Baby Born 20 Years after the Embryo Was Frozen
Many couples who would dearly love to have a child and are unable to conceive are encouraged to learn that a baby boy was born in May from an embryo that has been frozen for about 20 years.
The fact that embryo’s can be frozen allows women on fertility treatment to be able to try multiple cycles and not repeatedly create new embryos each time, means that often there are ‘left over’ embryo after successfully conceiving and bearing a child.
The couple who donated the embryo to 42 year old woman had already completed their family through IVF treatment, offered the remaining embryos that were frozen to other couples who could use them and this baby boy is proof that it can be successful even after 20 years being frozen.
Medical advances today are incredible, giving so much hope to infertile couples. Embryo freezing can offer a chance after many years in a frozen state, plus egg freezing and a new emergent technique that is now being done, ovarian tissues being frozen.
In two research studies on frozen embryos and what to do with them after the couple have successfully completed their family showed that a large proportion of infertile couples were in favour of their ‘spare’ embryos being used either for advancement for research or to be sold to couples who were in need of them. However in some parts of the USA and the UK it is considered to be ‘ethically unacceptable’ for them to be sold, which means that these ‘spare’ eggs will be destroyed.
Another study conducted at Johns Hopkins and Duke University has revealed that a 60% of 1020 couples interviewed stated that they would prefer that their spare embryos be used for stem cell research in preference to them being discarded or donated to other couples.
Regardless of the ethics that might be involved, they is always hope for infertile couples. The birth of a baby is a blessing and a joy. One should not dismiss this important aspect in the debate