Disposition of cryopreserved embryos by infertility patients desiring to discontinue storage

Susan Lanzendorf, Valerie Ratts, Sarah Keller, Randall Odem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: To review our patients' decisions for disposition of their cryopreserved embryos and compare the findings with those reported in the scientific literature. Patients who no longer wish to store their cryopreserved embryos have three choices: discarding, donation to research, or donation to someone else for initiation of a pregnancy. Design: Retrospective review of patient records from January 2002 to July 2007 to determine preferences for embryo disposition. Setting: University hospital. Patient(s): Patients who elected to discontinue embryo cryostorage. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Patients' decisions regarding embryo disposition, length of storage, treatment outcome, age at oocyte retrieval, and age at time of disposition. Result(s): A total of 149 disposition requests were reviewed, with 59% donating to scientific research, 38% discarding, and 3% donating to a known or anonymous person/couple for attempted pregnancy. There was no significant difference in the choice selected between patients who achieved a pregnancy with delivery compared with those who did not. Patient age at retrieval and at the time of disposition as well as the total time in storage was not significantly different between patients electing to discard and those donating to research. Conclusion(s): Patients in our program wanting to discontinue cryostorage were more likely to request that their surplus embryos be used for scientific research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-489
Number of pages4
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2010


  • Embryo donation
  • cryopreservation
  • embryo disposition
  • embryo research
  • infertility
  • informed consent


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