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Additional Gamete and Embryo Procedures

Additional Gamete and Embryo Procedures

embryoIn order to optimize your chances for success, and based on the infertility factors that warrant IVF as a treatment option, your Team RMI physician may recommend some additional procedures during the IVF process.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Sometimes, the sperm is unable to penetrate the hard outer layer of the egg, leading to failed or poor fertilization.  As such, the use of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) during IVF can help to improve fertilization rates.  During ICSI, the embryologist will select, and subsequently inject, one sperm directly into one mature egg.

There are several scenarios where ICSI should be considered:

  • Male factor infertility  - including abnormalities in count, motility, and morphology of the sperm
  • A prior history of poor fertilization with conventional IVF (where eggs where just exposed to sperm)
  • If frozen eggs are being used for IVF
  • If Preimplantation genetic screening or preimplantation genetic diagnosis is being done
  • Unexplained infertility

For more information on ICSI:
http://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/what-is-intracytoplasmic-sperm-injection-icsi/

Assisted Hatching

For an embryo to implant, it must first break out or “hatch out” of its hard outer shell. During assisted hatching, a Team RMI embryologist will artificially weaken the hard outer shell of the embryo in order to facilitate embryo expansion and hatching  - leading one step closer to implantation and finally pregnancy.
For more information on Assisted Hatching:

http://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/assisted-hatching/  

Embryo Cryopreservation

If more healthy embryos are available than the number recommended for transfer, cryopreservation of the additional embryos can be performed. Embryo freezing is accomplished using a technique known as vitrification.  Frozen/thawed embryo transfer during a subsequent cycle gives the couple additional chances for pregnancy.  Multiple pregnancies may be established from a single retrieval cycle using this technique.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening and Preimplantation Genetic diagnosis

One final option during IVF is screening and testing of the embryos for either chromosomal abnormalities or specific genetic conditions.  Learn more about PGD and PGS.

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