Infertility is more common than you think. One in eight couples (that’s seven million men and women!) face infertility annually. Although advancements in technology have made infertility treatment more available and cost-effective, not all practices provide equal results. And since time matters for those seeking infertility care, finding the right practice with the right doctor is vital.
But where do you start? Right here. Here’s what to look for in a fertility practice:
Single Embryo Transfer
The standard of care for IVF today is to transfer one single embryo into the uterus at a time – not two. With new technologies, doctors are able to identify one healthy embryo that they know has a high chance for survival, eliminating the need for implanting two or more embryos.
The ability to transfer only one embryo is vital because carrying – and delivering – more than one baby at a time is associated with risk for mother and child, including pre-term delivery, preeclampsia, and longer NICU stays. At RMA of Southern California, our doctors routinely perform single embryo transfer to ensure a healthy outcome.
Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS)
How do doctors identify that one healthy embryo to transfer? With Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS). CCS is a type of genetic testing that allows doctors to screen embryos for abnormalities before transfer.
While CCS is an additional test to the IVF process, we strongly encourage the test, which boosts the chances of success during a given cycle. As a new patient, choosing a clinic that offers the test is important.
Let’s delve a little deeper into this! In order to perform genetic testing, a sample from the embryo is needed.
Up until recently, doctors would biopsy the embryo on day three of its development. But according to new research, growing the embryo for five days (the blastocyst stage) before performing the biopsy is recommended.
This is because, on day three, the embryo only has a few cells, whereas, on day five, it has dozens. Making a judgment on the future of an embryo based on just a few cells doesn’t allow you to see the whole picture – but making a judgment on an embryo with dozens of cells gives you a more accurate representation. It’s kind of like judging a book by its cover – you don’t always guess right.
Doctors at RMA of Southern California exclusively perform blastocyst stage biopsy to ensure we are using the latest and safest science to choose the healthiest embryos possible.
We wouldn’t be able to perform any of the aforementioned techniques without a lab! The embryology lab is the heart of every fertility practice. Having the best equipment and the exact environmental conditions all contribute to higher chances of success. Choosing a clinic with a good laboratory is paramount.
Doctors who partake in infertility research are highly credible and typically practice the most advanced science. Our team at RMA of Southern California regularly participates in conducting new research, and their findings help lead the way for fertility practices worldwide!
Last but certainly not least is finding a clinic that practices compassion. Struggling with infertility can be an emotional process. Finding a doctor who listens and takes the time to thoroughly explain the process can make all the difference in your treatment experience.
We invite anyone who would like to explore their options further to reach out to us with any questions – big or small. We’re here to help you through your fertility journey.