Embryo Options After IVF

By Dr. Kalan on May 28, 2019


Cryopreservation for eggs, embryos, and spermPatients often visit our Los Angeles, CA fertility clinic for in vitro fertilization (IVF), a popular way to treat male, female, and mixed infertility. Dr. Marc Kalan and Dr. Nurit Winkler take time to answer all of a patient’s questions and concerns about the IVF process. This includes discussion about the use of viable embryos that are not transferred during an IVF cycle.

Below, we’d like to briefly cover some of the topics related to unused embryos during IVF. We’d be more than happy to discuss these matters in greater detail during a visit to our fertility center.

Why There May Be Leftover Embryos

During IVF, it’s common for fertility doctors to take multiple viable eggs and fertilize them in the lab. This maximizes the chances of successful IVF treatment. Multiple viable embryos may be available during a single IVF cycle. Whether one or more embryos is transferred during IVF, there may be embryos leftover.

Patients will need to decide on what to do with these leftover embryos after implantation.

Embryo Preservation

For some patients, the ideal option to consider is embryo preservation. This process involves freezing the embryos at sub zero temperatures so that they can be used at a later time. Thanks to cryopreservation techniques, the embryos can remain viable for many years.

This is a good option to consider for people who plan to have children again through IVF and would like to avoid the egg harvesting process the next time around. This is also a good insurance policy to consider in case the initial IVF cycle fails.

The cost of cryopreservation and the annual storage of frozen embryos may be prohibitive for some patients. It’s important to keep these practical concerns in mind when making your decision.

Donating Embryos to Infertile Couples

If you have viable embryos, it’s possible for you to donate these embryos to other infertile couples. This can be a boon for patients who do not have viable eggs or sperm to use and are seeking healthy embryos for implantation. If this is something you are interested in doing, the team at Los Angeles Reproductive Center can connect you with patients in need of embryos.

Donating Embryos to Science

In addition to donating your embryos to other couples, it’s also possible for you to donate your embryos to science. Researchers can study your embryos and potentially reach a much deeper understanding of human life and pregnancy in the process. In essence, this improves contemporary fertility treatments while moving the field further into the future.

Discarding the Unused Embryos

It is also possible for patients to simply discard the viable embryos. If there is no need to save them and no patients or researchers in need of embryos, this is the most ideal choice to consider.

Making the Decision That’s Right for You

It’s important to us that every patient at our fertility center be completely confident with all decisions they make regarding treatment. During the IVF process, we will be sure to provide you with information on all options available to you, including the advantages and disadvantages associated with these options.

By giving you all of the information you need, you will be able to make confident choices about fertility treatment matters.

Learn More About IVF

To learn more about embryo preservation and donation options during the IVF process, it’s important that you contact our board-certified team of fertility doctors. The Los Angeles Reproductive Center team can discuss these matters with you in greater detail. You can reach us by phone at (818) 946-8051.

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