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What to do with frozen embryos?

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#1 bussbee

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:33 PM


I posted this in another area but since what worries me most is my age I thought someone here might have some thoughts?
I have to make a final decision on what to do with 3 frozen embryos. I never imagined I would be in this position as all I originally cared about was getting pregnant. But now I have two beautiful boys 19months and 4 years, this decision is literally tormenting me and I have been thinking about it daily.
Our two DSs are from IVF and ICSI.
From the last cycle we have 3 frozen embryos. My youngest DS was a frozen embryo out of this cycle.
I had many problems conceiving with stage 4 endo. and we thought we may never have a child.
We were very blessed to have our first DS at 39 and then another miracle at 42.
We feel our family is complete and we are so blessed but I can't bear letting the other frozen embies go especially as our second DS came from this cycle.
I'm scared I'm too old to be pregnant again and I risk taking time away from my existing boys with possible illness. I was quite sick during my last pregnancy and missed precious time with my first DS.
I can't make up my mind whether to try the embies or not as I'm now 43 and should one of them work I would be 44.
We both feel very tired as our DSs are not good sleepers and our parents are too old to help out. My family think we are done and would consider us mad to even be thinking about another child.
For me I feel it is now or never to give the embryos a chance or should I just accept what my GP says, that the embryos are just a cluster of cells, and be happy with what we have?
On days when I feeling well and rested I think I should give it a go and then at other times when I'm tired and run down I think it would be crazy.

Any ideas on how to resolve this horrible indecision?

#2 PriLou

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:45 PM

Hi OP,

I had to reply to you as I'm in a similar situation (although I'm meant to be working on my uni assignment). On our last ever cycle of IVF, the fresh transfer did not take and we were left with 3 frozen embryos. Our first frozen took and we now have a 2-yr old DS. After countless failed IVF cycle previous to this, I really didn't think we would ever get lucky again, but that was OK because I felt truly blessed. My FS was more optimistic and our second frozen took. We now have a 4-month old DD. But what to do with our third frozen embryo?

Both of my pregnancies were very hard and resulted in both DS and DD being delivered at 34 weeks. While pregnant with DD I missed DS second birthday as I was in hospital with complications. My pregnancy with DD resulted in three hospitalisations, surgery after my C-section and a 2-week stay. My OB has even told me not to try again. But I can't get the idea of number 3 out of my head. It's to the point where I have names.

For the moment we are keeping it on ice, as I just can't make a decision. Sorry that I can't give you any help, but wanted to let you know how hard being in this position actually is.

#3 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:54 PM

It sounds like you are putting this deadline on yourself. Why is it now or never?!?

#4 kez71

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:58 PM

I'm not in your position. My last 2 frozen embryos both miscarried. If you want to try for another baby, then you could use a surrogate if you don't want to carry another yourself.

The other option giving them a chance is to adopt them out to couples who for whatever reason cann't use their own embryos.

Good luck..I hope you can resolve your problems.

#5 poppy3

Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:34 PM

I don't belong in this section, but your topic reminded me of an article I read by similar title.

It was about a few couples in this situation, although they had made their decision to definitely not have more children and they couldn't face donating the embryos.

One couple collected their embryos and "buried" them in a special spot and had a little family ceremony.

The other couple had them transferred at a time of her cycle when they knew she wouldn't fall pregnant.

I thought they were both really nice ideas for a difficult situation.

Good luck with your decision

#6 coolbreeze

Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:51 PM

Well I just applied yesterday to VARTA to extend my embryo storage for another 5 years (which will make it 15 years in total. Embryos made in November 2002 oomg.gif )

I ma 42 and have two beautiful children from this batch, an 8year old and 4 year old)

We cannot ever have children naturally and feel quite strongly that I want the 'chance' to have children to the end of my natural reproductive life. 5 years time I will be 48 years old.
The likelihood of this is remote, but feel its only fair to have the opportunity like the rest of the fertile community.
I would say to you don't rush the decision, you are an older mum but your kids are very little and it is a foggy time. just wait a few years and see how you feel.
Good luck

Edited by coolbreeze, 27 April 2012 - 05:52 PM.

#7 Cyaira

Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

Forgive me if I am misunderstanding something.

Why would you advocate waiting? Isn't one option she's thinking of using the embies? I thought waiting would reduce the chances of a successful pg due to age.

I would suggest the OP has a good chat to her DP and see what he thinks. Or have a chat with her fertility specialist/OB and maybe s/he could give her some well educated advice or options.

#8 coolbreeze

Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:33 PM

Embryos remain statistically the same age as the day they were made.
My embryos were made at 32years old (with 32 year old eggs and older sperm 42)
The embryos are frozen and remain that age forever.
Thats why older women (plus 45) have very good outcomes with donor embryos and frozen embryos made from younger gametes (ie eggs and sperm) A uterus can support a pregnancy at any age. Some very advanced maternal pregnancies worldwide are proof of this. Most if not all celebrity pregnancies at reproductively speaking, advanced ages, (46-50 years old) are from younger donated eggs or embryos. Embryos frozen stay the same age. Unfortunately it is eggs and sperm in their natural state that age, reducing the likelihood of pregnancy in the later reproductive years from age 35 onwards, taking another dip at 40 and then in the most case declining rapidly post 43-45years old.
So yes, waiting will not reduce pregnancy rate with younger frozen embryos, so she can wait and see how she feels. I am sure the op understands this being through the rollercoaster of ivf.
Believe me, one of the very few positives to come out of ivf treatment.

Edited by coolbreeze, 27 April 2012 - 08:41 PM.

#9 libbylu

Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:41 PM

I agree there is no rush to make a decision about what to do with the embryo's - just keep them in storage for now.  There are other options besides destroying or transferring anyway.

The decision about weather to try for another child is separate in a lot of ways.  Disregard the fact that you have some on ice - pretend do didn't for the sake of it.  Would you choose to start TTC another child this year, next year etc.?  I don't think the fact that there are embryo's waiting there should influence the decision about whether another child is right for your family.

#10 aidensmum

Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:20 PM

I'd keep them. We disposed of some when we thought for sure we were done. Five years later we changed our mind. It's so much more expensive now that I'm kicking myself. Keep telling myself they were 10 years frozen and the science is more advanced now. But then I'm 10 years older and not responding like I did in my 20s. Your embryos might be more valuable than you think if you decide your family is not done.

#11 bussbee

Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:41 PM

Thank you all so much for your replies. It is really helpful reading the responses and has made me feel calmer waiting longer with the decision.
I have felt time is running out because I will be 44 for this year and I also think I'm probably too old for a third child. If I was still in my 30s I would not hesitate to try them.
I don't know anyone who has had a successful pregnancy at this age and I have to admit I'm scared I'm too old to be trying for another baby.
I am totally content with the wonderful sons I have, but the problem is I feel so guilty not giving the frozen embryos a chance as well.  
My DH will not consider donating the embryos and our Dr. said they need to be from a women 35 or younger to be eligible for donation.

#12 trdl

Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

I would love to think that i could donate mine to someone who couldnt produce their own eggs through IVF. I would love to give that gift to someone. But we are just starting with our IVF Journey and have only just started talking about that idea.

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