The public IVF-clinic Fertilitetsklinikken in Skive has among the best IVF-results in Denmark, but was looking for ways to improve even more and contacted Vitrolife. One of our support embryologists analysed their embryo culture procedures together with the clinic and came up with a few minor changes that resulted in a high increase in the fertilisation rates.
Striving to improve
-Even though we have good results we are always looking for things to improve, says Laboratory Director Betina Boel Povlsen. One of the things she wanted to improve was the clinics fertilisation rates and made contact with Vitrolife to seek for support.
Fertilitetsklinikken was established in 1996 and has been a Vitrolife customer since the start.
Analysing all steps is a good start
Jaco Geyer works as an embryologist at Vitrolife. Part of his duties includes supporting clinics from all over the world to see how we can help them to improve the results.
- It is quite difficult for a clinic that is already achieving good results to improve their results even more, says Jaco. But we started to analyse all the different steps along the way from egg collection all the way to embryo culture. We identified certain steps we could make improvements on and made suggestions to Betina to see if they could ultimately increase the fertilisation rates even more.
The importance of a stable and stress free embryo culture environment
In order to create a stable environment for the gametes and embryos there are certain things that needs to be addressed, such as temperature, pH and osmolality. Quite often very small changes that are often overlooked can help make improvements.
-In our IVF culture systems it is very important to create as close possible to a stress free environment for our embryos. It is well known that whenever embryos experience stress they have to adapt and during this adaptation they actually can’t spend their time on growing which means that it has an impact on their development potential, says Jaco Geyer.
By keeping these three factors; pH, temperature and osmolality as stable as possible means that you are able to give the embryo opportunity to spend their energy on growing and not adapting to a stressful environment.
Few improvements in the lab gave high increase in fertilisation rates
-I think it is very important to have some additional eyes to look at what you are doing in the lab, says Betina Boel Povlsen. We found some basic things that we could change in our lab and made a few changes and saw an increase of 9% in our fertilisations rates for IVF. Later on we did additional changes and again we saw a further increase of 5% in our fertilisation rates.