Fresh V/s frozen sperm for frozen donor egg IVF

A recent study on frozen donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles published in a 2022 issue of Reproductive Sciences describes the use of quality fresh versus frozen ejaculated sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The investigators studied the use of 26 fresh sperm samples and 19 frozen sperm samples, with no significant intergroup demographic differences. This study showed no statistically significant difference in live birth rate (LBR), with 61.5% versus 52.6% LBR, respectively. Yet it proposed that the absolute difference in live birth rates, 8.9%, could be clinically significant.

Frozen donor egg IVF cases differ from typical IVF because the couple is not present in the clinic on the day of egg thaw to conveniently provide a fresh sperm sample. This fresh sperm collection requires an extra appointment.

The study observed a cumulative pregnancy rate of over 55%; the LBR was over 50% in both groups, which indicates that frozen sample use may be an alternative to fresh. Fresh sperm, however, maybe a slightly better option if it is more convenient.

Furthermore, the study also found no statistically significant differences in fertilization rate, blastocyst development rate, and clinical pregnancy rate between cohorts.

The clinicians and patients will benefit from these findings, as using fresh versus frozen sperm for ICSI have been an ongoing question for both groups, and 14% of the reproductive-age U.S. population experiences infertility.

This is the first published study that examines outcome differences between fresh versus frozen ejaculated sperm samples in frozen donor oocyte IVF cycles with ICSI. According to the researchers, although this study appears to focus on male IVF factors, it is really about making the most of embryos and using sperm as effectively as possible. These findings are important for allowing clinicians to use frozen sperm in this procedure confidently.

Miller CM, et al. Outcomes of frozen donor in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles using fresh versus frozen sperm. Reproductive Sciences. 2022;29:1226

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