Embryo Donation

What is Embryo Donation?

Embryo donation is a process to help couples who can't conceive naturally or by in vitro fertilisation. This inability to conceive may occur because of issues either with the recipient's egg or sperm or both. To tackle such a situation, through embryo donation, the couple adopts an embryo from a donor egg that is fertilised using donor sperm.

Things you should know to choose the embryos

To choose an embryo donor, the couple together selects either a known or anonymous person. One can select a donor based on physical characteristics such as appearance or on family history, reproductive history and age. Apart from these aspects, the medical and legal aspects of the process should be considered.

Medical considerations

The intended carrier woman must be sure that her uterus can carry an embryo. Also, her medical history should be cleared to determine if it indicates anything that can affect the pregnancy. The intended mother should be properly tested and prepared. It is also recommended that both donors and recipients should undergo counselling to strengthen their mental and emotional health.

During the embryo donation process, the receiver obtains the non-autologous embryo. The couple who receives the embryo is not connected with the egg and sperm donors genetically. So, before the process starts, It should be ensured that the egg and sperm of unrelated donors are used. Embryo donation is also considered a third-party donation as the whole process is done using an unrelated sperm and donor egg.

Legal considerations

The couple who donates and the one who receives the embryo must complete the legal paperwork by stating and clarifying that the intended parents will be the child's guardian. The donors might be asked to share their complete addresses.

What Process is followed during the Embryo Donation?

The IVF method is used to produce an embryo from the donor egg and sperm. The embryo form is then placed in the uterus of the recipient woman. This is how the child is considered the child of the mother who delivered him/her. This whole process is mostly done anonymously to maintain both parties' privacy.

Benefits of embryo donation

·       Compared with other traditional adoption processes, the embryo donation process allows both the donor and the receiver couple to experience the journey of pregnancy.

·       It is affordable if we compare this process to the other third parties' reproduction processes like egg donation and surrogacy. The cost of this treatment is similar to the cost of the frozen transfer cycle of the embryo process.

·       In this process, the embryos are donated and not purchased. The only costs involved in this process are those of administration and treatment.

Risks of embryo donation

There are a few risks associated with embryo donation.

·       The embryo may not be viable

·       The risk of ectopic pregnancy is almost 2-4 per cent.

·       Multiple pregnancies may result in birth defects, diabetes, premature labour, pregnancy, increased blood pressure etc.

Until now, no cases have emerged where infectious diseases have been transmitted during embryo donation.

How is the Embryo transfer done?

It is done at the doctor's clinic, two to five days after egg retrieval.

·       A mild sedative may be administered. This is a painless procedure, but mild cramps may be experienced.

·       A thin, long, flexible tube is inserted into the uterus through the vagina.

·       Next, the syringe containing one or multiple embryos is suspended and attached to the end of the tube.

·       Using the syringe, the embryos are placed in the uterus.

·       If the process is successful, the embryo will implant within six to ten days after the egg retrieval.

After the procedure

Once the above procedure is completed, the patient's daily activities can be resumed. After this procedure, the ovaries become enlarged. It is recommended to ignore vigorous activities that make you uncomfortable.

Typical side effects may include:

·       Passing of small amounts of blood

·       Tenderness of Breast

·       Mild bloating and cramping

·       Constipation

The doctor must be contacted if any mild or major complications are encountered after the procedure. 

1. Is embryo transfer painful?

This is a simple and pain-free procedure, but sometimes the injection can be slightly painful. You might experience cramps and bleeding.

2. Is a woman pregnant after the transfer of the embryo?

Yes, a woman is pregnant after the transfer process, and the experts will take care of her. To monitor further pregnancy development, she must visit the doctor frequently.

3. What is the success rate of the embryo technique?

The success rate of the embryo technique is more than 80% if done expertly.

4. Can one use the washroom after the embryo transfer?

Yes, the recipient of the embryo can use the washroom after the embryo transfer process.

5. How many embryos can be transferred?

One embryo can be transferred, but it depends upon the medical reports and the suggestion of the doctors.

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