Spain: Frozen eggs for the IVF procedure

Published 17/03/2013 in Medicine, Society

Spain: Frozen eggs for the IVF procedure

More and more women hurry to freeze their eggs in order to delay pregnancy for a more appropriate period. Oocyte cryopreservation technology is very popular today all over the world in particular in Spain. Fertility specialists frequently use frozen eggs in reproductive medicine, in particular during the IVF programs. As not many Spanish citizens agree to donate part of their body for the sake of infertile couples, private clinics prefer to buy eggs and transfer them from other countries.

All fine and dandy but in practice, cryopreservation of oocytes has both its pros and significant cons. On the one hand such method is great chance, for example, for patients with cancer diseases. Freezing cells in a healthy state, women can be sure facing any diseases that can affect the process of conceiving and carrying a child. And when it comes to late pregnancy, in this case frozen oocytes can seriously quit on. The matter is doubtful quality of frozen material and as a result it can cause unsuccessful pregnancy.

Spain is a modern developed European country. Medicine of this sunny state is considered to be one of the best in the world. So why, for example, Ukraine, the third world country breaks all possible records as of successful IVF and surrogacy programs realization? Comparing Spain and Ukraine in general and their medicine in particular, it is as one of the first mobile phones and the latest iPhone model. Ukrainian fertility clinics attract women from across the country with bright advertisements, so that they become egg donors and surrogate mothers. These women are paid «a penny» for such serious programs, and consequences of such procedures as egg donation, is far from bloomy.

Thus, in the case of wrong dosage of hormones (donors take them to produce more eggs) it can be an ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which can even cause death. As a result of hormonal stimulation, donor can face a whole bunch of diseases and complications. But donors agree to participate in programs, doctors stimulate, while Ukraine is in the list of leaders in the successful implementation of IVF and surrogacy programs.

In the Internet one can find a lot of articles about the fact that Ukrainian doctors work wonders in the field of reproductive medicine! Foreign infertile couples travel to Ukraine from all over the world, fighting with their own fears to find themselves in a wild country, in the hands of uneducated doctors who work in conditions of the last century. But what is the secret of their great success?

After meeting with representatives of Ukrainian clinics of reproductive medicine, as well as studying various medical forums, the answer has appeared itself. Work with fresh eggs is the core of IVF success. Combining fresh eggs with sperm and performing embryo transfer on the fifth day (the most successful period to work with blastocysts) Ukrainian specialists (Europeans call them Neanderthal man) achieve fantastic results. It can be seen from the statistics. IVF with frozen eggs: 7 % – failure pregnancy after 15 days, 3% – successful pregnancy, 90% – negative result. IVF with fresh eggs: 3 % – failure pregnancy after 15 days, 93% – successful pregnancy, 4% – negative result.

Female germ cells are large and contain water. So after their cooling freezing) crystals are formed, which distort the integrity of the gametes. As a result, due to cell homeostasis disturbance, most part of material cannot be used for the fertilization. Also, there may be defects in cells, not visible during transplantation. Such degeneration of genetic material in future, can significantly affect the health condition of unborn children.

Chairman of American community of Reproductive Medicine states: «Although analysis of literature shows that cryopreservation technique is effective for women who need it for medical reasons, we cannot use it widely to plan births».

Today, Spain activates vitrification method (modern method of ultra-rapid freezing of genetic material). Vitrification can enhance quality of freezing. As a result material will be exposed to less risk and have more chances to survive. Anyway, this is far from ideal.

Freezing of eggs is still a new science, and scientists continue to work on improving this technology. There are many issues that are needed to be done to optimize the processes of eggs freezing. Maybe in 10 years, the world of medicine and science will achieve great results and develop freezing technology, it will be an innovative method of eggs freezing as a result of which the quality of the material will raise and number of miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and congenital anomalies will be minimized. And then Spain will be able to boast of a high birth rate of IVF procedures and lead the list of leaders in this area.

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25 CommentsAdd yours

  • Suzan - 20/08/2013 Reply

    Oh, such a problem for Europe… frozen embryos are not so succesful. I had 5 attempt on frozen and zero result. Only fresh material helped me to become a mother these year and I plan to go to Ukraine again, because they work on fresh. We have to wait 3 years here in UK to have donation and not on fresh. Ukraine is maybe not the best choice to live there, but reproductive medicine has advantages.

  • Natalie77 - 21/08/2013 Reply

    Suzan, you saying you go to Ukraine again? I suppose you have a positive experience in Ukraine? I was thinking about possibility to go there, do you really think it is worth it?

  • Suzan - 21/08/2013 Reply

    Hi Natalie! I am going to Ukraine for the second time, I have a baby 1 year old, a girl and I am going for a brother or sister for her. I assure you that fresh embryos in Ukraine are of a very good quality and the specialists are really good.

  • Sylvia - 21/08/2013 Reply

    Wir haben Eizellspende in Spanien gemacht und alle fünf Versuche waren erfolglos für uns. Wir haben auf positives Resultat sehr gehofft, haben gedacht Spanien kann die beste Variante für Eizellspende sein…Nachdem wir die Information über den Zustand der Eizellen in der Klinik angefragt haben, hat sich herausgestellt, dass bei jedem unseren Versuch die gefrorenen Eizellen eingesetzt wurden. Wir sind überzeugt das war der Hauptgrund unseres Misserfolgs. Deswegen möchten wir Eizellspende in der Ukraine versuchen, da die Ukraine hohe Leistungen bei der künstlichen Befruchtung zeigt. In zwei Wochen fliegen wir zum ersten Termin.

  • Jessica Miller - 11/10/2013 Reply

    Really?! Why don’t the doctors explain that difference! We are currently planning our visit to Europe for the IVF procedure. It’s cheaper than in the US. But we weren’t sure, where to go. Ukraine is so unknown for us, it’s kinda former USSR country. But now, when I’ve learnt this info, probably we’ll give it a try.

    • gait - 16/03/2014 Reply


      I’m in the UK and I have visited many clinics in the UK and Spain.

      I have not yet had an IVF but I planning to have it in USA. Why?- because USA is more advance that Europe well more.
      In relation to fresh and Frozen if the clinic has a good lab there is no difference. In fact in USA if you look at the SART results clinics are now moving toward frozen.

      If you insist in Europe I ;ll recomedn ivi spain.

  • Rosa Maria - 14/10/2013 Reply

    Que estan hablando, gente!

    Soy de Madrid y puedo decir que la medecina aca es un sector avanzado. Nuestros doctores estan los mejores de Europa. Como puede comparar Uсrania y Espana? Que mal…

    • Jessica Miller - 14/10/2013 Reply

      Rosa Maria, sorry if I’m wrong (I used the Translator service), but what success are you talking about??? Your clinics are working on the frozen eggs, that you buy in Ukraine. So why don’t we just go straight to the source?

  • Jeremy - 14/10/2013 Reply

    My wife and I were in Kiev 5 months ago and I disagree with you, Rosa Maria! Doctors we met in reproductive clinics were attentive and did their work perfectly well! We enrolled in the ICSI program due to my sterility. I do agree with previous comment. What for to go to Spain if they buy eggs from Ukraine? Don’t see the logics here…

  • Andrea - 15/10/2013 Reply

    Mein Freund und ich haben auch Eizellspende in Spanien versucht und auch ohne Erfolg. Man findet hier so viele positive Kommentare über die Reproduktionsmedizin in der Ukraine. Wir wünschen uns Kinder sehr, deswegen machen uns schon Gedanken über die Eizellspende in der Ukraine.

  • Kate - 21/10/2013 Reply

    Hi there! I am not a physician but if you think over the topic of frozen eggs logically, you may come to the conclusion that frozen is worse than fresh. Basically, is it better to eat fresh or frozen fruits? So, there is no doubt whatsoever, that fresh egg is of a better quality than the frozen one. Plus, I believe in God and his willingness upon the child birth. Cryoconservation is like trying to be wiser than God and to decide when the TIME for a baby comes…hmmm, it is not ok for most people.

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  • Amia Barnes - 23/09/2015 Reply

    I have an experience of infertility treatment in Spain. What can I say? It’s great state with high European level. Clinic where I was is very beautiful and I was treated there like a queen. All I needed I received in a minute. But the only thing I hadn’t receive – child! After three unsuccessful IVF attempts in Spain I went to Ukraine. My husband found Biotexcom clinic. So we decided to try. There were proposed surrogacy program. We agreed. As a result of the program we had twins and had to pay additional money. We were not against twins. But I met in clinic couples that didn’t want twins categorically. Not so many people know that for example Indian doctors transfer large number of embryos at once. They say that just want increase chances of a successful pregnancy.
    Our program in Ukraine was about 30 000 euro. And we had “all inclusive” package with meals, accommodation and transfer. The most important is that we had guarantee result. And in such countries as India or Mexico the result cannot be even predicted. The surrogate mothers live in horrible conditions. They can be bearers of different diseases and infections.

  • Alexsoppp - 23/09/2015 Reply

    A new, safer way for egg freezing. With the advent of improved technology, medical scientists are now better able to protect the cell through cryopreservation. One such technology is a flash-freezing process called vitrification, which has largely replaced slow-freezing. In vitrification, an egg is placed in a bath with a cryoprotectant and sucrose, a sugar, which helps draw some of the water out of the egg. The egg is then placed in a high-concentration cryoprotectant (a substance used to protect biological tissues from damage due to freezing) for about a minute. This is then placed in liquid nitrogen at temperatures of -196°C, which instantly freezes the egg. In this process, the egg turns into a glasslike substance and avoids the formation of ice, which protects it from damage when it is thawed. “We’ve had about 10-12 patients since the procedure was set up. Egg freezing for these women has been successful. Some women diagnosed with cancer opt for freezing their eggs as a safeguard in case their fertility is affected by the cancer or in the course of treatment,” said director of fertility center. What can you say? Science doesn’t rest )

  • Science - 24/09/2015 Reply

    “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”. This well-known phrase by Benjamin Franklin can be applied not only to business issues but to the pregnancy as well. It’s not worth women to put child-bearing on the long finger – before you can say Jack Robinson your reproductive age will come to an end and it will be problematic to get pregnant in a natural way. Over the recent years, the average age of women giving birth has risen higher. For example, in countries of European Community women bear their first child at age of 28, in Germany and United Kingdom – at 32. Women in Western countries, on average, get pregnant later and are limited to one baby. In the 21st century, effect of “deferred child” actively manifests in the society: young families prefer to wait until their financial conditions will be improved and to give birth in adulthood. People dedicate their youth to education, career, traveling or entertainment rather than to start family life and parenting at an early age. Medicine also smooth the way for such tendency. Nowadays, woman can successfully get pregnant at any age with the help of assisted methods of reproductive medicine. There are clinics of reproductive medicine which specialize in conducting IVF programs with donor eggs for women over 40.

  • rori82 - 08/08/2016 Reply

    There is some truth in this article. No one can say for sure that somewhere the medicine is good, somewhere is bad. I used IVF in Barcelona, in clinic which cooperates with the Ukrainian one. Our attempts were successful only from the third try, but considering that the eggs were frozen it`s a very good result. I think it`s wrong to say that the IVF service here is not so good. We use ootids from other country but we prefer to do it in Spain. The reason is that there is a deficit of eggs in our country. And the quality of Ukrainian cells is much better than the ones from other countries. Personally I know one couple who decided to go to that clinic, Biotexcom, in Ukraine to do the procedure here. They say that it is cheaper than here and almost all attempts are successful. But I`m afraid to go there alone. Another country, another people…

  • minny12 - 08/08/2016 Reply

    I’m 58 and age is my disadvantage, so my eggs were not good and the suggested treatment was egg donation. We first had an egg donation treatment two years ago in Spain, in Barcelona. It was completely unsuccessful, and the embryo transfer was extremely painful. There was never any mention of sedation. And it should have been. Because of the scarring, there was no way to get the catheter through. They knew all my medical history, but didn’t take it into account. I had an ectopic pregnancy a few years back, and a couple years ago, I had an abscess in my fallopian tubes. When I was having these problems with the ectopic pregnancy, I also had a cone biopsy. That left scarring, and so from then on it would be difficult to transfer any embryos. Generally we are disappointed . Now we would like to go to Kiev, Ukraine. I heard that there is very good clinic biotexcom . So maybe our next experience will be effective.

  • Rachel7 - 08/08/2016 Reply

    I consider myself lucky that I made up the mind to such step as IVF in Ukraine. First, I was going to do the procedure in Spain where I live, but the doctor who consulted me, told, that the eggs here are of quite low quality and the chance of my pregnancy after the procedure is about 10-25%. And in my case, I`m single pressed for many woman it is the best variant. With my cousin we flew to Ukraine. They met us at the airport, provided with housing. Quite fast they found a donor for me and did all the necessary procedures. I spent there just a few weeks and all this time they watched over my health. I became pregnant from the second attempt. The thing which surprises me most of all, I spent less money, than my acquaintance, who did fertilization in Spain.

  • katarina - 04/01/2017 Reply

    Having read this article I was shocked. As I faced such problem as infertility and used IVF procedure in Spain. We went through 5 attempts and result of all of them was unsuccessful. We asked doctors why so but they say nothing about frozen donor eggs. and their low quality. Now I have examined this issue more, read information and I understand that just frozen eggs were the core of my unfortunate IVF attempts. Now my husband and I have been thinking about our visit to Ukraine. We want to try once again as there, great doctors work and make wonders in the field of reproductive medicine.

  • GoGoSpain - 04/01/2017 Reply

    As for me Ukraine is something strange and unknown. I will certainly go to Spain. I like this county and everything that related to it. Ukraine is the third world county. And it can be written in one list with India and other wild destinations. To say the truth, I can’t understand how people can go there and moreover use local reproductive medicine???!!! Spain will show everyone that it’s a leader. Spanish fertility specialists buy cells (donor eggs) in Ukraine for the IVF programs conduction on the territory of Spain. So, it means you need not take a risk and go to the dangerous country. You can use the same material in high developed European state! And as of doctors the can be found in Spain as well and not worse. There are a lot of professionals not only in Ukraine but all over the world. I guess European medical specialist have more interesting and professional experience than their Ukrainian colleagues. It’s no doubt that it’s just a matter of taste what country and service to choose. But I 100% in Spain’s favor. I consider it to be better than Ukraine. Much better. And people go there and find their solution as well in Spain. There are great clinics for human reproduction, specialized medical centers with high service and appropriate level of treatment.

  • Jennifer - 04/01/2017 Reply

    Frozen eggs are good variant for those ones who have for example certain problems with heath. But if there is no serious reason to froze eggs and postpone pregnancy it will be better to do with the fresh biological material and at an appropriate age which will be better to successful pregnancy. Some years ago, companies called people to freeze their eggs. And a lot of women have made it. Firstly, it costs much money to take the eggs and to save them in an appropriate condition. In time, later it has become known that frozen eggs can’t guarantee the positive successful pregnancy at all. It means one in ten that you will reach wanted pregnancy and everything will be well. Today there are a lot of articles and one can find results of scientific researches and studies. All they show that fresh eggs are much better than the frozen ones. Therefore, fear women don’t hesitate and start thinking about your future children. I think that any work, career or something else were not well worth it. If you are young and have good healthy eggs start your pregnancy. But if you need egg donation I can say that Ukraine is very good for such procedure. They use only fresh donor eggs and it multiplies chances for success

  • Andrea - 27/02/2017 Reply

    My personal experience: Ukrainian doctors are not afraid to use new technologies and products, in contrast to European doctors. This allows you to get pregnant and make it even if there are problems in women.
    For many years I had a bad experience in Spain in three different clinics. I paid a lot of money for donor eggs. And I do not get any results.

    In 2015, we found the international agency, which has its own database of egg donors. It is not Vitrified oocytes are living girl, with whom you can talk on Skype, see their photos, to obtain important information for you.

    I came to Kiev chose donor eggs – and for a short time, we got 14 beautiful embryos. Now I’m waiting for the child. Not a single program in a Spanish clinic I had never taken so many different drugs. I think that they are allowed to get and keep my pregnancy. I am happy and I regret only that amount of time is lost in Spain. If immediately went to Ukraine, my child would have to go to school.

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