2003-11-06 / Women's

Embryo Donation: A Family Building Option

by Diane Clapp, BSN, RN
Embryo Donation: A Family Building Option by Diane Clapp, BSN, RN

by Diane Clapp, BSN, RN

(NAPSI)-The "face" of family bus(NAPSI)-Infertility treatments have helped thousands of women and men achieve their dream of parenthood. Some couples, who for a number of reasons cannot achieve pregnancy using their own eggs and sperm, decide to use donated embryos from another infertile couple to try and build their families.

There can be excess embryos after in vitro fertilization (IVF), an infertility treatment. During IVF, a woman takes medication to stimulate production of eggs for fertilization by her partner’s sperm. This often results in more fertilized eggs (embryos) than are needed. Embryos not used during that treatment cycle are often frozen.

The majority of these embryos will be used in future IVF cycles by the couple who created them. Couples choosing not to undergo additional cycles are faced with the difficult question, "What should we do with our frozen embryos?" Their options include donating their embryos to another infertile couple, thawing but not using them or donating them to research.

RESOLVE: The National Infer-tility Association has launched the campaign Embryo Donation-A Family Building Option under grant support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of this campaign is to educate the general public, the infertility community and medical professionals about embryo donation. As part of this project, RESOLVE commissioned a national survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, which found that a majority of respondents believe that the use of donated embryos as a family building option is "a good thing."

As part of the campaign, RESOLVE has produced a series of materials including educational brochures, a fact sheet, and is hosting educational programs across the country, and online courses to educate potential donors, potential recipients and professionals.

RESOLVE is the oldest and largest nonprofit patient organization providing eduction, advocacy and support to those struggling with infertility. RESOLVE’s network includes more than 50 chapters across the U.S.

For more information about embryo donation or to request free educational materials, visit the Web site at www.resolve.org or call RESOLVE’s embryo donation information line at 617-623-6222.

Diane Clapp, BSN, RN, is the director of medical information for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.

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