Are Embryology Labs All That Important to IVF Success?
Most of us don’t think much about the embryology lab when choosing an infertility clinic. Big mistake! The quality of the lab is crucial to giving you the best chance of getting pregnant with fertility treatment.
I loved this question we received for yesterday’s Creating a Family show on What You Must Know about Embryology Labs Before Fertility Treatment.
We found this podcast and Creating a Family because we are looking for a [infertility]clinic. I have been working my way through the archives of old show and they are a Gold Mine of information, so thank you. I was surprised to see the topic of today’s show because I had never really considered the lab part of the clinic. I would like to hear you and your guests discuss what a prospective patient should ask about the lab. What should we be looking for in an embryology lab? Are they all alike so that we don’t have to think about this when choosing?
Reading between the lines I got the feeling that the answer she really wanted was: “Don’t worry about it. Labs are all the same, so that is one thing patients don’t need to think about when choosing an infertility clinic.” Alas, if that’s what she wanted, she was sorely disappointed.
One of our guests, Dr. Michael Tucker, Director of Embryology at Shady Grove Fertility and Georgia Reproductive Services, says that while there are fewer distinctions between the quality of embryology labs now than in the past, differences still exist and patients still need to consider the labs when choosing a fertility clinic. Our other guest, Dr. Marie Werner, and reproductive embryologist with RMA New Jersey with specialized training in embryology, agreed and pointed out several specific criteria where labs differ, and these differences can and do affect success rates.
We’ve learned a lot in the last 10 years about how to grow the best embryos to give patients the greatest chance of success with IVF. Some of the advances have been dramatic, such as new freezing techniques and the ability to grow embryos to Day 5 and 6, which have made frozen embryo transfers as successful as fresh transfers; some of the advances are seemingly routine, but have resulted in significant improvements in IVF success rates, such as improved air filtration systems for labs and new incubation systems.
If you want to be wowed by medical and physical science, listen to this week’s Creating a Family show.
Did you ask your clinic about the embryology lab before you decided to go with them?