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Transporting embryos between clinics or switching fertility clinics

What happens if you’ve got embryos in one clinic, and you want to switch to another, whatever the reason would be? I’ve heard this question raised mainly in negative contexts: dissatisfaction with the current clinic, or a clinic that went bankrupt and had to find somewhere to transfer the embryos, or just to switch to a clinic with less expensive embryo annual storage rates.

Sometimes there’s no choice but to move the embryos. For example, when the embryos were created in countries in the Far East or in countries that were meant to be a temporary solution that no longer exists. In such cases, the cheapest and safest way to continue with the process is to move the embryos to a safer and more stable clinic that will be able to protect the embryos you have already created and also have a good chance of creating siblings from the same embryos, if you have already had children. It’s important to remember that in such cases the receiving country will need to confirm that the embryos comply with the regulatory conditions and with the local health standards.

If the embryos are being moved within the same country (let’s say the United States), it’s important to take into account that this type of transport costs money. Usually the sending and receiving clinics will charge something, so there will be two payments, in addition to the actual shipping.

Another important thing to know is that not every clinic would accept embryos that were created elsewhere. Mainly clinics with high success rates will not accept embryos that were created in a clinic with low success rates since the embryos may not be good enough and were not created in a sufficiently high-quality process, and they can jeopardize the success rates of the receiving clinic.

Also keep in mind that if you move your embryos you will lose the plan you had at the clinic where you created the embryos (such as a certain number of embryo transfers at no extra cost, commitment to additional cycles, and more). Moreover, the clinic you will move to will probably charge for each action separately (since they did not create the embryos there are no “all inclusive” plans, especially if the clinics are not at the same quality level).

For the most part, it’s best to try and resolve any differences with the current clinic and avoid extra expenses. If you have no other choice, make sure that you do it as carefully as possible, and that you have enough embryos as the actual transport entails risks. And of course make sure that the shipment is insured.

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