Inside an Embryology Lab: What Fertility Patients Need to Know

Infertility patients spend a lot of time with their fertility doctor, but often give little thought to what happens inside the embryology lab. The quality of the infertility lab is crucial to IVF success. Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews embryologist Scott Kratka, senior embryologist at the Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey and Board Certified by the American College of Embryology.

Hit the Highlights
  • Description of the IVF procedure in the lab from the point the eggs are retrieved.
  • How important is the embryology lab to the success of infertility treatment?
  • What type of medium do the embryos grow in? Do all labs use the same medium?
  • What advances have been made in the medium?
  • How does light affect embryos?
  • What steps can be taken to reduce the embryo’s exposure to light?
  • How does the air quality in the embryology lab affect the success of an in vitro fertilization cycle?
  • What questions should patients ask about the infertility clinic lab or should they simply look at the clinic statistics?
  • What options are available for performing preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and how does it affect what day you can transfer the embryos?
  • Can embryos grow until day 6 and be transferred fresh or must they be frozen on day 5?
  • Description of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
  • What safeguards are in place in the better embryology labs to make sure the correct egg/sperm/embryo are used?
  • What is considered best practices to make certain there are no mix ups in sperm, egg, or embryos?
  • What questions should patients ask their clinic about their embryology lab?

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Image Credit: ZEISS Microscopy
Show originally aired in 2014.