19 Sep Benefits of Using Donated Embryos
Individuals or couples interested in third-party reproduction have the option of using donor embryos. These embryos are lovingly donated by couples who use IVF and feel their family is complete.
Rather than thaw and discard their embryos or donate them to science, these couples opt to make them available to individuals and couples pursuing IVF as a fertility treatment option.
Overview of Embryo Donation
Certain infertility diagnoses or family-building choices are more likely to direct patients toward third-party reproduction solutions. – such as using donor eggs, donor sperm, or a gestational carrier/surrogate.
Embryo donation is another form of third-party donation and one that we encourage when it feels right to our patients.
If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of embryo donation, we recommend visiting the National Embryo Donation Center website, which provides a more comprehensive overview. Here is a brief overview:
- IVF fertility treatments create a surplus of unused, viable frozen embryos.
- There are approximately 1,000,0000 (one million) embryos in the U.S. which will not be used for future IVF treatments.
- Donating/receiving embryos can be the answer to many family’s prayers.
Benefits of Using Donated Embryos For IVF
There are several benefits to being an embryo recipient (or donor).
1. It honors the life of the embryo
We understand that the question of when a fertilized egg/embryo is “alive” is one of continuous debate. Opinions aside, most couples struggle with the decision of what to do with excess embryos when their family building is complete, or they’ve decided to forgo further fertility treatments. These embryos were created as the result of immeasurable love and emotional intention.
Opting to use a donor embryo lovingly contributed by a family who has been on your journey is a beautiful way to honor their journey – and yours – full circle.
2. Uphold spiritual integrity
Similarly, many of our clients come from religious or spiritual values that honor life in all of its forms. The belief systems support IVF but are challenged when the question of “what to do with extra embryos” arises. Embryo donors report feeling invaluable peace of mind – and heart – when they know the embryos will all be used towards the mission of creating human lives.
3. High fertility rates
Statistically speaking, donated embryos contributed to higher-than-normal fertility rates for their recipients. As with any IVF success rate, the recipient’s age, physical, and reproductive/anatomical health are contributing factors. However, on average, the live birth rate for pregnancies via donated embryos is between 43% and 45%.
4. It can be more affordable than using donor eggs
Couples cannot receive any financial compensation for donating their embryos. Embryo donation is an act of untethered generosity. This is different from the large majority of egg donations. Unless you’re receiving eggs donated by a friend or family member, most egg donors are generously compensated for their efforts – and this cost passes to recipients.
In the case of embryo donation, no money changes hands. However, there are typically costs associated with being an embryo recipient as the process is treated as an embryo adoption, which requires legal work and resulting fees. Also, we highly recommend individuals or couples considering donor embryos for IVF consult with a fertility counselor to look at the decision from various angles.
If you are considering donated embryos for your IVF cycle, we’re here to help! Schedule your appointment with Dr. Putman.