8 Ways to Tell if Your Embryology Lab is Good Enough

Dawn Davenport


How to tell if your embryology lab is qualified.

Consider these eight questions you must ask your fertility clinic about its embryology lab to ensure your best chance for getting pregnant with IVF. This information should be available on the clinic website, the Clinic Summary Report on their IVF statistics as maintained on the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) website, or by asking.

  1. The laboratory should be accredited by one of the following: College of American Pathologists/American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, or New York State Tissue Bank. If not listed on their website, you can ask or check the bottom of their Clinic Summary Report on their IVF statistics as maintained on the SART website.
  2. The Director of the lab should be certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD) or American Board of Bioanalysis Embryology Laboratory Director (ABB- ELD). As of 2006 this certification is required of all lab directors, but even directors that were grandfathered in are strongly encouraged to become certified.
  3. Check the infertility clinic’s IVF success rates maintained by SART. These statistics are also listed on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, but the SART website is more current. Check the statistics for your age group.
  4. Check the SART IVF success statistics for the average number of embryos transferred per cycle. Best practice is to transfer fewer embryos and you want a lab that is able to grow embryos that give doctors the option to transfer only one.
  5. Ask whether chromosomal screening of embryos is routine. You will have to decide whether you want to screen your embryos, but you want a lab that is able to perform this screening.
  6. Does the laboratory use the vitrification method of cryopreservation? This method of freezing embryos and eggs has revolutionized success rates for frozen embryo transfers and using frozen eggs.
  7. Ask the clinic to explain their standard operating procedure for chain of custody of sperm, eggs, and embryos—both fresh and frozen.
  8. Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologist how she/he communicates with the lab, and ask her/him to explain what will happen in the lab. Open communication and respect between the doctor and the embryology laboratory is crucial for success.
Image credit: These images came from a really excellent Beginner’s Guide to the Embryology Lab by Shady Grove Fertility.

24/06/2015 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog, Infertility Resources | 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑

Content created by Creating a Family. And remember, there are no guarantees in adoption or infertility treatment. The information provided or referenced on this website should be used only as part of an overall plan to help educate you about the joys and challenges of adopting a child or dealing with infertility. Although the following seems obvious, our attorney insists that we tell you specifically that the information provided on this site may not be appropriate or applicable to you, and despite our best efforts, it may contain errors or important omissions. You should rely only upon the professionals you employ to assist you directly with your individual circumstances. CREATING A FAMILY DOES NOT WARRANT THE INFORMATION OR MATERIALS contained or referenced on this website. CREATING A FAMILY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ERRORS or omissions in this information and materials and PROVIDES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, implied, express or statutory. IN NO EVENT WILL CREATING A FAMILY BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, including without limitation direct or indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of or in connection with the use of the information or materials, EVEN IF CREATING A FAMILY OR ITS AGENTS ARE NEGLIGENT AND/OR ARE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.