IVF, a relatively common Infertility procedure, has long been reliant on the ‘best in the business’ to achieve optimal results, a.k.a. most likely to conceive. “Having the right physician and the right practice is of course crucial to success when it comes to IVF,” says Elena Trukhacheva MD, MSCI and President/Medical Director of Reproductive Medicine Institute with offices throughout the Chicago area. “But, the ‘Art’ of Assisted Reproductive Technology, is quite dependent on what happens in the lab.
Chapman and her expert staff are on hand during the egg retrieval process which follows a period of hormonal stimulation and monitoring prior to removal of mature oocytes from the patient. Once the eggs are removed surgically by the physician, they are immediately passed to the embryology team whose job is to inspect the eggs, inseminate them with sperm and observe their growth and development over a three to five-day period, prior to the physician performed, ultrasound guided transfer of embryos back into the patient’s uterus.
“Understandably, patients are curious and anxious as to the look of their eggs and embryos from immediately following retrieval through the days leading up to transfer,” says Chapman. “Obviously, it’s a crucial time for us as well as we directly handle the eggs and embryos, often times performing additional procedures such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) which can assist the formation of healthy embryos in cases where male factor and/or other issues exist, as well as individual cell biopsies for Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) for detection and prevention of genetic abnormalities.“
It’s a tall order but one that Carli Chapman and her team of embryologists are accustomed. “Patients often call to check on the progress of their embryos,” says Chapman. “It’s all part of the process.”
A process which takes place regardless of snow, rain, heat or gloom of night; a phrase commonly referenced in the delivery of the United States mail. But, Chapman and her staff instead deliver the message that despite the mail being suspended due to the Polar Vortex, the ‘care and feeding’ of patient embryos continued at Reproductive Medicine Institute.