TFC: Embryo Biomarkers Key to Predicting IVF Success | Texas Fertility Center Blog

Wendy Blocker

TFC: Embryo Biomarkers Key to Predicting IVF Success

by | December 20, 2011

Dr. Kaylen Silverberg, has been asked to serve as the principal investigator on a worldwide embryo biomarker study that could lead to a more precise method of selecting viable embryos for transfer in IVF cycles.  The findings will hopefully benefit couples that struggle with infertility and recurrent miscarriage, as well as women of advanced maternal age.

“We are optimistic that this new protocol for objectively identifying the most viable embryos will greatly improve a couple’s odds of conceiving a healthy baby,” says Dr. Silverberg. “The outdated, subjective method that relied on visual assessment of embryo health has served us well for many years.  We now have new technologies that can hopefully propel us to even higher success rates; it is time for a change. “

Embryos secrete chemicals into the media in which they are grown during their brief stay outside of a human uterus in a fertility laboratory. Many of these biomarkers have been associated with enhanced embryonic viability based on whether they are produced in higher or lower concentrations during embryonic development.

“Simply put,” says Dr. Silverberg, “these biomarkers help fertility doctors and embryologists determine whether an embryo is growing normally or dying.”

After retrieving the eggs, fertilizing them with sperm, and growing them in the in-vitro fertilization
laboratory for 3-5 days, infertility doctors and embryologists have historically selected the embryos to transfer based on their appearance under the microscope.  Those embryos with the greatest number of cells containing equal size and shape are typically selected to be transferred back in to the uterus to continue the journey to a healthy pregnancy.

While relatively effective, this technique has limited ability to determine which embryos are most likely to implant, as at least 60% of human embryos that may appear normal under a microscope are in fact, chromosomally abnormal and destined to either not implant or miscarry.

Fertility doctors around the globe are collaborating on this study with the goal of dramatically
changing how the scientific community determines embryo viability.

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Tags: , , , , , | Category: IVF, Research |


Wendy Blocker

“Wendy has been a part of the Texas Fertility Center team since 1998 and has worked in Women’s Health for close to 20 years. She is married and has one son who attends St. Edward’s University. Wendy has lived in Austin since 1992 and as our Physician & Patient Liaison is committed to increasing community awareness of infertility and fertility preservation. “

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