IVF Lab Security
At Pacific Fertility Center, a superior embryology team, state of the art facility and strict protocol ensure the highest level of privacy and security from the moment a laboratory procedure is initiated. Learn more about our laboratory staff and the measures we take to maintain exceptional standards for every patient.
Our Laboratory Staff
Each of our senior embryologists is Board Certified and Licensed in their specialty by the American Board of Bioanalysis. While such certification is not required in the State of California, Pacific Fertility Center insists that every member of our staff is certified to the highest laboratory standards. We are fortunate to possess an internationally recognized Laboratory Director, Dr. Joseph Conaghan, who leads one of the most highly trained embryology teams in the country. Learn more about our Laboratory Director and staff.
Preparing for procedures
- Each laboratory procedure begins with careful communication between physician and embryologist, during which they review together the individual patient case and procedure(s) to be conducted.
- Approximately 24 hours ahead of the given procedure, test tubes and Petri dishes are prepared with a special fluid (embryo culture media) used to incubate sperm, eggs and/or embryos.
- Each receptacle is labeled with clear and unique identifying information using double identifiers (name and date of birth) as well as a color code.
- Labeled and colored receptacles are assigned to an incubator where they will warm to body temperature until the patient is ready for the procedure. We assign only one patient case to a given incubator on any given day, to ensure that eggs, sperm or embryos from two different patients will remain completely isolated from each other.
Each embryology procedure is performed by two embryologists in a ‘check and balance’ fashion. Though many such procedures do not require two embryologists, this type of system enables strict oversight and eliminates the possibility of error. For each procedure, embryologists observe and sign off on each other’s work and confirm physician instructions and labeling and coding of all patient samples.
Sperm samples. After sperm is collected and delivered to our clinic, each sample is immediately labeled with unique identifying information, including full name, social security or passport number and the given partner’s name and signature. An embryologist or nurse will note the time and date of receipt and verify by signature that they have received the sample. In this way, secure ‘custody’ of a given sample is maintained.
Egg retrieval. Prior to the egg retrieval procedure and before patients receive any sedating medication, the embryologist will ask the patient to state her full name and date of birth; only the patient is allowed to establish her identity. During the procedure, two embryologists will take responsibility for collecting the eggs and placing them into prepared and labeled receptacles.
Insemination. As a rule, two embryologists perform every insemination.
Embryo transfer. As with the retrieval procedure, the embryologist will ask the patient her full name and date of birth, and a second embryologist will witness and verify that the correct embryos are being transferred. Before the physician actually transfers the embryos, the embryologist will state the patient’s full name and the number of embryos in the catheter.
Freezing and thawing of sperm and embryos. Frozen specimens are extensively labeled and catalogued to verify the type and location of each patient’s genetic material. Thawing of specimens must be performed under the direction of a physician. According to protocol, 2 embryologists check and double check the paperwork before even opening a tank to retrieve a specimen