Fertility Blog

PCRS - "Sparking New Thought In Reproductive Medicine"

Building healthy families, one baby at a time, is the goal of fertility care at Pacific Fertility Center. We aim for very high pregnancy rates, and offer those high rates with good safety. High pregnancy rates, with minimal risk, benefit both mother and child, helping build healthy families.

How do we provide high pregnancy rates, with minimal risk? By handling embryos with the utmost care, maximizing the chances of each embryo achieving pregnancy, then carefully selecting the best embryos for transfer. One selected embryo produces very high pregnancy rates, while avoiding the risks of multiple gestation, miscarriage, and clinical aneuploidy.

At the Pacific Coast meeting this year, Dr. Grifo, director of the Fertility Program at NYU, and a friend of Pacific Fertility Center, talked about his experience with elective Single Embryo Transfer (eSET). Dr. Grifo is Program Director of the New York University (NYU) Fertility Center.

He reviewed what we know: Aneuploidy, abnormal numbers of chromosomes, is the cause of the common age-related decline in fertility. With age, chromosomes start to go missing, or are duplicated. Embryos with chromosome errors fail to develop, do not result in pregnancy, or end in miscarriage or clinical Down Syndrome.

More often than not, any individual embryo will be affected by aneuploidy. It is difficult, with traditional screening techniques, to determine which have healthy chromosomes. Age is a predictor of how many healthy embryos are likely to form, but does not help in selection of an embryo. Morphology, the appearance of embryos under the microscope, is not much different between euploid and aneuploid embryos.

In the past, to compensate for this problem, multiple embryos were transferred. Now, with improvements in screening and storage of extra embryos, one healthy embryo at a time is transferred. For selection, chromosomes are counted through a technique known as Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS), using the latest gene chip technologies and some advanced statistics. Embryos are stored and transferred one at a time.

Dr. Grifo reviewed his data on eSET. Over half of transfers resulted in pregnancy, and few multiples developed. In 308 transfers, the implantation rate was 64%, and twin rate 1.2%. These are excellent numbers, and similar, by the way, to the Pacific Fertility Center experience.

We are continuing to innovate in this area, and are experiencing a surge in pregnancies, while seeing fewer problems with miscarriage, multiple gestation, and Down Syndrome.

High pregnancy rates, with minimal risk. One more step toward our goal of building healthy families, one baby at a time.

- Philip Chenette, M.D.

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