But couldn’t you just…

Okay, so this is going to sound horrifically naive. But I am dead serious here.

I don’t get the whole donor embryo thing. Here’s how it is in my head — or how I thought it was going to work out.

You see, we did an IVF cycle — and it was canceled, which sucked, but for the sake of argument, let’s say it went swimmingly and we got 14 good fertilized embies.

Under no circumstances were more than two of those going back into me. In which case — we would either have to freeze the dozen leftover or choose to disgard them.

By this point, we knew we were going to be moving overseas, so we weren’t going to freeze them. It doesn’t really matter how you get to this part of the equation, just go with me here.

A dozen happy embies ready to be discarded.

Why would someone have to freeze them in order to donate them? Why couldn’t someone in need of an embryo just cycle along with the rest of the folks in the clinic and take a spare when the time presented it? I know that some women are very picky about the genetic material going in, but for the rest that really just want a baby and cannot afford IVF (or for whom it would not work), why not just transfer a couple fresh ones in when you do mine?

Couldn’t you just have someone take the same drugs a surrogate gets and then have her pick up a few spare embies?

I know the answer is probably “It’s not that easy…” but could someone please explain why?

Cause I’ll tell you right now — if I had to pick between some discarded embies and adoption, I would totally go the discard route.


5 responses to “But couldn’t you just…

  1. It’s an interesting question. My guess is that the whole embryo donation market sprung up as a result of people who had frozen embryos trying to figure out an alternative to discarding – AFTER they had their kids.

    And so they built the whole process that way.

    This is just my off the cuff guess, though… 🙂

  2. If you look at the blog for Twisted Ovaries (don’t know the link but it is on cyclesista), I think she did something sort of like what you wonder about. If I remember correctly when she had her egg retrieval some of her eggs went to another woman. Not quite an embryo share but an egg share program that helped with the expense.

  3. I think it’s good that it’s not that simple. Consider that you’re thinking about those poor little homeless embryos and you know you need to make a decision NOW… At this point in time, you’re highly emotionally invested in these embryos. You’ve gone through the shots and the retrieval & waiting to hear how many were fertilized, how many grew…

    Say you go ahead and decide to donate them, not really taking the time to consider the implications, like the fact that someone else could be having your biological children (both yours and your husband’s) while you don’t even know if your own cycle is going to succeed… Ignoring all the technical issues, IMO it’s too heavy a decision to make quickly.

  4. You CAN do a shared embryo or a shared egg cycle. However, there might STILL be leftover embryos in a really unbelievably successful cycle. What to do with those? Those embryos could still be donated to another woman who hadn’t cycled along with you, but they’d need to be frozen until she could time her cycle appropriately.

    Shared embryo/shared egg cycles are very new and very few clinics are doing them yet. My clinic has recently started one such program; it’s pretty neat and a good way to offset costs.

  5. Wow, what a neat idea.

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