There are some unfortunate couples where both eggs and sperms are either absent or of suboptimal quality. These patients have had repeated failures of IVF and ICSI are at their wit's end for a solution. Often, they are emotionally prepared even for adoption. It is here that the technique of embryo donation comes into play and gives the woman a chance at carrying and delivering a baby (even if it is not genetically their own).
By using donor sperm and donor eggs, the resulting embryos provide a very high rate of success and a significantly lower chance of abnormalities compared to people using in vitro fertilization and their own eggs and sperm. After the sperm are used to fertilize the eggs, embryos are cultured (grown) to day 3 or 5, also known as the blastocyst stage. The embryos are then transferred to patients that have been scheduled to have a transfer that is synchronized to the egg donor's cycle. Any remaining embryos are then stored with a highly successful freezing method known as vitrification.