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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 934567, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/934567
Research Article

Patients' Attitudes towards the Surplus Frozen Embryos in China

1Centre for Assisted Reproduction, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Jiangxi, Nanchang 330006, China
2Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Jiangxi, Nanchang 330006, China
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Jiangxi, Nanchang 330006, China

Received 17 September 2012; Accepted 19 October 2012

Academic Editor: Irma Virant-Klun

Copyright © 2013 Xuan Jin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Assisted reproductive techniques have been used in China for more than 20 years. This study investigates the attitudes of surplus embryo holders towards embryos storage and donation for medical research. Methods. A total of 363 couples who had completed in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment and had already had biological children but who still had frozen embryos in storage were invited to participate. Interviews were conducted by clinics in a narrative style. Results. Family size was the major reason for participants’ (dis)continuation of embryo storage; moreover, the moral status of embryos was an important factor for couples choosing embryo storage, while the storage fee was an important factor for couples choosing embryo disposal. Most couples discontinued the storage of their embryos once their children were older than 3 years. In our study, 58.8% of the couples preferred to dispose of surplus embryos rather than donate them to research, citing a lack of information and distrust in science as significant reasons for their decision. Conclusions. Interviews regarding frozen embryos, including patients’ expectations for embryo storage and information to assist them with decisions regarding embryo disposal, are beneficial for policies addressing embryo disposition and embryo donation in China.