Decisions regarding freezing, storing and discarding embryos formed with donated eggs must comply with written consents of both the donor and recipient. This includes how long embryos can be stored and whether or not they can be used after the death or mental incapacitation of the donor or recipient.
It is possible for either donor or recipient to withdraw consent to storage, in which case the embryos have to be allowed to perish.
We usually advise embryo freezing only if there are at least three suitable embryos. The embryos can be kept frozen for 5 years (up to a maximum of 10 years in certain circumstances) from the date of freezing.
Recipients may wish to have embryos frozen for 6 month quarantine period (as in the case of sperm donors) to ensure that the risk of transmission of infections is minimised. However there is a loos of viability in some of the embryos when they undergo the freezing and thawing process and pregnancy rate may be lowered by 5-10% per cycle on an average. There is also delay in your ability to receive the embryos for transfer and pregnancy which you must consider.
The donor’s eggs could be used to create embryos with donated sperm that are then donated to a recipient couple who has een specifically and suitably matched to both donors. Such an option is only possible if both an egg donor and donated sperm are available as per the legal requirements. Occasionally other couples donate their spare embryos to other recipients who need both the sperm and the egg. The donating couple are screened as per legal requirements for any donor and as descried above.
Research is carefully regulated and centres have to obtain specific research licences for the projects that they conduct or take part in. From time to time we are involved in research projects and we will provide relevant information to you if appropriate.