Building families through donated embryos

The Process

A donor embryo Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle takes approximately one month to complete with the blood pregnancy test drawn about two weeks following the embryo transfer. The process for the donor embryo recipient is outlined below. You may also want to review the recipient packet which will be given to you at your appointment.


1.  Recipient Consultation

After an embryo has been selected, the recipients will meet with their physician to thoroughly review the upcoming cycle in regard to medications, the embryo transfer procedure, and timing. The physician and donor embryo nurse will go over the screening and testing requirements that need to be met before going through a cycle. Midwest Fertility Specialists strictly adheres to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) guidelines for screening and testing.


 2.  Recipient Counseling

We understand that the decision to consider egg donation or donor embryos as a treatment option can be very difficult.  All couples considering conception through the use of donor eggs or embryos are required to meet with a fertility counselor at The Cabin.  The counselors at The Cabin are committed to providing psychological and emotional support in an effort to minimize the stress of the process. (See the enclosed letter.)


 3.  Recipient Screening Requirements

All screening requirements for the recipient and spouse/partner must be completed prior to going through your embryo transfer using anonymously donated embryos.  Recipient screening requirements are listed on a separate document in this packet.


 4.  Recipient Uterine Lining Prep

Once pre-cycle testing is completed and deemed within normal limits, your nurse will instruct you to begin taking estrogen pills twice daily on the first day of full menstrual flow. You would then call the office to schedule your baseline ultrasound appointment. (If your period starts over the weekend, please call on Monday to schedule your baseline ultrasound.)  You will be scheduled for another ultrasound after 13 to 14 days of estrogen to measure your endometrial thickness.  Once your endometrial lining measures at least 7.5 mm – 8 mm, your nurse will instruct you when to begin progesterone support. If your endometrium does not measure 7.5 mm – 8mm, you will continue on estrogen and have repeat ultrasounds until we have an adequate measurement.


  5.  Embryo Transfer

The embryo transfer will occur on the fourth or sixth day of progesterone support depending on the stage of embryos. The recipient will get a call two days prior to the embryo transfer with the scheduled time for the transfer. The actual embryo transfer involves the physician transferring embryos through the recipient’s cervix into the uterus with a small catheter.

6.  Pregnancy Testing

Pregnancy tests are scheduled 13 days after the embryo transfer. The recipient will schedule an appointment to come to the office and have blood drawn. There will also be an ultrasound about two weeks after the first positive blood pregnancy test.  The recipient’s physician will monitor and adjust hormone levels prior to releasing her to an obstetrician.

If the pregnancy test is positive, it is important that the recipient continue on hormone medications for eight to 12 weeks of pregnancy to support the pregnancy.