Often, couples have been successful with their fertility treatments and donate excess embryos to ICRM after their family is completed. Other couples suffering from infertility can receive these embryos and undergo a frozen embryo transfer procedure. ICRM does not charge for the embryos, only the frozen embryo transfer cycle. The embryo donation recipient program at ICRM is an anonymous program. The embryo donation recipient program offers a lower cost option to couples suffering from infertility. Intended parents can review the medical history of the embryos prior to selecting them. After the intended parents have selected their desired embryos, they can proceed with a frozen embryo transfer cycle. Embryo cryopreservation is a routine practice within advanced reproductive technology (ART) clinics.
During a frozen embryo transfer cycle, the uterus is prepared with both estrogen and progesterone hormones to make the uterus receptive. This hormonal preparation typically takes 3-4 weeks of time. During this 3-4 week time period, both hormone levels and the uterine lining are monitored to ensure optimal uterine receptivity. Cryopreserved embryos are then thawed and transferred back into the uterus. Approximately 80% of embryos typically will survive the freeze-thaw process. Embryos are dehydrated prior to freezing to minimize ice crystal formation in the embryo which causes intracellular damage. Pregnancy testing typically occurs 8 and 10 days after the embryo transfer. If high quality embryo(s) are transferred, approximately 40% pregnancy rate is achieved per frozen embryo transfer. Embryo cryopreservation techniques and capabilities have become an increasingly important therapeutic strategy in assisted reproduction. About 20% of all offspring born worldwide from IVF cycles are from embryo cryopreservation and frozen embryo transfer procedures.