Friday, May 25, 2018

The limits of IVF technology

The IVF lab is the heart of IVF treatment. We keep your eggs and sperms safely in the incubator, and your embryos grow in the IVF culture medium in vitro, until they form good quality blastocysts, which are ready to either be frozen , or to be transferred into your uterus.
The most important thing an IVF lab does is make sure there are no toxic elements within the culture medium or the laboratory , as these could damage the growth of your embryos. We want to keep them happy, so they thrive in vitro, until they are ready to go back into your uterus !
However, sadly there is very little we can do to actually enhance the growth of your embryos. This is because the growth of the embryo depends on the energy provided by the mitochondria in the cytoplasm of the egg, and there is nothing we can do as yet to improve this.
This is one of the limitations an IVF lab has to live with - we have to work with whatever raw materials we get. After all, IVF is an ART - an assisted reproductive technology, where we given nature a helping hand. Yes, it can be frustrating when embryos don't grow well in a good quality laboratory, but if you're sure that the embryologist is an experienced expert, then this is something you have to learn to accept.
This is why it's so important to make sure your IVF lab gives you photos of your embryos - so you can make sure they have been nurtured with tender loving care in the lab !
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