IVF treatment using donor embryos
We are pleased to now offer our patients IVF treatment with donor embryos.
Embryos are donated by patients who have been through IVF treatment and have frozen embryos remaining in storage that they no longer wish to use as they have completed their family.
Patients who donate their embryos do so voluntarily to help others. There are no financial incentives involved.
Who can embryo donation help?
IVF using donor embryos may help you to have a baby if:
- You already require donor sperm or eggs to conceive but for various reasons you would like to use donor embryos instead.
- You have had multiple unsuccessful cycles with your own eggs and sperm.
- You or your partner have a serious medical condition that would be inherited by your children, and treatment with donated embryos would negate the risk of passing it on.
Who can be an embryo donor?
Embryo donors are patients who have used eggs from a woman between the ages of 18 and 35 and sperm from a man between 18 and 45 at the time the embryos were produced. They will have no inheritable medical conditions that could be passed on to donor-conceived offspring and are screened for infections.
The embryo donor will remain anonymous to you as the recipient.
What does IVF with donor embryos involve?
There is usually a waiting list for treatment. When donated embryos become available, we will contact you. In selecting a donor to offer to you, we consider the information you have provided to us regarding your ethnicity and physical characteristics such as hair colour, eye colour, height etc.
In offering you donated embryos, we share with you non-identifying information that the donors have provided before they are confirmed as a match with you.
There is a national shortage of donated embryos so there is limited choice for recipients.
You do not have to accept the donated embryos we offer you, but you may have to wait again before alternative embryos become available.
1. Preparing your womb to receive an embryo
We will give you oestrogen tablets to help thicken the lining of your womb in preparation for embryo transfer. You will have two internal ultrasound scans to monitor your progress and once your womb lining has thickened, we will schedule your embryo transfer.
2. Thaw and transfer
Embryos are thawed upon your consent. We usually recommend transferring only one embryo at a time. The majority of the embryos tolerate freezing and thawing well, but some may not.
Your embryos are gently transferred into your uterus using a fine plastic tube, called a catheter. This process is quick and simple, and usually completely painless.
3. Hormone Support
After embryo transfer you will continue to take progesterone and oestradiol until the day of your pregnancy test. This is known as the luteal phase support as the lining of your uterus is supported with progesterone to help the embryo implant in your uterus.
16 days after your luteal day 0 (the day you started taking progesterone) you will take a home pregnancy urine test.
If the test is positive, we will book a pregnancy blood test (HCG) for you.
If the test is negative this means that a pregnancy has not occurred this time. Our staff will be on hand to offer support and advice. You may wish to book an appointment with our counsellor.
You will have a vaginal scan about three weeks after your pregnancy test. This is equivalent to a seven-week pregnancy. This scan checks that the pregnancy is in the correct place, that it is developing normally and to confirm how many pregnancy sacs there are. At this stage, the pregnancy should be clearly visible inside your uterus as a small sac with a tiny fetus within. It should be possible to identify a heartbeat at this stage.
Our Embryo Recipient Package
The prices for using donor embryos are detailed in our fertility treatment price list.
- Medical consent treatment consultation and nursing consultations
- Screening tests for recipient
- Allocation of at least 2 frozen donor embryos (blastocyst stage)
- Ultrasound scans
- Frozen embryo transfer for recipient
- Administration fee
- Pregnancy scan or follow up appointment within 3 months
- Storage of any remaining embryos for one year (if applicable)
- HFEA Fee
- Drugs for recipient
- Subsequent frozen embryo transfer cycle(s) for any remaining embryos
- Cycle cancelled prior to embryo thaw 50% of package price refund
- There is no refund if any part of the package is not used.
Book an appointment
To find out more about using donor embryos please contact us or book an appointment with a fertility consultant.