Trends in embryo disposition decisions: patients’ responses to a 15-year mailing program
Authors: Provoost, V.; Pennings, G.; De Sutter, P.; Van de Velde, A.; Dhont, M.
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 27, Number 2, 5 February 2012 , pp. 506-514(9)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This study examined the responses of patients of a Belgian fertility center to mailed requests to make or renew an embryo disposition decision (EDD), over a period of 15 years, to investigate trends in the decisions.
A retrospective analysis was performed on a mailing program from 1992 to 2006, for patients, of the Department of Reproductive Medicine, Ghent University Hospital (Belgium), from whom embryos had been cryopreserved at least 2 years.
In 15 years, 3840 EDD forms were prepared for 2334 couples or female patients. The number of forms increased from 21 in 1992 to 558 in 2006. Each year, around a third of the forms were not returned. In general, a quarter of patients who received more than one form never answered. Donation to others for reproduction was overall the least popular option and decreased over the years. The rising trend in decisions to discard reversed into a negative trend from the introduction of donation for science (1997). Since then, donation for science has been the most popular option and its popularity increased with time. In 15 years, 2504 embryos were donated for science. More than a quarter of the patients who chose more than one final EDD in different years did not select the same EDD the second time.
This study showed a positive trend in donation for science and a negative trend in donation to others and discarding. A substantial number of individual patients chose different types of EDDs in consecutive mailings, which shows that advance EDD directives should be used with caution.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-02-05
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.