Current research suggests that specific compounds, called adherence compounds, when added into embryo transfer culture media boost IVF success rates.
Assisted reproductive technologies are generally considered to be successful medical procedures, but not successful enough. Couples diagnosed with infertility are commonly given an IVF (in vitro fertilisation) or ICSI (intracytoplasmisc injection) treatment. These treatments are the most successful forms of infertility treatments in IVF clinics and have similar success rates, however not successful enough given the increased demand for test-tube babies.
A great body of research is focused on studying how to boost IVF success rates while minimizing any adverse effects like multiple pregnancies. Part of this research has studied the effects of the addition of adherence compounds into the embryo transfer culture media.
Currently a scientific review analyzing 16 randomized studies on the above objective has reported that hyaluronic acid (HA), an adherence compound, can boost IVF success rates. Researchers compared embryo transfer media with different concentrations of the hyaluronic acid including high, low and no HA. As for the outcome most studies conducted their research by measuring live birth rates, pregnancy chances, implantation rates and multiple pregnancy rates. The women that took part in the studies aged 27.5-35.7 in average.
According to the review results hyaluronic acid increased IVF success rates in terms of live birth and pregnancy chances when added in the culture medium used for embryo transfer (450 vs 367). Fertility experts think that adherent compounds may actually increase the embryo potential for adhering to the uterus.
On the other hand, it was also found that the addition of the adherent compound increased chances of multiple pregnancies. Researchers argue that this result is probably linked to the number of embryos transferred by fertility doctors which quite often exceeds the 2 embryos. Thus, in such cases where more than one embryo is transferred into the womb, an adherent compound by promoting successful implantation could increase risk of a multiple pregnancy. Complementary studies investigating the outcome of using these enhanced transfer media for only single embryo transfer are necessary for optimizing these compounds’ contribution to a successful IVF outcome.
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