PFC Embryologist to Lecture on Vitrification Advances at the 6th Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE)
Erin Fischer, BS, TS (ABB), Pacific Fertility Center (PFC) embryologist, will lecture to reproductive specialists on vitrification advances at the 6th Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE) on April 7 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Ms. Fischer helped lead PFC's early adoption of blastocyst and oocyte vitrification in 2006 and has continued to advance this program.
During her lecture, she will share specific aspects of PFC's successful vitrification protocol, including stringent attention to both cooling and thawing rates, and proper technique for loading oocytes or blastocysts on the vitrification device. PFC has also developed a method to ease hatching of the embryo, given that vitrification can harden the outer shell surrounding it (the zona pellucida).
Over the past several years, the field has shifted dramatically in the direction of vitrification, said Ms. Fischer. In the past, prospective parents would first try a fresh embryo transfer, and possibly freeze the remaining embryos. "But now we commonly do chromosome testing, freeze the embryos while waiting for the results, and then thaw and transfer a euploid (chromosomally normal) embryo. A reliable vitrification program is essential for testing and ensuring that you have a high-quality embryo to transfer."
In addition, she added, egg freezing has also become much more commonplace. That's because women who are about to undergo cancer treatments or other procedures that impair fertility are no longer the only ones using fertility preservation. Increasingly, young women are freezing eggs to improve their chances of pregnancy at a later age when the timing to start a family may be better for them.
Overall, a strong vitrification program has allowed PFC to build a robust fertility preservation program and has provided the confidence to perform embryo biopsy and testing and single embryo transfer as the standard of care, said Ms. Fischer.
Entitled "New Techniques in Oocyte & Blastocyst Vitrification," Ms. Fischer's lecture will be among several others addressing technologies such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), sperm analysis and quality control, and an electronic witnessing system for improving lab security. A series of hands-on sessions will also give participants the opportunity to practice newly learned skills.
With more than 10 years of experience in the field, Ms. Fischer has trained many embryologists in the past while assisting other in vitro fertilization (IVF) labs in their implementation of vitrification. She has also presented the results of PFC's work at previous national and international conferences.
About Pacific Fertility Center
Pacific Fertility Center is an international destination for male and female fertility treatment and care. It provides an extensive array of fertility treatment options ranging from intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) to cutting-edge technology such as vitrification and genetic testing of embryos. For more information: www.pacificfertilitycenter.com.
Bruno Lunenfeld and P C Wong founded the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE) in 2001 to improve knowledge and awareness of ART and infertility-related services with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of patient care.
Renee H. Scudder, MS
Pacific Fertility Center
55 Francisco Street, Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94133