Women who want to have additional children, or who want to have children but aren't ready yet, may wish to consider frozen embryo transfer. Frozen embryo transfer allows embryos to be saved and implanted at a later date.
After IVF treatment, some couples have extra embryos that can be cryopreserved for future use. At the Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Lubbock, TX, Dr. Janelle Dorsett explains embryo options after IVF. For more information, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
There Are a Number of Options for Embryos after IVF
One of the most important steps of IVF treatment is the harvesting and fertilization of eggs. During IVF treatment, multiple eggs are harvested at once and mixed with sperm in hopes of successful fertilization. Often, this results in multiple embryos for our Lubbock patients. One or several embryos can then be transferred to the woman's uterus to increase her chance of conception.
After embryo transfer, multiple embryos may still remain. As a result, women and couples undergoing IVF will need to decide what to do with the remaining embryos. The following are some options that may work for you and your family's needs.
Save the Embryos for a Future Transfer
Those who want to have more children after successful IVF treatment may decide to save their embryos for future embryo transfer.
Extra embryos may be frozen for future use and transferred in a process called frozen embryo transfer (FET). FET allows women to avoid the process of undergoing a full IVF cycle again.
Keep Embryos Frozen
For those who are not sure if they want more children or want to try another cycle of IVF, extra embryos can be kept frozen until a decision is made. If no decision is ever made, embryos may be kept frozen indefinitely.
Keeping embryos frozen generally comes with fees to keep the embryos frozen, which can range in price and depends on the clinic or cryobank storing the embryos.
Donate Extra Embryos to Another Couple
Another possible option for those with extra embryos is to donate them to an infertile couple. Some people think of embryo donation as a form of adoption. Although it isn't quite adoption, the end result is similar; another family will raise a child that is not biologically theirs.
Embryo donation may be done as an open or closed donation. If open, the donor may know or get to know the recipient and may stay in contact with the recipient. If closed, there will be no contact with the family or woman receiving the embryos.
Thaw and Dispose of Embryos
This can be a difficult decision, but may be the best option for those who are sure they are done having children and do not want to store their embryos indefinitely or donate them to another family.
When embryo disposal is chosen, it often helps couples to hold a ceremony or private ritual to acknowledge the passing of their embryos and find closure.
Learn More about Your Options
If you are considering in vitro fertilization or frozen embryo transfer, it's important to understand your options. To learn more about fertility treatment and embryo options after IVF, we welcome you to call (806) 788-1212 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dorsett.