Edmonton in-vitro patient in 4-year battle to learn fate of unused embryo

Edmonton in-vitro patient in 4-year battle to learn fate of unused embryo thumbnail

A woman who underwent in-vitro fertilization at an Edmonton clinic has been unable to confirm the whereabouts of her leftover embryo — four years after she requested that it be destroyed.

Jane Shea started visiting the Regional Fertility and Women’s Endocrinology Clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital in 2011 after she tried unsuccessfully for four years to get pregnant with a second child.

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Shea said she and her husband “struggled for years. Nobody can explain why I couldn’t get pregnant.”

She said she underwent a series of tests and exams, but the results came back normal. The couple finally had a baby girl in February 2013, through IVF, an expensive process that can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 per cycle, and is not covered under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.

The IVF process allows sperm to fertilize an egg in a laboratory Petri dish. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus. (CBC)

Shea said the clinic offered to store her remaining embryo for free for one year after her daughter’s birth before she had to make a decision: store, donate or destroy the fertilized egg.



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