Embryo adoption is one of the simplest forms of assisted reproduction treatment and, given its advantages and good results, it is increasingly embraced.
Instituto Bernabeu’s experience of this technique is very rewarding because the team at the clinic have first-hand knowledge of the solidarity shown by couples who, following successful treatment themselves, donate the embryos that have been generated so that others can become parents too.
Advanced cryopreservation techniques mean that embryos can be frozen until they are due to be transferred to the uterus. This process opens up the possibility of enjoying pregnancy, childbirth, nursing and parenting a child for women who are unable to become mothers using their own ova. This can be because of their age, due to gynaecological or hereditary disorders, due to low ovarian reserve, because they have had recurrent pregnancy losses, implantation failure or because other techniques have not been successful.
Let us highlight five advantages of embryo adoption.
1. There is no waiting list
There is no waiting list for embryo adoption and, therefore, it is a swift process. Embryo adoption is the donation of good quality embryos from assisted reproduction treatment in other couples who have been successful with their own gametes or joint donation of gametes, ovum and spermatozoon. Couples take the decision to give others the chance of achieving the same thing through in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Donation is, by law, anonymous and the objective is to achieve the greatest possible compatibility with the couple in terms of blood group, Rh and phenotype.
2. Safety and efficiency: over 600 illnesses ruled out
The safety and efficiency of the procedure is another of its advantages. The quality of the laboratories at Instituto Bernabeu and the experience of its expert staff mean that advanced techniques on embryos can be performed in order to rule out hereditary disorders. Protocol demands that a genetic compatibility test (GCT) be performed in order to rule out over 600 hereditary recessive disorders and this translates into improved pregnancy rates.
Donors have demonstrated fertility and have undergone exhaustive checks to rule out physical, psychological and hereditary pathologies.
Embryo adoption is the most simple treatment option and couples generally opt for it when other procedures have failed. In many cases, it is the woman’s chance of becoming a mother. For example, if she has pathologies such as premature ovarian failure, menopause or a failure to respond to ovarian stimulation; or if the male partner has fertility issues. It is also an option for women who wish to experience motherhood alone, for lesbian couples and for people who wish to adopt whilst also enjoying the experience of pregnancy.
4. Simpler preparation for the female partner
The treatment is personalised based on each woman’s characteristics. Patient preparation is easier and less demanding and, in most cases, no hormone stimulation is required. It is only necessary in women who will shortly go through the menopause or who are going through it at the time. If the patient is going through the menopause, treatment begins with the preparation of the endometrium. Oestrogen patches or oral capsules, as well as progesterone tablets for vaginal administration, are prescribed in order to prepare the body. When the endometrium has reached the perfect stage, the embryos are defrosted and transferred to the uterus. Usual practise involves transferring just one embryo since the success rate is in excess of 50% and this avoids the risk of multiple pregnancies.
5. Fewer visits, less medication and cheaper
There are fewer visits than in other courses of treatment because, on the whole, only an ultrasound scan is required before proceeding. The number of necessary pharmaceutical drugs is also lower. As a result of all these advantages, the cost comes down. Furthermore, results are satisfactory because the success rate is in excess of 50%.