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Embryo Adoption

Embryo adoption is about transferring embryos from other women or couples who, after undergoing assisted reproduction treatments, have decided to donate them to other patients. To adopt an embryo means to try to fall pregnant with embryos whose biological parents have not chosen their destination. This can be an option when a simpler reproductive treatment is desired, when other reproductive treatments have failed, in cases of premature ovarian failure, menopause, or when the patient does not respond to ovarian stimulation, it is also an option for women who do not have a male partner or who are in a same sex relationship.The process of embryo adoption can vary significantly depending on the clinic and country where the treatment is conducted. Therefore, it is challenging to establish a universal standard process. Nonetheless, the embryo adoption process usually involves three crucial steps, which can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to complete. On average, embryo adoption cycles have a success rate ranging from 40-50%. It is best to ask your doctor directly about how they calculate the success rate. The following is a breakdown of the three steps involved in the double donation process:

1. Assessment to determine suitability for treatment.

  • For the female recipient partner, blood tests such as FBC, TSH, and PRL are typically conducted alongside a transvaginal scan to assess the ovaries and uterus. This scan helps determine whether the uterus is fit for treatment, meaning that no structural issues such as polyps or fibroids are found, and if possible, the thickness and pattern of the uterus lining also should be checked. Both gametes will come from donors or couples and for that reason, there are no relevant investigations to conduct on male partners (if applicable).


2. Preparation of the uterus & Embryo transfer procedure (ET)

  • In embryo donation treatment, the embryo transfer procedure is often performed under a medicated cycle. This is also known as Medicated FET. The recipient begins with estrogen (E2) medication on the first day of their menstrual period to prepare the lining of the uterus. Around two weeks after starting the preparation, a transvaginal scan is conducted to assess the thickness and pattern of the lining. If both parameters are good, then the patient is given progesterone administration (P4) to open the implantation window. The patient is then scheduled for an ET after five full days of progesterone. The procedure is conducted in a theatre that is close to the lab. Most of the time, sedation is not required, and the entire process takes only 10-15 minutes. During ET, a vaginal procedure is performed where doctors insert a gynae speculum and an embryo transfer catheter. The embryos are then carefully placed inside the cavity of the uterus. To ensure accurate placement, the majority of clinics perform the procedure under abdominal ultrasound guidance. Most clinics limit embryo transfers to one at a time.

3. Pregnancy test 

  • The pregnancy test should be conducted normally after 10-14 days following the embryo transfer on the blastocyst stage (day 5). It is recommended to have a determination of B-HCG level in the blood rather than a urine test, as it is more precise. If the result is positive, instructions will be given to return after 4-6 weeks to perform a transvaginal scan to check the viability of the embryo. If the result is negative, the medication intake will stop and a conversation with your doctor will occur in most cases.

Recipient (Female partner)

medicated frozen embryo transfer is explained

Endometrial prep with E2


Pregnancy test 

Dr Alex has partnered with various clinics in different countries for embryo donation treatment. In Spain he has partnered with Fertilab Barcelona and Ovoclinic, which have a presence in Madrid, Sevilla, Marbella, and Ceuta.

The possibilities are endless!

If you are seeking a comprehensive assessment, along with a tailored strategy that includes the number of cycles required, possible side effects, and realistic expectations from a cycle. In that case, I recommend booking a consultation. You will receive personalized, unbiased advice and a treatment plan that is customized to your individual needs.

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