In the current practice of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), some patients may create more embryos (fertilised eggs) than they need. The extra embryos may be cryopreserved (frozen) so that they can be transferred later. However, sometimes these embryos may not be used. These patients have the option to donate these embryos to another woman/couple to achieve pregnancy. The decision to donate embryos can have a significant impact on the donor and their family. Therefore donating embryos should be considered carefully.
Who receives donated embryos?
The use of donated embryos may be considered by women with untreatable infertility that involves both partners, untreatable infertility in a single woman, recurrent pregnancy loss thought to be related to the embryo, and genetic disorders affecting one or both partners.
Who can be an embryo donor?
Individuals of all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds can become embryo donors. This includes individuals of all different heights, shapes and sizes, as long as they meet the prerequisites below:
Types of donors
There are two main types of embryo donation:
Known Donation: This is where the donor and recipient personally know each other and there is an existing relationship between them.
Clinical Recruited Donation In the case of “Clinic Recruited Donation” the recipient does not know the donor, and the donor’s identity may remain unknown to the recipient.
Screening of Embryo Donors
These tests are required as part of the routine screening process. Both the partners will be screen for the following diseases:- HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis. Blood Grouping should be taken into consideration.
It is important for couples who are considering pregnancy with donated embryos to attend a counselling session. Counselling provides the opportunity to discuss treatment on a more personal level. It allows couples to raise issues that are more private, such as individual concerns, relationship difficulties, or current life situations that may affect the couple’s experience of treatment. Consideration relating to issues of a child’s future right, who has been conceived from donor gametes, to know their genetic background will be discussed.
The Gynaecologist, IVF Specialist and counsellor will do final review on the counselling process, blood tests and consent forms to ensure everything is ready for the embryos to be allocated for use.