changing by the number of eggs they commit to purchasing. The fee is adjusted at $1,100 per frozen egg when more than or fewer than five (5) frozen eggs are purchased.
Once an EcoDEP patient accepts an egg donor in our frozen donor egg program, five (5) of this donor's frozen eggs will be thawed and fertilized with partner (or, if applicable, donor) sperm. Resulting embryo(s) are then transferred into the recipient's uterus.
*This cost does not include pre-testing, medications for the recipient and/or extra services necessary to address any male factor infertility.
EcoDEP is yet another example of how CHR constantly strives to improve medical care and cost-effectiveness of services by offering the most innovative new developments in the specialty ahead of others. It is also an example of how CHR constantly searches for ways to make state-of-the-art infertility services more affordable and accessible.
EcoDEP vs. Regular Egg Donation Programs
What differentiates EcoDEP, CHR's frozen donor egg program, from standard egg donation program?
EcoDEP is a completely new framework for egg donation, involving the use of cryopreserved (frozen) donor eggs in place of fresh donor eggs, as is the practice in the center's standard egg donation cycles.
Egg freezing is widely utilized all over the world (including at CHR) and considered by American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) as "no longer experimental." However, given the current experience levels with egg freezing and subsequent thawing, we at CHR still consider egg freezing, in contrast to the freezing of embryos, an "experimental" procedure.
Since CHR started egg freezing, in accordance with national and international professional guidelines, we have considered all egg freezing procedures "experimental," requiring the signing of an "experimental" informed consent. Like other "experimental" procedures, CHR tracks egg freezing results carefully, to discover potentially still unknown adverse outcomes as quickly as possible. As CHR develops outcome experience with the program, these outcome data, like all IVF outcome data at the center, will be posted on this website and, likely, published.
Frozen Donor Egg Program (EcoDEP)
Regular Egg Donation Program
$17,850, including donor medications and ICSI, for five (5) frozen eggs
Varies, depending on the number of eggs recipients commit to purchase, with the average in the mid- $20K range, medications not included.
What You Receive
Five (5) frozen donor eggs; however, recipients have an option of purchasing more or fewer than 5, at a cost of $1,100 per frozen egg
All or some of the eggs your chosen donor produces in the cycle
All egg donors in CHR's egg donation programs have gone through extensive screening. Less than 5% of applicants are accepted into the donor pool.
Extensive information is available on all donors, including donor photographs and sometimes videos.
Likely the largest and most diverse egg donor pool in the world, allowing very close matching
Expected Embryos per Cycle
Two (2) if five (5) frozen eggs are purchased, though minimum cannot be guaranteed.
Six (6) to eight (8) if all eggs are purchased in a typical cycle, though minimum cannot be guaranteed.
Extra embryos for Cryopreservation (Freezing)
Cumulative Pregnancy Chances, Using All Embryos
Advantages of Frozen Donor Egg Program
- The dominant advantage of EcoDEP is its price structure at a cost of $17,850, including donor medication costs and ICSI.
- EcoDEP uses the same, highly selected pool of New York egg donors as our standard egg donation program. All accepted donors have undergone the same extensive screening that all our donors go through.
- CHR accepts less than 5% of applicants into its egg donor pool. We categorically do not (as some U.S. and many overseas programs routinely do) fly in egg donors from foreign countries. We do not "import" frozen eggs from other countries, either.
- Like our standard donor program, recipients will have full access to the extensive donor information available for every egg donor at CHR, including donor photos and/or short donor videos.
- Also, like our standard egg donation program, eggs will be available immediately, and without the usual lengthy waiting periods encountered at many other IVF centers.
- Finally, EcoDEP is offered by the same excellent staff of physicians, clinical coordinators and embryologists as CHR's regular egg donation program.
Potential Disadvantages of Frozen Donor Egg Program
The principal potential disadvantage of EcoDEP lies in its still experimental framework. When a procedure is considered "experimental," it means that currently available information is not adequate to make authoritative statements about its clinical efficacy, cost-effectiveness and potential risks.
- Most authorities will agree that the worldwide experience with oocyte freezing is now large enough to conclude that pregnancies generated from frozen eggs should not result in more birth defects and/or pregnancy complications than seen with other IVF procedures.
- Where we still fall short is authoritative experience about clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness. For example, we anticipate that five (5) cryopreserved oocytes, in a very high percentage of cases, should give us two (2) good embryos for transfer. There are, however, not enough studies published (and CHR's own experience is too small) to be certain about this fact. It may turn out that we regularly get more high quality embryos, and be able to freeze them for future use of the patient; or we may find the opposite to be true.
- Based on world-wide published experiences, we, by now, are quite certain that pregnancy rates from good quality embryos, generated from frozen eggs, should not differ much from pregnancy rates with fresh oocytes. CHR, however, always tries to rely on the Center's own data when making statements about clinical outcomes, since just like other IVF centers cannot duplicate many of CHR's outcomes, we cannot automatically assume to be able to duplicate outcomes of others.
- And since we cannot, yet, be absolutely sure about the clinical efficacy of EcoDEP, we can also not be absolutely certain about the program's cost effectiveness. As already stated above, it, likely, represents, as the affix "eco" tries to convey, the most economic (i.e., least expensive) low-cost donor egg cycle this side of the Atlantic. This, however, does not necessarily make it more cost-effective than a standard egg donation cycle, which is more likely to give the recipient a larger number of embryos and, therefore, higher overall (we call this "cumulative") pregnancy chances. We are facing similar circumstances in presenting advantages and disadvantages of our EcoIVF (Mini-IVF) program in comparison to routine IVF cycles. There, because the patients' own eggs are used, the situation is, however, even more complicated since patient age plays a crucial role. When donor eggs are used, patient age play practically no role, in comparison.
A second major disadvantage lies in comparatively limited donor choice. Our standard egg donation program is known worldwide for quality, size and diversity of its egg donor pool. This is a principal reason why egg donation for patients from all over the world has, in recent years, been the most rapidly growing program at CHR.
- In comparison to our standard donor program, donor choice with EcoDEP will be smaller, and we may not be able to "match" donor and recipient closely. However, you, the patient, still remain in charge of choosing your donor. In many other egg donation programs (especially those overseas), physicians match you with donors without disclosing donor information other than ethnicity. In contrast, in our frozen donor egg program, you will still receive the same detailed information about your donor (including photographs and/or videos) as is available in our standard egg donation program.
- We have expanded the donor selection for EcoDEP somewhat over the last few years to include, most of the time, a few Caucasian, African, Asian and Hispanic donors. A listing of available frozen donor eggs can be viewed here.
What's Right for You?
Deciding between frozen & traditional donor egg program
This, of course, is the quintessential question, which we cannot answer for you. The right answer for you depends on your financial circumstances. If we lived in a perfect world, traditional donor IVF would, of course, be preferable. At least at CHR, a traditional donor IVF gives you a very wide choice of egg donors, and allows excellent "matching" between donor and recipient.
Traditional egg donation also offers you a higher cumulative pregnancy chance in comparison to EcoDEP since you end up with more transferrable embryos.
We, however, do not live in a perfect world, and money matters. There can also be no doubt that EcoDEP is dramatically less costly than a traditional donor cycle. In the end, it takes only one embryo to conceive; that is, if it is the right embryo, and we have a little bit of luck in the process!
Nobody can tell you what to do in such circumstances. All we can do here at CHR is to offer you full transparency by providing you with all the pros and cons for the various options available. We did our best in these pages, but our staff will be happy to answer whatever additional questions you may have. We know how difficult a decision this is, and are committed to do everything in our power to help you in reaching the right decision for your circumstances.
"If I Use Donor Eggs, Is My Child Really Mine?"
New research in the field of epigenetics (the study of changes in gene expression due to environmental factors) suggests that women who use donor eggs have a lot more influence on their child’s genes than previously thought. Many geneticists agree that the time spent in the womb is the most critical period for determining how the child’s genes will function for the rest of its life -- so in many ways, you are just as important as your egg donor in determining how your baby’s genes work. Learn more about your biological connection to your donor egg baby in our video.
View Available Frozen Donor Eggs
All the frozen donor eggs available immediately in our EcoDEP program are listed on this page. Please contact us if you are interested in any of the donors in EcoDEP. Detailed information beyond what is posted on the website will be available to our patients after their initial physician consultation.
Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS
Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned specialist in reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.