You are likely wondering what comes next after having successfully completed your IVF process and conceiving the baby that you have been dreaming of. When going through in vitro fertilization many couples may not take the time to think about what they would like to do once they have successfully given birth to their child.
If you have any cryopreserved (frozen) embryos left, you might be wondering what can you do with them exactly?
Here are a few options that you have:
Keep Them Frozen
If you think that you would like a larger family in the future, or are not quite sure yet, one of the best options that you have is to keep your embryos frozen at your IVF center or another facility of your choice. Keep in mind, when keeping your embryos frozen there will be a fee involved. This fee is usually yearly and the price will vary depending on state and clinic. Every clinic has their own protocols, so it is best to learn what they are right away. Some clinics may not allow you to transfer your embryos after a certain amount of time, or require payment up front for the year.
Think of Donating Them
When it comes to donating your embryos you have two options. One of these options is to donate them to research. When donating to research there may be some restrictions if your egg was a donor egg this depends on your clinic. Researchers also require certain criteria from each embryo in order to use them.
Option two, is to donate your embryos to a prospective parent, this process is also called embryo adoption. If you choose to go this route, there tends to be a lot of legal restrictions. These restrictions pertain to donor egg agreements, legal terms with the prospective parents, the quality of the embryos, etc. You will also need to decide on if you would like to do an open or a closed embryo adoption. Your clinic can help offer suggestions on how to guide through the legal restrictions or even provide a reference for an attorney to help you through.
Let them Go
If you know that you do not plan on having any more children, you have a few options. Some couples might not like the idea of donating their embryos to science , adoption or, paying the storage fees, so another route that couples can take is to destroy their remaining embryos. This process could involve a lot of paperwork, but once the process is complete you can move on and won’t have to worry about any future fees.
Some clinics may offer the option called a compassionate transfer, for those that do not want another child soon. This involves thawing the embryos and putting them into the woman, much like a normal frozen IVF transfer. But this is done at a time when she is the least likely to become pregnant.
Depending on the clinic, a fee will likely be charged and there is always the possibility of pregnancy. This option is not available at all clinics, so make sure to talk with your practitioner if you are interested.
How to Know What’s Right for You
This decision can be very hard for some couples to make. Take your time and weigh your options. You may even choose to look into seeking help from a fertility counselor. Do not rush into a decision that you might regret later, instead, take the time that you and your partner need to be absolutely sure of which path you wish to take.