Embryo donation is an ideal option to embrace parenthood if the natural conception process is not working. Embryo donation at a fertility clinic is another form of assisted reproduction that allows people to have their child without a genetic connection. Trying to conceive with infertility is a complex process and certain health conditions make it difficult.
Medical and mental counselling and details of the embryo donation procedure are kept confidential and are considered third-party donations.
How to conduct the procedure?
In natural conception, process fertilization occurs in the fallopian tube where the fertilized egg stays for some days to divide and achieve an early embryo. After which it enters the uterus and gets attached to the uterine wall.
In the artificial process, several fertility drugs are injected to stimulate ovaries and release multiple eggs. With the help of ultrasounds, eggs are tracked till they mature and could be collected through a minor procedure. In fertility labs, the eggs are exposed to the husband’s or donor’s sperm depending upon the case.
Embryo donation in IVF
Since in-vitro fertility methods are used to achieve pregnancy by fertilizing eggs and sperm in fertility labs. This results in more than one embryo (fertilized eggs). One embryo is transferred to the uterus on standard maturation to attain pregnancy. Extra embryos are cryopreserved (frozen) to be transferred later or for plans/additional children. If they don’t require other fertilized embryos, these couples have the option to either discard or donate (for research or pregnancy purposes to other couples).
Who is eligible to donate or receive an embryo?
Donated embryos can be transferred to another woman's uterus, allowing for the birth of a baby for the second mother. This process is complicated and can involve many steps.
Extra healthy embryos can be used for donation purposes. Doctors, fertility clinic experts and donating couples are required to follow specific guidelines. IVF generally leads to the development of more than one embryo and a donation can be anonymous, semi-open or open.
The receivers on the other hand are not genetically related. With the clinically assisted procedure, the recipient couple acquires the stage from the embryonic stage. As strictly stated by authorities, donors go through screening to examine the genetic conditions, health risks and untreatable infertility issues.
Why is the procedure required?
Embryo donation is an effective way for infertile couples to have children. There are various unexplained infertility conditions, genetic issues, infections or health state that restricts the chances of conceiving.
Experts at fertility clinics recommend suitable and less invasive treatments such as fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination and counselling to solve any mental trauma related to pregnancy. Age is also considered a major challenge. Some of the common health conditions that require embryo donation, can be-
- Ovulation instability- Due to hormonal, stress or genetic reasons ovulation is abnormal or absent. It leads to the release of fewer healthy eggs readily available for fertilization.
- Uterine fibroids- There are some non-cancerous tumours in the uterus known as fibroids. They don’t cause other harm but can interfere with the implantation of the embryo to the uterine wall.
- Fallopian tube blockage- It obstructs egg fertilization and the blockage leads to damage to the embryo.
- Genetic disorder- Genetic problems are identified as significant resistance in a natural pregnancy. It increases the risk of miscarriage in certain cases.
- Endometriosis- It negatively affects the normal functioning of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
- Unexplained infertility- There is a large number of cases reported with unexplained infertility despite examination.
What are the benefits of embryo donation?
The benefits of embryo donation are-
- Easy procedure
- High positivity rates of pregnancy
- Can be cryopreserved for long term
- Can be used to donate to research
- It helps couples to embrace parenthood
What are the risks associated with embryo donation?
Most cases observe successful pregnancies through embryo donation but it depends upon the age of the recipient, development stage and quality of the embryo to confirm further. Risks can include-
- The genetic makeup of embryos might carry diseases or disorders in the medical history of the family.
- Failure of embryo implantation
- Bleeding or infections
- Temporary weight gain, in some cases
- Miscarriage or premature delivery
Embryo donation facilitates a medically advanced technique to help the infertile couple to conceive and experience the journey of pregnancy. The procedure of embryo donation also benefits research purposes. Being an incredible source of stem cells it helps to research and find cures for life-threatening conditions like Alzheimer, cancer and Parkinson’s. It often serves the purpose of opening ways to pregnancy as well as positive highs towards science and medicine research. For further assistance,
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It includes the examination of the complete medical history of both partners. Blood type, Rh factor, STDs and mental health status are closely evaluated. If the woman’s age is above 40, cardiovascular, liver and pregnancy outcomes are discussed.
There is a possibility of potential abnormalities, heritable disorders and unstable pregnancy with embryo donation.
Endometriosis, hormonal fluctuation, quality of embryo or age of women might be some of the reasons.
Embryos can be preserved and live for an indefinite period. One can proceed further whenever required.
Avoid eating leftover, processed and extra sugar diets. Make sure to follow your doctor's suggestions regarding physical activities and multivitamins.