Have you ever wondered where these donated embryos come from? In most IVF cases the destruction of embryo is rare. Most infertile couples who have undergone the IVF have leftover embryos that are carefully cryopreserved in the storage. (It means they are frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen at -196°C). Such couples donate these embryos for adoption. The donor may be known or anonymous. Patients who are eligible for egg donation are also eligible for embryo donation. These embryo donations are handled by the embryo banks or fertility clinics. Are you uncertain about what to do with your frozen embryos? Ease the “pain of infertility” for others – Give hope through embryo donation!
People who have extra frozen embryos remaining after an IVF legally donate these embryos to be used by couples who have trouble conceiving. After the legal contracts are executed the uterus is prepared using hormones to mimic the natural menstrual cycle. The uterine lining is then monitored with a transvaginal ultrasound. Once the uterine lining is optimal, the embryos are thawed and transferred into the recipient mother's womb with the help of a thin catheter, hoping that they will implant into the uterine lining and establish a pregnancy. Most patients remain awake during the procedure and can watch the transfer on a sonogram monitor. Though the embryo transfer procedure takes only 10 to 20 minutes, you will be advised to rest for a few hours at the clinic after which you can resume your normal daily activities.
The following persons may consider Embryo donation
- Couples with both male and female factor infertility where the female partner is unable to carry and/or sustain a pregnancy with her own eggs and where the sperm samples of her partner lacks fertilization capacity
- Couples who are at a higher risk of passing on genetic disorders to their potential offspring
- Women whose ovarian reserves have been severely depleted or compromised and need both donor eggs and donor sperm in order to get pregnant
The most suited candidates for embryo donation include
- Couples who have experienced recurrent IVF failures
- Couples who cannot afford the huge costs of infertility treatments
- Couples who have very low chances of success with other fertility treatments
- Couples who are not willing to pursue the expensive and emotionally exhausting process of traditional adoption
A pregnancy resulting from embryo donation bears the same risks and complications as any other pregnancy, with the additional consideration of the age and medical conditions of the recipient. There is also no guarantee that a donated embryo will result in pregnancy. There is an increased risk of multiple births when multiple embryos are transferred into the uterus.
The success rates for frozen embryo transfers are slightly lower than those achieved with fresh embryo transfers. The pregnancy rate will depend on the freezing techniques, the number and quality of embryos transferred your age and your cause of infertility. However, babies born from frozen embryos have higher birth weights than babies born from fresh embryos. There is also no guarantee that a pregnancy and live birth will result from the donation of embryos.
Embryo donation is a fairly new concept for infertile couples to conceive. The embryo donation option can be a benevolent and fulfilling decision for those who want to “pay it forward” and give the extraordinary “gift of life” to others who have been undergoing the “anguish of infertility” they once experienced. Egg donation – an act of pure altruism and satisfaction of helping an infertile couple have a child.