Donor Embryo

What is embryo donation?

With in-vitro fertilization (IVF), some people may create more embryos (fertilised eggs) than they need. The extra embryos may be cryopreserved (frozen) so that they can be used at a later date. However, sometimes these embryos may not get used. These patients have an option to have their embryos removed from storage or donated to another couple.

You can choose an anonymous sperm donor from our sperm bank or you can ask someone that you know to be a known-sperm donor for you.

Who receives donated embryos?
The use of donated embryos may be considered by women with untreatable infertility that involves both partners, recurrent pregnancy loss thought to be related to the embryo, and genetic disorders affecting one or both partner.
How are these embryos screened for disease?
International guidelines are strict regarding testing of people who are donating tissue, including embryos, eggs and sperm. However, most embryos that are donated were originally intended to be used by the people creating them and testing would not have been performed within the appropriate period. In these cases, the embryos may still be donated as long as the recipients are aware of the risks.
At the time of donation, the donors provide details of medical history and are tested for communicable diseases including HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis. If the donors do not have this testing or refuse to be tested, the donation will not be accepted.
How are the embryos transferred?
Ongoing contact with the clinic is encouraged. It is THE PATIENT'S RESPONSIBILITY to contact the clinic if ANY contact details have changed, i.e. change of address or phone number. If the clinic is unable to easily contact you, this is considered abandonment and your case is forward to the Internal Ethics Committee for review and possible disposal.
How are recipients evaluated?
Evaluation of the recipient is similar to that of patients undergoing IVF. Evaluation includes a comprehensive medical history from both partners, including blood type, Rh factor, testing for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Recipients undergo evaluation with respect to ‘Welfare of the Child’ concerns and will be counseled by a mental health professional about the complexity associated with using donated embryos. The recipient will undergo a pelvic exam and an assessment of her uterus (womb). If she is over 45 years old, a more thorough evaluation will be required, including an assessment of heart function and risk of pregnancy -related disease. These women may also be advised to see a doctor who specialises in high-risk pregnancy.
Is counselling necessary?
Both donor and recipients should be counseled by a mental health professional regarding the complexity associated with embryo donation. This consultation will include a discussion about the release of donor information and a discussion about future contact between donors and children resulting from their donated embryos. The recipients are counseled about issues concerning non-biological parentage including disclosure (or non disclosure) to the potential children. In cases where donors are known, the potential relationship between donors, recipients and subsequent children will be explored.
How successful is embryo donation?
Success rates with embryo donation depend on the quality of the embryos at the time they were frozen, the age of the women providing the eggs and the number of embryos transferred.
What is your chance of having a baby using frozen embryos?
Due to the freezing and thawing process, your chances of having a baby using a thawed frozen embryo are lower than with a fresh embryo.
Your chances of becoming pregnant with a thawed frozen embryo are not affected by the length of time the embryo has been stored for.
What are the risks with frozen embryos?
Not all embryos will survive freezing and eventual thawing when they come to be used. Very occasion-
ally no embryos will survive.
It is not uncommon for those embryos that do survive freezing and thawing to lose a cell or two. Ideally the embryos should continue to divide between thawing and transfer.
Together we deliver.
As embryo transfer is involved in using frozen embryos, the same risks apply.
Current research has not seen any evidence suggesting a risk to patients or to children born from frozen embryos. We will continue to review the evidence available on embryo freezing and the long-term results of frozen embryo transfer.
Clinics are required to offer counseling to all patients undergoing this process – it can be particularly helpful at this time.
Will there be any follow up by clinic staff?
Once the embryos are donated, the clinic will write to you annually to check that you are well and find out if you wish to keep the eggs in storage. The eggs are subject to an annual storage fee, currently $2,000.00TTD but this could increase over time, for the upkeep of the eggs storage solution (liquid nitrogen) and for safe monitoring.
Ongoing contact with the clinic is encouraged. It is THE PATIENT'S RESPONSIBILITY to contact the clinic if ANY contact details have changed, i.e. change of address or phone number. If the clinic is unable to easily contact you, this is considered abandonment and your case is forward to the Internal Ethics Committee for review and possible disposal.