Receiving donated embryos
Do I need donated embryos?
You may need to use donated embryos if both your and your partner have fertility problems such as:
- Women who have been born without ovaries
- Women with a premature menopause (which may occur as young as 20) or whose ovaries have been affected by treatment for cancer
- Women or men with serious genetic disorders who do not want to risk passing these on to their children
- Men who do not produce sperm or with sperm unsuitable even for ICSI
Embryo donation gives hope to couples who previously thought they would be unable to have children.
Who are the donors?
All our embryo donors contact us expressing a wish to donate embryos. They are couples who have had treatment and have frozen embryos stored that they wish to donate.
The female partner would have been between the ages of 21 and 35 years when the embryos were created. Ideally those donating embryos will have had children and completed their families.
All donors have a medical history taken about themselves and their families. This minimises the risk of passing on genetic diseases. Donors also undertake a number of blood tests that screen for viruses such as HIV and hepatitis, and genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis.
What does treatment using donated embryos involve?
Our programme involves registration followed by an initial consultation where we record the characteristics of you and your partner. Where possible we try to achieve a good match with donors, however with so few embryos available for donation this may not be possible to any great extent. After consultation we will arrange an appointment for you with our counsellor. You and your partner will need to see a counsellor, irrespective of previous counselling for other forms of fertility treatment.
When donor embryos become available you will be contacted by the donor coordinator to plan the fertility treatment cycle. This involves taking hormones which prepare the uterus so that it is receptive to embryo implantation.
How successful is treatment using donated embryos?
As we carry out so few treatments using donated embryos we cannot quote detailed figures. However our success rate for pregnancy resulting from embryo donation is between 20%-30% per attempt, similar to our frozen embryo transfer rate.