post mortem freeze

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post mortem freeze

Post by kmw »

The egg donor we would like to use is in poor health and I don't see her being able to donate eggs to us with the traditional protocol involving six weeks of hormones followed by general anesthesia. She is severely underweight due to an ongoing battle with bulimia. This may sound brash, but as people donate hearts, livers, kidneys, etc., post mortem, is there a way this could theoretically be done with ovaries and then the eggs frozen? Of course we'd have attorneys draft all the necessary paperwork authorizing the procedure as well as the donation of the eggs (something she has said she would love to do for us as she is a relative on my husband's side - She is also an only child and an only grandchild). We'd also have the necessary psych eval done, as well as have her fill out all the traditionally required items such as medical history, give blood samples, etc. She is less than 50 miles from your office, so that if/when she passes, it would not be too far to travel for the removal as my research on the internet indicates that eggs live for only about 12 hours after a woman passes away (is this correct?) so it would need to be done fairly expeditiously.
I'm also wondering, how long after passing away does sperm survive? Our sperm donor, a loved one on my side of the family (sample frozen at California Cryobank), was also a post mortem retrieval. He'd been gone about 2 1/2 days by the time the sperm was actually frozen. Could this have damaged the DNA? He was on the psychotropic medication Clozaril at the time of his passing. Have you heard anything of DNA damage being done by such medications, or by smoking, as he was a smoker? I called the pharmacy and was told Clozaril is a "class B" drug for pregnancy and that there was only data regarding a woman taking it during pregnancy, but that it did say it was not known to cause birth defects. What is your professional opinion of the viability of the sperm (it was non-mobile at the point it was frozen)? We have been told by friends that we should just look for other donors but we really want to both be biologically related to the child and this is the only way for that to happen.
Thank you for your time and expertise.
Dr. Wisot
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Re: post mortem freeze

Post by Dr. Wisot »

I am not aware of a case of post mortem egg retrieval.

I think 2 1/2 days post mortem sperm retrieval is beyond what's usually considered the period of viability but that's not my area of expertise and i suggest you ask the cryobank since they froze the sperm.

Arthur L. Wisot, M. D.
Reproductive Partners Medical Group, Inc.
Redondo Beach, California
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