I’ve decided to focus our efforts on what we call third party reproduction, which is egg donation and surrogacy. Being focused in this relatively narrow area allows us to, in my opinion, do a better job and be able to give better support to the clients.
For egg donors, of course we are looking for women who are healthy and women who have good eggs. We only take young women under the age of 30, non-smokers with good family medical histories. Those candidates will go through a medical evaluation, a psychological evaluation, as well as genetic and infectious disease screening. We usually eliminate over 90 per cent of the applicants for one reason or another.
Our freezing technique: in the past we use a different method called slow freezing where the success rate was relatively low. That changed dramatically with the introduction of a new technique called vitrification or flash freezing. This technology allows us to preserve the viability of the eggs so they survive the freeze and thaw process. Now we treat frozen eggs the same way we treat
fresh eggs. We’ve developed our own egg freezing protocol that allows us to get almost 100% survival rate and the same viability as we do with fresh eggs.
The eggs that we freeze in collaboration with the Northeast Assisted Fertility Group do extremely well. The agency that does an extremely good job finding those candidates that will yield good results. Having a good collaboration and connection with the with the agency makes a huge difference.
What makes Takes³ different?
I’m Kathy Benardo, the director of the egg donor program at Takes3. We recruit egg donor candidates from all over the United States and match them with hopeful parents from all over the world.
Which is better? FRESH or FROZEN
Your own personal preferences and situation will dictate whether you go with frozen or fresh. First of all, you have to pick a donor who you like. So if there’s a fresh donor you love, you go with the fresh, and if there’s a frozen donor you love, go with the frozen. If you don’t have a lot of time, frozen saves you many months. But if you have the time, you may go with fresh. There’s a slight advantage in long-term success rates with fresh eggs, but we mitigate that risk in our program by only freezing successful repeat donors.
Why are our prices higher than at a traditional frozen egg bank?
Takes3 is not a traditional egg bank: we don’t recruit as many donors
as possible and bank as many eggs as possible. We go for quality over quantity because we know that’s what our recipients are looking for. They want the most educated and attractive candidates, and they want successful repeat donors. In order to attract those women, you have to pay them more. In the end, the cost of a batch of frozen eggs is pretty much equivalent to a fresh cycle and you’re saving time.
How do you choose donors to freeze eggs?
They have to be very attractive and well educated as these are typically the donors who are most sought after. The other thing is that she has to be a repeat donor with excellent previous results: she made a good number of eggs that fertilize really well and that way. we can ensure better success for our recipients in the long run.
Why did you choose to work with the New England Fertility Institute?
We’ve had a long relationship with Lavy in the 15-16 years that we’ve been in business. Dr. Lavy has a great lab with a great protocol for freezing eggs. He’s very experienced with it and we’ve had a lot of success with all the work that we’ve done with him so far.