'Compassionate transfer': an alternative option for surplus embryo disposition

Kirsten A. Riggan, Megan Allyse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Compassionate transfer is a procedure wherein in vitro-created embryos are placed in a patient's cervix, vagina or uterus at an infertile period in the menstrual cycle where they are expected to perish. Patients report that they feel this procedure is a more natural means of disposition and provides them with the opportunity to grieve the loss of a potential child. However, some have argued that the procedure is an unnecessary, and illogical, addition to fertility treatment and that it detracts resources from medical care. Here, we introduce compassionate transfer as an alternative disposition option and argue that, for certain patients, it may constitute an ethical extension of fertility care that respects patient autonomy and psychosocial health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-794
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • compassionate transfer
  • embryo cryopreservation
  • embryo disposition
  • ethics
  • surplus embryos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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