The IVF Dilemma Many Couples Are Faced With – Left Over Embryos!
After discovering we had unexplained infertility nearly 15 years ago my husband and I embarked on our gruelling IVF journey which resulted in us becoming parents to our amazing twin boys today. It’s a process many couples face and one you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
From start to end the IVF process is full of obstacles, challenges and constant waiting. There are injections to administer, hormones to take and lots of blood tests to sit through. Your body is no longer your own and yet you become acutely aware of each sensation going through your system. I remember thinking I could feel exactly when my transfers had failed. I convinced myself my body temperature was high because I was miscarrying. I thought I needed all those extra progesterone pessaries I was inserting daily to actually stay pregnant. It’s a total head f**k and one that doesn’t end once you’re lucky enough to actually conceive.
You see, during the egg harvesting and collection process, embryos were frozen. If a cycle didn’t work, we could try again. The cells with the greatest chance of developing into a healthy foetus were used first, while the ‘others’ were saved for later.
So now we have some embryos ‘in storage’ and every six months we are forced to consider our options again when our fertility clinic asks for a storage fee to continue cryopreserving them.
We basically have four options – destroy them, donate them to another couple, donate them to science or just continue to store them until we’re no longer allowed to.
It’s a dilemma that we definitely didn’t think about when we first started the process. Our only concern back then was getting an embryo to actually implant! The fact that we were fortunate enough to be left with so many embryos seemed like a blessing back then. They were like our little insurance policies. You see, if we had one failed cycle we could always use our frozen embryos. But now they’ve become a little reminder of what could be. Either for our family or someone else’s.
It’s definitely a hard door to close when you think about all those embryos suspended at the fertility clinic. And while it may seem like a great problem to have it’s still one that is riddled with guilt and anxiety.
So for now we’ve paid our storage fees and have another six months until we face the same question yet again…
Are you in this same position? Have you made your decision yet?