According to a study performed by ASRM's affiliate SART- the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and the RAND published in the May 2003 issue of Fertility and Sterility, there are nearly 400,000 embryos stored in cryopreservation facilities across the country.
Although this is a high number, the overwhelming majority of these embryos (88.2%) are being held to help patients have children in the future. About 4% of cryopreserved embryos are available for donation. Slightly more than half of those (about 11,000) are designated for research, while about 9,000 are slated for donation to help other infertile couples have children. We do not know how many of the embryos to be donated for research will go to stem cell research and how many will go to other types of embryo research projects.