Embryo Donation/adoption is advised when couples experienced both male and female factor infertility where the female partner is unable to achieve and/or maintain a pregnancy with her own eggs and where the male partner's sperm sample is not of fertilizing capacity.
Embryo adoption/donation is a simple and cost-effective alternative whereby an embryo that is donated by another couple helps to create a new family. An embryo –which results from joining an egg and a sperm– is adopted and transferred into the adopting patient’s uterus to achieve pregnancy. This allows patients to enjoy pregnancy, delivery and parenthood.
In most cases, embryos are produced by couples who have participated in assisted reproduction programs with their own gametes or by double donation (eggs and sperm) and, having achieved to become parents, decide to donate their embryos, which remained frozen, to other couples.
Embryo donation can be either fresh or frozen.
Embryo donation consists in transferring into the woman's uterus embryos donated by other couples that have undergone fertility treatments. Some couples, after achieving their pregnancy, decide to donate anonymously their remaining embryos, providing another couple or single woman with an opportunity to have children too. The frozen embryos are thawed and transferred to the uterus.
Fresh embryo transfer on the other hand simply takes place by having donor egg which is fertilized with the donor sperm on the day of egg retrival . The fertilized eggs, now called embryos are then transferred to the woman uterus.
Getting the mother’s uterus ready for treatment is a very simple procedure. It requires oral administration of tablets or transcutaneous administration of oestrogen (i.e. patches) until transference, and subsequent administration of vaginal progesterone. Normally, a single ultrasound scan is previously needed, which effectively reduces the number of visits and the cost of the procedure. The beginning of the hormone treatment is synchronized with the patient’s menstrual cycle (natural or artificial in case of lack of menstruation), and endometrial growth (i.e. the inner layer of the uterus, where embryos are implanted) is monitored by ultrasound to calculate a due date for embryo transfer.