Storage of cells and tissue
If you can feel the clock ticking but you want to postpone motherhood, AGE banking may be a solution. This is also known as social freezing.
During your ART treatment or before you start treatment, it may be necessary to freeze and store reproductive cells or tissue. UZ Brussel's tissue bank where we store reproductive human tissue is called the CRG's MLM bank.To freeze any tissues, a contract must be signed at all times. In this contract:
- you give your consent to freeze and store tissue;
- you determine the storage period;
- you decide what needs to be done with the stored material on termination of the storage period or when you don't need it anymore; and
- (if applicable) you undertake to pay a storage cost for the period of storage.
These decisions can be revoked at all times, as long as you do this in writing before the end of the storage period.
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Is freezing embryos for later use a good idea?
If your IVF or ICSI fertilisation resulted in more embryos than you need for the transfer, the supernumerary embryos of good quality can be frozen. If your treatment did not result in pregnancy or if you want another child later on, you can use this stock of embryos.
For the treatment, see IVF step by step, transfer with thawed embryos
To freeze embryos, you need to fill out and sign the 'supernumerary embryos' form. In this contract:
- you give your consent for freezing and storing, and
- you decide what happens with the embryos when you no longer need them, if your living circumstances change or when you die.
If you decided that the supernumerary embryos could be frozen, you will find out in writing how many were suitable for freezing a couple of weeks after transfer. To avoid misunderstandings this information is only provided in writing.
With regard to the supernumerary embryos you no longer need yourself, you have the following choices:
- (anonymous) donation to prospective parents whose own genetic material is not suitable. See donation, the broad outlines and embryo donation;
- for scientific research (see the brochure of the same name);
- or destruction.