Embryo donation is a variant of advanced fertility therapies which enable infertile couples to conceive. Frozen embryos have been thawed and used for many years to achieve successful pregnancies. In fact, often donor embryos have been more successful than donor sperms and eggs in a mature pregnancy.
Embryo donation is performed under strict guidelines and medical protocols that include screening for various infectious and genetic diseases along with extensive counselling. Embryo donors are not paid for this donation, but all the expenses incurred during the procedure of embryo donation are reimbursed by the recipient couple.
Who is a candidate for embryo donation?
- If you and your partner are unable to conceive for any reason (poor sperm motility, inadequate sperm quantity, etc ).
- If all infertility medications/treatments have failed
- If there is a high risk of transmission of a genetic disorder to your child from either parent
- Single women who have undergone menopause.
Who can donate embryos?
- Typically, couples who have the excess of stored embryos after repeated IVF cycles and now have their own child can help other couples who are childless.
- Embryo donation can occur between two known or unknown individuals. Friends, relatives and strangers to can donate an embryo for a couple.
How does embryo donation process work?
- Embryo donors undergo a session of counselling to understand the moral and ethical implications of embryo donation. Complete counselling regarding the entire procedure and future aspects once the child is born are explained and clarified. Donation of the embryo is a voluntary procedure and the donor must voluntarily accept the rules of donation. The donating couple must agree to not try to contact the child born from the embryo they donated.
- Occasionally, donor and recipient physical features are matched. This can also include interests and hobbies.
- Once the recipient has received the donor embryo, it will be implanted in the uterus of the recipient women. A positive pregnancy test should occur within two weeks confirming successful embryo implantation. Usually not more than one embryo is transferred to avoid multiple pregnancies.
The recipient couple is the legal parent of the child born from a donated embryo. Information regarding embryo donation is withheld till the child is 18 and may be disclosed only if the parents choose too.
Success rates of Embryo donation
Success rates are usually higher than standard IVF treatment as donated embryos are from younger women and men. Better results are observed with fresh embryos than frozen embryos.
Disadvantages of embryo donation
- Lack of donors makes the entire procedure lengthy
- Not being the genetic parent can lead to mental and emotional issues between child and parent later on.
- It is an expensive procedure
Embryo donation is a wonderful option for infertile couples or same-sex couples who desire to have a child. With thorough counselling, the recipient parents can ensure a normal pregnancy and with medical supervision, complete the three trimesters successfully and easily.