The why, when and where of embryo donation!

Dr Thanos Paraschos, from Embio Medical Center in Athens, Greece, a fertility clinic that performs more than 1800 fertility treatments per year with foreign infertile couples, was asked about embryo donation.

“I believe that embryo donation, coming from couples who have already conceived through the IVF process, is the ultimate form of altruism,” says Dr Paraschos. “These people, have already received the gift of life through one or more IVF pregnancies and out of gratitude, are now willing to donate their healthy embryos to other couples in order to give them the opportunity to become parents as well. In many cases, embryo donation is performed from parents who have either had twins, triplets, or have already had other children. Usually, the donated embryo is adopted by its new parents through the Frozen Embryo Transfer Procedure (FET).”  (In some cases, when the donated embryos come from the extra remaining fresh embryos that a couple decided to donate and the recipient’s ovulation cycles coincide, FET is not necessary and a fresh embryo replacement can take place.)

IVF, by means of embryo donation, is the most appropriate method for couples who have already tried other fertility treatments and have failed several times. It is ideal for both women who face ovarian failure and spouses with severe oligoasthenospermia or, for those who suffer from untreatable sperm disorders. Embryo donation is also a suitable method for couples with genetic disorders that cannot be dealt with using PGD.

According to Dr Paraschos, the donated embryo adoption is painless but the future mother has to undergo a full line of tests to ensure that she is in good health. These tests take can be completed in one visit. Although there is no need for hospitalisation, the woman should avoid heavy physical exercise for a few hours following an embryo transfer.  Twelve days post the embryo transfer, the pregnancy test is performed and the woman can be monitored by her gynaecologist at her home country.

According to the clinic’s own statistics, the success rate for egg donation at Embio is 69%. There is no cost involved in becoming an embryo donor. It is a gift to the adopting couple. The embryo donation costs are covered by the adopting family and when the embryos are placed with a couple, the embryos become their responsibility and any ongoing costs for storage is covered by them.

When asked just how long a couple would have to wait, Dr Paraschos said that Embio has no waiting list and both the tests and preparation period for the recipient is completed in a maximum of 2-4 weeks.


About emBIO Medical Center

Lead by Greek gynaecologist and IVF specialist, Dr Thanos Paraschos, EmBIO Medical Center in Athens is one of the most experienced and successful fertility clinics in Europe, with success rates reaching 70% for certain patient groups. To date, EmBIO has been instrumental in the conception of over 10,000 babies and has helped thousands of patients to become parents. In particular, the clinic has a proven record of success in cases of difficult female infertility, including advanced age pregnancy, and provides IVF for women over the age of 45 and, in some cases, over the age of 50.

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