With one in seven couples unable to conceive, more and more potential parents are turning to in vitro fertilization.
As technology has improved, so has the process.
In fact, San Antonio is now home to a one-of-a-kind, cutting-edge option that means parents now have choices when it comes to their offspring.
"This is revolutionary. This is the cutting edge of the field,” said Dr. Aimee Browne, a physician at the Reproductive Medicine Associates in San Antonio.
Browne’s clinic is the first in Texas to offer frozen eggs for patients.
"With frozen eggs, the eggs are ready almost immediately so couples don't have to spend a lot of time (and it has) a really good success rate,” said Browne.
Time, according to Browne, is an important factor when it comes to fertilization.
In the past, fresh eggs had to be used, meaning patients were relegated to mostly local donors.
Unlike sperm, scientists struggled to find a way to freeze eggs because they contained fluid.
Now, new technology, involving cryogenics, has changed that. The eggs are shipped across the country in small bins that utilize vapors from liquid nitrogen to keep the eggs frozen.
As a result, a growing national database of eggs is now available for local San Antonio patients to choose from.
“The more donors that you have to choose from, the more likely you are to find a donor that really fits you and what you are looking for,” said Browne.
That includes choosing a donor’s ethnicity and religious background, among other traits. The process also saves patients money, with procedures previously totaling $25,000 plus.
"Since the screening process is already done, the egg is already available; it can be almost half (the cost),” said Browne.