Our IVF laboratory and the work we put into constant quality checks and improvements makes a huge difference for us and our patients. Twice a year we shut down our IVF lab and conduct extensive quality control inspections to ensure we can provide the highest possible standard of care to every patient.
The RMASoCal laboratory team has spearheaded various recent innovations and enhancements in IVF treatment, specifically extended embryo culture and preimplantation genetic diagnosis screenings.
One of the best demonstrations of RMA’s success in the IVF laboratory came in October 2011, when RMA presented our findings titled Cleavage Stage Embryo Biopsy Significantly Impairs Embryonic Reproductive Potential While Blastocyst Biopsy Does Not: A Novel Paired Analysis of Co-transferred Biopsied and Non-Biopsied Sibling Embryos.
The data in this report demonstrated for the first time how embryonic biopsy improves patient outcomes. Prior to this study, the impact of embryo biopsy on successful IVF procedures was never thoroughly studied.
In older embryonic biopsy procedures for genetic disease screening, the biopsy happened at day three when only 6-8 cells have formed. Biopsy at this cleavage stage means a greater percentage of cells must be removed, reducing the chances of the embryo successfully implanting. By waiting until day five, a smaller percentage of cells is necessary for testing, thus improving the chances of successful implantation.
“More sophisticated techniques now allow biopsy on day 5, the blastocyst stage, when 200 or more cells are present. These data demonstrate that day 5 biopsy is much safer. The reason that day 5 biopsy does no apparent harm is that a dramatically smaller portion of the embryo is removed. Another reason is that the sample is taken from the outer layer of the embryo destined to form the placenta, called the trophectoderm (TE). The cells that form the baby are undisturbed, preserving the embryo’s true potential.” – Dr. Richard T. Scott, Jr., MD, FACOG, HCLD