What can patients do who don’t want to freeze or discard extra embryos or donate them to research?
Many patients have to think long and hard about the ethical implications of pursuing assisted reproductive technology. However, the two are not always incompatible. Patients that have a faith-based philosophy preventing freezing of embryos would need all fertilized eggs (embryos) back in the fresh cycle. We can achieve this by choosing a low number of eggs to inseminate in order to obtain the optimal number of embryos for transfer based on ASRM guidelines.
Patients that do not want to discard embryos may choose to freeze them for future attempts at pregnancy or for donation to another couple. Frozen embryos cycles at RSC have excellent pregnancy rates and high cryosurvival rates suggesting the freezing of embryos has very little impact on the embryo. In our center for 2008, the frozen clinical pregnancy rate for day five blastocysts was 59 percent and overall it was 48 percent. With these numbers, patients are very willing to have us freeze their extras for use or donation in the future.