What is embryo donation or embryo adoption?
Embryo donation or embryo adoption is one of the assisted reproduction treatments we perform at URE Centro Gutenberg which offers the best chances for achieving a successful pregnancy to the women and couples who opt for this type of treatment.
What does embryo donation entail?
Embryo donation involves receiving one or more embryos that have been donated by women or couples who have undergone in vitro fertilisation (IVF), have already successfully become parents and have now decided to donate their frozen embryos to other couples and women.
The donated embryos may also come from treatments that used gamete donation, meaning egg donation or double donation cycles (donation of eggs and sperm).
The medical team who is treating the couple or the woman is solely responsible for the donor embryo selection process. They will search for the donor embryos which bear maximum immunological and physical similarities with the recipients. Recipient patients and their children have the right to request information about their donors, with the exception of their identifying details.
What are the laws on embryo donation?
Embryo donation in Spain is regulated by Spanish Law 14/2006 on Assisted Human Reproduction Techniques and by Spanish Royal Decree-Law 9/2014, which establishes quality and safety standards for donation.
Donors (the couple or the single female), must meet the criteria set forth by Spanish Law in order to donate, meaning they must be healthy, the female must have been younger than 35 years of age at the time the IVF cycle was performed, the male must have been younger than 50 years of age at the time of IVF, they must both have tested negative for infectious diseases and they need to have a normal karyotype result, among other tests.
The identifying details of donor couples and recipient couples are stored under strict privacy protocols and encrypted in the clinic’s database; the clinic is required to transfer said details to the Assisted Human Reproduction Information System. The person in charge of this system is the General Directorate of the National Healthcare System Services Basic Portfolio, dependent on the Spanish Ministry of Health.
In what cases is embryo donation indicated?
The most commons indications are:
- Primary ovarian insufficiency, which may happen spontaneously or secondary to surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
- Gonadal dysgenesis and other genetic abnormalities in the makeup of the eggs and/or sperm.
- Serious genetic illnesses with a high risk of transmission to offspring and which cannot be prevented through any techniques or treatment.
- Previous failed cycles of assisted reproduction treatment.
- Recurrent embryo implantation failure.
What is embryo donation treatment like?
This medical treatment involves preparing the recipient’s uterus for the future embryo transfer procedure. The embryo transfer is the moment in which the doctor places the embryos inside the female’s uterus by entering through the vaginal canal. If you would like to learn more about this important part of assisted reproduction treatment, don’t miss this article where we discuss this procedure in detail.
It is a very straightforward and painless technique that does not require anaesthesia or hospital admission. The uterus can be prepared one of two ways: either in a natural cycle or in cycle of hormone replacement therapy. Here we explain to you how each type of preparation would go, wherein both methods offer the same success rates.
What are embryo donation success rates?
The results are very good, with embryo thawing survival rates of over 90% and with pregnancy success rates (clinical gestation) that exceed 60%.
The likelihood of pregnancy after embryo donation treatment mainly depends on the number and quality of the embryos transferred. However, we must keep in mind that not all recipients who undergo treatment achieve adequate endometrial preparation, and this can impact their chances of getting pregnant.
The average pregnancy success rate for this technique, as registered by the 2019 National Activity Registry of the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society) is 43.9% per thawing cycle and 44.7% per embryo transfer
At URE Centro Gutenberg in 2021 the pregnancy success rate per thawing cycle was 60% and 60% per embryo transfer.
Are you thinking about undergoing embryo donation treatment but still have questions? Get in touch with us! Our fertility specialists will be happy to help you. You can request an appointment here.