Donating your embryos
When you have completed your fertility treatment, often one of the hardest decisions you make is what you want to do with any extra embryos you have. Sometimes patients do not want to discard their embryos and decide that they want to help others.
Using Your Embryos For Research
Our embryology teams at Care Fertility undertakeresearch programmeslicensed by the HFEA and work with scientists around the world striving towards treatment solutions for the future. One of the biggest challenges for researchers in this field is the availability of embryos.
If you feel that you would like to help by donating your embryos, we’d be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you through the process.
You will be required to complete consent forms as part of the process. If you would like any additional information regarding our current research projects, please speak to a member of the team at your Care clinic. See research project links below:
Establishment and properties of germ cells and gametes
Investigating Human Blastocyst Embryos in Vitro R0193
Mechanisms of stem cell development during human embryogenesis
Studying factors supporting human embryo development in culture
Helping other couples with your embryos
If you’ve been able to start your own family with Care, you know how it feels to go through IVF treatment – and how it feels when it goes well. Not everyone is so lucky, but with your help by becoming an embryo donor, we could give another couple a better chance of success.
Could embryo donation be for me?
If after a round of IVF treatment you have frozen embryos you aren’t going to use, you might be able to donate them to another couple.
To donate your embryos, you and your partner will need to be aware of your family history, and you shouldn’t have any known genetic problems. The egg provider must have been under 36 years and the sperm provider under 46 years at the time the embryos were created If you fit these criteria, you could be exactly who we’re looking for.
What does donating embryos involve?
If you decide you’d like to donate your embryos, both you and your partner will need to fill out a detailed medical questionnaire before you meet a nurse from our donation team. Your nurse will then talk you through all the details. You'll also both need to have some additional blood tests to check you meet the criteria for donation.
All of our embryo donors are offered a session of implications counselling; this session is an opportunity to talk about any ethical and legal issues, share any questions you might have, and make absolutely certain that it’s the right decision for you.
If after your consultation and counselling sessions, you’re happy to go ahead with your donation, we’ll continue to store your embryos for use by another couple when needed.
Questions you should consider
It is important that you take your time and think carefully about all the different aspects of donating your embryos. Here are some of the key questions you will likely want to consider - it’s your decision so you need to reach your own conclusion in your own time.
- How might I feel about a child who is biologically mine/ours being raised by another family?
- Should we tell our child/children, and how might they feel about having a biological sibling growing up with other parents and they will likely never know them?
- Will we want to tell our wider family and friends that we donated our embryos to help another family?
- How will any children born from as a result of our donation feel?
When can I ask for information about my donation and what details will I receive?
- If your donation has been successful
- The number of children born as a result of your donation
- The gender and year of birth of any children born following your donation
Is embryo donation anonymous?
Who needs donated embryos?
- Premature menopause
- Risk of genetic abnormality if the woman is a carrier of a genetic disorder
- Poor ovarian response to hormonal stimulation
- Absence of the ovaries
- Ovarian failure due to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy treatment