EMBRYO ADOPTION. EMBRYO DONATION

A simple, affordable reproduction option that provides excellent results, and involves adoption of an embryo which, when transferred to the future mother, leads to a pregnancy

EMBRYO ADOPTION. EMBRYO DONATION
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What is embryo adoption?
What is embryo adoption?

Embryo adoption entails adopting an embryo (the result of the union between an ova and a spermatozoon) which is then transferred to the adopting patient’s uterus with the aim of achieving a pregnancy. The procedure gives patients the option of enjoying a pregnancy, childbirth, nursing and caring for a baby.

The embryos are obtained from dual donation (ova and spermatozoa) IVF treatment or from couples who have undergone assisted reproduction treatment and who,  after having had children of their own, decide to donate their frozen embryos and help others to form a family.

As such, whilst every effort is made to assign embryos that are as compatible as possible in terms of blood group, Rh and phenotype, it is not as exact as in dual donation IVF treatment.

When is embryo adoption advised?
When is embryo adoption advised?
  • When patients want a simpler reproduction treatment option.
  • When other courses of reproduction treatment have failed.
When do we perform embryo adoption?
When do we perform embryo adoption?

Most embryos for embryo adoption are the result of double donation treatment. It takes around six to eight weeks to complete the course of treatment. 

The recipient mother only needs to get ready for endometrial receptivity. The treatment needed in order to prepare the mother’s uterus is very simple and involves administration of some oral tablets or oestrogen patches up until transfer, followed by vaginal progesterone tablets. The procedure usually only requires an ultrasound scan beforehand and this decreases both the number of necessary appointments and the cost. 

The advantages of embryo adoption

It is less expensive than other forms of treatment. Another of its advantages is that the quantity of medication that the patient needs to take is smaller. The recipient mother only needs to undergo appropriate endometrium preparation in order to get ready for transfer. The treatment is simple and painless. It consists of oestrogen patches or oral tablets and vaginal progesterone tablets (the patient needs to continue taking this medication for the first few weeks of pregnancy).

Since only one embryo is transferred, this reduces the risk of a multiple pregnancy and the associated risks for the mother.

Transfer of a blastocyst

The embryo is always transferred during blastocyst stage (day 5-6 of development). As such, its capacity to implant is good in comparison with younger embryos.

Safety and efficiency: over 600- 3000 illnesses ruled out

When embryos are the result of dual gamete donation, we have the assurance and peace of mind of the rigorous procedures that all our gamete donors go through before they are accepted. They include:

  • Strict gynaecological, physical and health check-ups. A background of neurological and psychiatric disorders, endocrinology, digestive and oncology diseases, blood-related pathologies and so on in donors and donors’ families are ruled out.
  • A psychological check performed by a clinical psychologist, taking the donor’s social and psychological condition into account.
  • Genetic and infectious disease screening:
  • GCT: analysis of the 600 or 3000 most common hereditary disorders, depending on the modality.
  • Karyotype, cystic fibrosis, thalassaemia, fragile X.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases and serologies.

DNA preservation

In cases of dual donation embryo adoption treatment, we store the gamete donors’ DNA at Instituto Bernabeu for the following 20 years. This is very useful if genetics analyses need to be performed when there is a suspicion that the child may have an illness of some kind.

It is the simplest and most effective course of treatment for patients with reproduction issues

Embryo adoption is the most simple treatment option and couples generally choose either this or double donation treatment when other procedures have failed. In many cases, such as when women have pathologies including premature ovarian failure, menopause or a failure to respond to ovarian stimulation, or indeed if the male partner has fertility issues, it is the woman’s chance to have children. It is also an option for women who wish to experience motherhood alone, for lesbian couples and for women who wish to adopt whilst also enjoying the experience of pregnancy.

Process

Fase 1

1 day

STUDY AND PREPARATION OF THE PATIENTS
STUDY AND PREPARATION OF THE PATIENTS

Every patient is a unique individual. For this reason, our treatments at Bernabéu Institute are tailored to every one of our patients. Our goal is to locate the source of infertility among couples and select the most effective treatment. The male’s sperm and hormone levels are analyzed and, if necessary, a urological assessment is performed.

It is crucial that you are provided with detailed information about those aspects having to do with the donor, both as regards legislation and the selection procedures that are required to accept candidates as donors. Fortunately, legislation in Spain is clear, and it offers a legal security framework that allows treatments to be carried out in a simple way.

You will also receive information on the procedures followed to select the best donor for you based on your physical and clinical traits.

Watch video
Fase 2

15/35 days

PREPARING THE ENDOMETRIAL CAVITY TO RECEIVE THE EMBRYO
PREPARING THE ENDOMETRIAL CAVITY TO RECEIVE THE EMBRYO

The endometrium is the “layer” in the uterus where the embryo becomes attached and is subsequently implanted so that pregnancy can happen.

This “layer” should be prepared and synchronized with the embryo. For this reason, drugs need to be administered to send the right signs to the uterus so that its “receptivity” is optimal.

Fortunately, preparation is extremely simple: injections, tests and frequent appointments are not necessary at this stage.

The drugs needed for the treatment are administered orally or transcutaneously (i.e. patches) and have a high tolerance level, as the hormone levels that are sought are very similar to those in women during their natural cycle.

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SELECTING THE MOST APPROPRIATE EGG DONOR
SELECTING THE MOST APPROPRIATE EGG DONOR

Aware of the great responsibility that the trust placed on our team entails, we begin a thorough selection of egg donors to guarantee the highest quality and the best results to our patients. Having successfully passed a thorough analysis

The large majority of embryos in embryo adoption are the result of dual donation.

At Instituto Bernabeu, we work very hard to carefully select our donors and help our patients feel at ease and safe. Donors must meet our strict requirements including a psychological analysis and medical, gynaecological and genetics tests. Donors are also patients and, as such, we ensure that we care for their health and wellbeing.

Watch video
Fase 3

5 days later

TRANSFERRING THE EMBRYOS
TRANSFERRING THE EMBRYOS

Once the blastocyst stage has been reached, embryo transfer takes place. It is an essential stage during treatment. It entails placing the embryo in the mother’s uterus.

The procedure is performed using an abdominal ultrasound scan. The culture medium containing the embryo is positioned inside the uterus. It is a quick and painless procedure.

The environment is a special one that takes into account how delicate the embryo is.

Watch video
Fase 4

10/12 days later

TESTING FOR POSITIVE PREGNANCY
TESTING FOR POSITIVE PREGNANCY

13/14 days after the progesterone medication began, a blood sample is taken from the patient in order to determine if she is pregnant or not. It consists of detecting beta-hCG levels in blood since this hormone is produced by the embryo and passed on to the mother. It is the first measurable sign sent by the embryo.

If the patient is not pregnant, the medical team involved in the course of treatment assesses the causes and decides what steps need to be taken. The patient is given an appointment in order to be able to tell her about the team’s evaluation of the situation.

Watch video
Fase 5

15 days later

PREGNANCY ULTRASOUND
PREGNANCY ULTRASOUND

If the result of the pregnancy test is positive, the patient has an ultrasound scan around two weeks later. Performing this scan any earlier would lead to confusion and doubts since the results are generally not conclusive at this stage.

Percentage of pregnancies achieved after adopted frozen embryo treatment 52%

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