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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Do Fresh or Frozen Embryos Yield Higher Pregnancy Success?

There is a groundbreaking study starting in the UK comparing fresh and frozen embryos. Scientists are going to compare the use of frozen embryos and fresh embryos in in vitro fertilization and see which method produces more healthy babies. It will also look at which is better for the health of the mother as well as which is more expensive when it comes to healthcare costs. The study will hopefully provide some answers to questions that both expectant parents and clinicians are asking about the difference between fresh and frozen embryos. The study will provide answers to questions that many potential adopters ask as well about the success rate and health of frozen embryos.

There is already some research out there on the topic. Researchers have found that frozen embryos, such as the ones that are used in embryo adoptions, may be better than fresh embryos because they “may have an equal or better chance of resulting in a healthy birth than fresh embryos because it can lead to a lower chance of hemorrhage, premature birth and deaths in the first few weeks of life.” That’s great news for frozen embryo adopters, who may be concerned that frozen embryos provide a lower chance of a successful pregnancy.

If the UK study finds that frozen embryos produce as many or more healthy babies and are safer for the mother, it could mean that more couples will explore the embryo adoption option for building their family. You can learn more about embryo adoption and frozen embryo transfer success rates by visiting www.embryoadoption.org.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Third Baby Born from Frozen Embryo 11 Years After Twin Sisters

Some families who use in vitro fertilization to build their family will cryogenically preserve any embryos not used in their initial treatment. They may be unsure about whether or not they are done building their family, or they may not know what to do with the remaining embryos. Those remaining embryos can stay in storage until the family chooses to use them or they decide to do something else with them, such as donate them to an adopting family. Some embryos may remain frozen for decades. One family in Britain decided they were ready to expand their family using their remaining frozen embryos, so 11 years after they’d been put into storage they chose to thaw one. That resulted in the birth of baby Ryleigh.

Ryleigh’s two older sisters, Megan and Bethany, were 11 at the time of their little sister’s birth. Technically, the three girls are triplets with an astonishing 11 years age difference between the older twins and Ryleigh. Their story actually isn’t all that unusual; frozen embryos have been successfully used 10, 15, and even 20 years after being initially frozen without issue. The frozen embryos seem to have as much chance of resulting in a healthy, happy baby as they did when they were freshly frozen.

Ryleigh’s success story of being born after 11 years in frozen storage is great news for embryo adopters. This means couples don’t need to be concerned about how long an embryo has been frozen when making an adoption decision. You can learn more about what you should consider when it comes to embryo adoption by visiting www.embryoadoption.org.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Expense of Fertility Treatment Options Is Driving the Popularity of Embryo Adoption

A recent study out of the United Kingdom found that the more in vitro cycles a woman has, the greater her chances of success were for pregnancy. More clinicians felt that if a woman doesn’t conceive by the third or fourth cycle, her chances of ever having a successful IVF cycle are low. The study showed, however, that “persistence pays off” when it comes to IVF, and women still had relatively high rate of success into their sixth cycle.

While that could be good news for some, for others it could be crushing. The average cost of an IVF cycle is over $12,000, meaning women who are encouraged to try into their fourth, fifth and even sixth cycle could be facing costs exceeding $72,000 or more. Because only eight states require insurance companies to cover IVF and very few policies outside of those states will cover that many cycles, continuing IVF treatment can be financially out of reach for many couples.

It could be one of the reasons why more couples are turning to embryo adoption. Embryo adoption is a cost effective alternative to fertility treatment options such as IVF. For about the cost of one IVF cycle, you can adopt embryos and through the process of a frozen embryo transfer, give birth to your own adopted baby. Embryo adoption involves adopting several embryos at once; because of this, you’ll be able to attempt having multiple children through one adoption, keeping the costs down as you grow your family.

It is heartbreaking to make the decision to stop IVF treatment, but the financial realities of the process cause many couples to face that choice everyday. If you are a couple who can no longer afford to see if persistence pays off with IVF, take time to learn more about embryo adoption. You can visit www.embryoadoption.org to learn more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is Embryo Adoption a Valid Option for Pro-Life Catholics?

The Catholic Church has long condemned in vitro fertilization. They note several conflicts with their core beliefs. First, that babies are created outside the act of marriage, considered sacred. Second, they take issue with the fact that more embryos are created than are used in IVF, leaving nearly 600,000 unused embryos in frozen storage in the United States. So shouldn’t embryo adoption be a valid option for Catholic families looking for alternative family building methods? The Church hasn’t issued a definitive stance on the issue. The closest they’ve come is to issue a statement in 2008 calling the creation and freezing of hundreds of thousands of embryos an “injustice.” That’s left many Catholic families in conflict about whether or not they should pursue this fertility solution.

However, Andrea Alexander decided it was the right choice for her family. Described as a “pro-choice, conservative Catholic,” Alexander has had three children through embryo adoption. She’s encouraging other Catholic families to consider the option as well, and counsels other women about the choice. She hopes officials within the Catholic church will educate themselves on the family building method so they can counsel couples within the Catholic Church more effectively.

For now, the church remains divided on the issue of embryo adoption but more and more Catholic families are equating the method to domestic adoption, an option openly embraced by the Catholic community. They see it as a solution to the IVF dilemma, not the creation of a new one. If you are a Catholic family seeking more information about embryo adoption, you can visit www.embryoadoption.org.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Mixed Feelings That Come With Embryo Donation

From Jess' blog – Jess and Bryce
The decision to donate remaining embryos can be a difficult one for many families. Often, the
decision is made easier for a couple because they are done building their family and want to give someone else the opportunity to become a parent. However, Jess and Bryce found themselves considering embryo donation before they’d started building their family. After several IVF cycles and frozen embryo transfers failed to result in a successful pregnancy, the couple learned that Jess would probably never be able to carry a child to a term. Because of that, they chose to donate their remaining embryos and started to pursue domestic infant adoption.

Jess writes on her blog, My Path to Mommyhood, about all the possible outcomes for her embryo donation and how those outcomes make her feel. She says that while it’s difficult knowing that another couple could give birth to her genetic child while she is raising a child that she has adopted from someone else, she’s made peace with the fact that she won’t experience pregnancy and is enjoying the domestic adoption process. She also acknowledges that while she would be thrilled that the embryos she and her husband helped create got a chance at life, she’d be sad that she wasn’t able to give them that life herself. She writes, “No matter what the outcome, it’s a mixed bag. Some happiness, some sadness. Some celebrating, some mourning.”

Embryo donation is a huge decision to make, and experiencing a variety of emotion both before and after the donation is normal. However, many couples find peace knowing that they are helping someone have a child and become parents. Many embryo donors struggled with infertility themselves in the past and understand the pain that it can bring. If you are thinking about donating your remaining embryos, you can read more stories from embryo donors or get more information on the embryo donation process by visiting www.embryoadoption.org.