Sometimes when couples use IVF to conceive children, they create more embryos than they will use. The additional unused embryos will be frozen and stored indefinitely, or until the couple wishes to use them. If the couple no longer wishes to use their embryos, they have the following options:
- Thaw and discard their embryos
- Donate to science for research purposes
- Donate to another couple who is struggling with infertility
Receiving Donated Embryos
Initially, a woman who is interested in receiving donor embryos (intended parent) must consult with one of our physicians to make sure she is a candidate. The process of receiving donor embryos is very similar to the process of using donor egg. The woman does not need to go through egg retrieval, instead she only does the transfer portion of a traditional IVF cycle.
At RMG, we offer support for two types of embryo donation:
- Known embryo donation
- 3rd party agency donation
Embryo donation vs. Embryo Adoption
The term adoption is legally used to refer to the placement of a living child. Since embryos are not living children, the law views embryos as medical tissue donations, similar to an egg donation. Legal agreements are needed to proceed with embryo donation.
Embryo Donation Success
The national average pregnancy rates for IVF with donor embryos averages around 35%. The success rates are higher depending on the age of the biological mother at the time of her egg retrieval, and higher with embryos made from donor eggs (due to ideal health and age of egg donors).