Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to choose embryos

On Saturday we received a packet of embryo profiles. There were about 15 or so in there and it was exciting to open the envelope knowing that our potential future baby could be listed inside those pages. Then the actual process began and I can honestly say it is not as easy as I thought that it would be. Last time we were not given options. Last time we were next on the list and they called with a set of embryos that were available and we could pass or accept. Not THAT was easy!

So now we have to choose which profile to accept. It started out easy enough. We eliminated any that were mixed race or and any that were not caucasian as that was important to us. Next to go were the ones where the mother was 40+ years old. We were down to about 7-8 now. Next we removed the ones with only one embryos. Then it was those that did not have a live birth. This one made me sad though, to know that these couples went through so much and did not get their take home baby. But it scared me to think that it may have been from issues with the embryos themselves. One of these profiles included a genetic mother that was age 21. It was a top pick for awhile, but the risk was too high for me.

So now were were down to about 6 profiles. One had a history of chlamydia and I am not familiar with this STD and was not sure if there was any risk involved with it. Combined with this was another family history of cancer so we eliminated this one as well. Two profiles had a stamp on them that said "advise recipients of potential risk" and that the donors had not been tested for something (not sure of the abbreviations). I did not care for that so those went as well.

We have whittled it down to two profiles. Both mothers are about the same age, mid thirties. Both have similar characteristics. The biggest differences are the number and age of the embryos and the number of live births.

Profile one: Singleton from the fresh cycle, spontaneous pg so not other cycles done. There are 2 blasts and 6 day 3 embryos.

Profile two: Singleton from fresh cycle, twins from frozen. Available are 13 day 3 embryos. (I am not sure if day 3's were used for the twin cycle or if they had blasts)

So, do we choose the one with more "success"? Or the one with blasts? Are blasts better than day 3 embryos? I thought that they were, but I never really had to look into it. My previous clinic only used blasts. I am uncertain as to why this one has both. Maybe someone could enlighten me.

I have to call tomorrow to choose our embryos. Profile one was the one that the coordinator mentioned to me during our phone conversation. They only want out of state recipients and that is the only reason the clinic still has them available or they would have been snatched up already. The packet also stated that there were other families reviewing the profiles and some may be spoken for by the time I call, so profile two may not even be available anymore. That would be nice so that we would not have to even make a choice. But if we do, what should I ask? How would you choose?


  1. I can't imagine having to pick from such a large selection. For us, not wanting to mix embryos and wanting non-donor egg or sperm profies there were only two options and between them the choice was obvious.

    My only advice is to stop thinking about success rates (I know it is hard!) and just go with your gut. I will be praying for your decision and your future children.

  2. Our experience with blasts vs day 3 embies our clinic basically told us there was no difference in success. It depended on the number of embies making it to day 3 if they would allow them to go to blast stage or not since the best enviroment for embies is in the womb. Out of my 3 ivf's I had 2 day 3's and 1 blast...with a frozen blast cycle. The frozen was the only positive that was an early m/c.
    I'm sure this can be stressful, but God already has your children picked out and your not going to miss your chance by "choosing the wrong one". Praying for you and hubby!

  3. We had about 15 profiles to choose from as well. Our process of elimination was similar to yours but we were only interested in looking at profiles with 4+ embryos as we wanted our child to have a possibility of having genetic siblings in the future. It was a tough decision but with time and prayer and trust, we made our decision. In the end, we had no reservations over the snowbabies we chose. Praying you have the same peace at the end of this decision.

  4. We had about that many profiles to choose from as well. So stressful! Our 2 transfers used day 3 embryos. We were told that it generally didn't make any difference as far as success rate. We were going to choose blasts if we went back a 3rd time, though. My only advice is to pray about it and go with your gut. Good luck!

  5. The last two sets of embryos we chose were like your first one: one set to either accept or refuse. Like you said, that was easy.

    Our first set we had three to choose from, and that was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I can't imagine choosing amongst 15!

    What it came down to for us after we eliminated the set with an older genetic mother was physical characteristics. My husband is almost six and a half feet tall; we wanted embryos from tall genetic parents. So that was the deciding factor for us between the two we had left.

    Sometimes I think you just have to pick one and trust God to do the rest. Neither of your final two choices is a bad one!

  6. We have a mix of blasts and day 3's. Blasts are preferred. What our clinic is doing is thawing the day 3's and allowing them to grow for a few days. Transfering two and freezing the rest. This is the plan anyway. Hope this helps. She said they have had good luck doing it this way in the past. Fingers crossed.

    I had to pick our embryos as well. It was a very difficult decision. We ended up following our heart. Let's hope that works out ;) wishing you the best! This is very exciting!

  7. We actually put our choices in a hat and let our son draw them out! It was overwhelming! We figured God would work it out however it was supposed to be anyway.

    Best of Luck!

  8. I mentioned this on our EA board...and others have mentioned as well...can you have them thaw two at a time and grow them to blast before transfer? Or thaw 4 ...grow as many to blast as you can and if you have more than 2 refreeze? I know this is done all the time and pregnancy rates are so much higher with blast than 3 dayers.

  9. It sounds like you've got a good system going for you. We're about to begin our donor profile search,too, and I hope we can narrow it down as smoothly as you have! Godspeed :)


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