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Houston Fertility Center

Economy Makes Saving Embryos Tougher Decision

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on October 22, 2009

A recent study found that there is indeed an expected correlation between the United States economic downturn and people's choices regarding their frozen embryos.

In other words, presumably the cost of maintaining frozen embryos has pushed patients to think harder about whether or not to keep them on ice in perpetuity.

Last December, I referred to The Embryo Dilemma which was front-and-center in the media at the time. Single embryo transfer is absolutely the answer for some patients, whereas for others, it simply won't provide their desired outcome.

ART research has focused on the fine-tuning of techniques that will allow fewer IVF-created embryos to be transferred and still create a healthy pregnancy. Still, many patients will end up with extras.

The options -- aside from cryopreservation storage or discarding -- for unused embryos at Houston Fertility Center:

*If couples let us know before their eggs and sperm are combined for fertilization via IVF, we can perform the FDA-required testing for embryo 'adoption' to be an option.

*We will assist couples in making their embryos available for research at approved institutions.

It's imperative that patients using IVF to create embryos discuss -- in advance -- all of the options with their partners and any others they typically consult for life's big decisions.

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