More and more IVF clinics are offering time-lapse imaging of IVF embryos to couples going through treatment. Embryo monitoring, as it is known, can provide a wealth of information about your embryo that previously was unavailable. The equipment takes thousands of images of your embryos as they develop in vitro. This provides the embryologists with so much more information about how your embryos are developing.
Women over the age of 38, should move onto IVF quickly because it increases the success rate of implantation and one's ovarian reserve, or egg quality, decreases substantially as they become older, explains Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone, reproductive endocrinologist at Northwestern Medicine, from Boston University School of Medicine.
By performing the frozen embryo transfer instead of the fresh embryo transfer, it allows for higher implantation rates, healthier pregnancies with fewer risks for the mother, and healthier babies, explains Dr. Bruce S. Shapiro, Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, and founder of The Fertility Center of Las Vegas.
The EevaTM (Early Embryo Viability Assessment) Test is a new technology that fertility doctors and embryologists are using to aid in embryo selection. The Eeva Test analyzes early embryo development, allowing doctors to choose or transfer only the embryo or embryos that have the best development potential.
I frequently receive pictures and cards from patients who have successfully undergone fertility treatment. My favorite card to receive is a picture of an older and a younger child. In a sense, they were twins separated at conception. The older child was the product of a fresh In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) embryo transfer. The younger child was the result of a cryopreserved embryo from that same IVF cycle that was subsequently used in a frozen embryo transfer cycle.
The journey to become pregnant is fraught with emotion and, as you know, can be quite the roller-coaster ride. Today, more so than ever before, many women put their education and career at the forefront of their lives during their prime fertile years, trusting that the rest will fall into place. When we finally meet the elusive “one” and get married, we expect the next step to come easily to us. After all, we have attained everything else we have set out to accomplish in life. But with trying to conceive, unlike grades in graduate school, there are no guarantees that your hard work and careful charting or planning will yield results. Instead, with fertility treatment, you enter a world where even “trying” can be seen as a negative. You’re given advice such as “just relax and it will happen” or told that it will happen “when you least expect it.”
Dr. Reh here to share a success story of a lovely couple known to me since last year. W.S. is a 33-year-old woman with infertility for over two years. W.S. had irregular menstrual cycles, which had initially been the target of treatment from her OBGYN prior to our meeting. However, as with all couples, we encouraged them to have a comprehensive evaluation upfront to evaluate for all possible causes of infertility.
For decades, fertility clinics utilized a slow freeze technique for freezing of eggs and embryos. This method was successful with embryos, but frozen eggs showed only a 50% survival rate. It was clear that a more efficient and successful technique was needed. Today, vitrification allows for 90% or greater survival for both embryos and eggs.
“Ana” started crying. We had just reviewed the results of her initial fertility evaluation and the results indicated that her fallopian tubes were blocked. Her husband’s sperm count was also a little low, but she focused on her own “failure” with “broken tubes.”
Tubal factor infertility – or any situation in which the fallopian tubes are nonfunctioning (blocked, absent, dilated, etc) is one of the most common causes of infertility. It can be due to an infection in the past, a history of appendicitis, the presence of fibroids, a prior surgery, even sometimes after delivery or cesarean section. Some women will have no history of any of the above and still have blocked tubes, or may have had an infection as a teenager that was never recognized.
Everyone, everywhere is extolling the benefits of exercise for total body health and mental health. But what about when you’re undergoing IVF? Will abstaining from exercise during an IVF cycle or after embryo transfer help increase chances of IVF success?