The process starts with egg retrieval. Before egg retrieval, the woman is given medication to produce a healthy number of eggs. These eggs are then retrieved from the ovaries through a minimally invasive office procedure.
The most important discovery in the biology of IVF is that the type of culture media plays an important role in how embryos develop. The human egg is not fertilized in the womb. In fact, it is fertilized in the fallopian tube; about 2/3 of the way to the end of the fallopian tube. From this location, the embryo travels forward into the womb.
The importance of understanding the nature of the biochemical processes in the reproductive organs is of extreme importance. The chemical environment of the fallopian tube is different from inside the uterus. The media must match the environment of the embryo's, at its specific location. These factors include chemicals, proteins, and even the concentration of several gases, including oxygen nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
At the "Infertility and Lifespan Medical Institute," we pay strict attention to the requirement of the embryonic milieu. The day 1 to 3 embryos, which are found in the fallopian tube, require a different chemical environment when compared with day 4-5 embryos. In the 1990's a huge number of transfers were done on day 3. Nowadays, up to 70% of embryos are transferred as blastocysts, which require a separate culture media. The first solution was to switch the embryos to a different culture media after day 3. An important breakthrough has been the development of single-step culture media so the embryos can be left undisturbed.
The embryos which make it to the blastocyst stage have the greatest chance of producing a pregnancy. However, not all blastocysts are genetically normal, even if their appearance is pristine. On rare occasions, the patient may respond nicely to ovarian stimulation, with the production of several normal-appearing embryos. However. even if the embryos appear normal, they can be genetically abnormal. We can find out the genetic status of an embryo by sampling a few cells in a very simple and safe procedure.
An interesting finding is that, regardless of age, the likelihood of an embryo resulting in pregnancy depends on its appearance and its genetics. In other words, the pregnancy rates in these cases are virtually the same, regardless of the patient's age.
At the "Infertility and Lifespan Medical Institute," we have seen demonstrable miracles with the transfer of such embryos. Call us at 858-344-5020 or contact us through our website at www.FertilityDocs.com turn learn more about IVF, Embryo Transfer, and all aspects of assisted reproduction.