Recently, this blog discussed the success rates of thawing embryos and frozen embryo transfers. While the success rate of these procedures is encouraging and only likely to get better in the future, there are factors that impact the rate of success adoptive couples should know about now:

  1. The age of the donating mother when the eggs were harvested. Fertility begins to decline after age 35 due in part to the quality of remaining eggs a woman has in her body. If the embryos were created from eggs retrieved from a woman 35 years of age or older, the embryos will have a lower chance of successfully implanting and growing into a healthy baby. Many embryos donated were created using purchased human eggs retrieved from a young woman.
  2. The health of the donating mother when the eggs were harvested. Factors like weight, whether she is a smoker, and previous health concerns can all impact the health of the embryo.
  3. The health of the adoptive mother. Ideally, a woman should be in excellent health during the time of the embryo transfer. This allows her body to more easily undergo the changes it needs to experience a healthy pregnancy.
  4. When the embryos were frozen. Most clinics agree that freezing embryos on day 5 (when they are at the blastocyst stage) gives the best chance for success, because they can evaluate the health of the embryo better than they can at earlier stages. However, many babies have been born to families adopting through Snowflakes which were frozen as early as day 1! Remember, the donor family already has children born from this same set of embryos.
  5. The number of embryos available for thawing. Of course, more embryos equal more chances of success, but remember that it only takes one embryo to become the baby you’ve been dreaming about. 

While most of the factors on this list not within your control, you can focus on what you can control. Mom- and dad-to-be should focus on their health, getting enough exercise, eating right, and staying positive. Embryo adoption has a great rate a success and the embryos you are adopting were created by families who wanted the best chance of creating a family – just like you do. You can learn more about embryo adoption and how you can increase your chances of success on

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