At Repromed we are committed to supporting innovative research that will directly benefit our patients.
We are in partnership with one of the world leaders in research in reproductive health (The Research Centre for Reproductive Health in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Adelaide) keeping us at the forefront of reproductive technology. Repromed also collaborates with other international and national institutions to conduct state-of-the art research in the area of fertility and reproductive health.
A major strength of the centre is the integration of this research and clinical treatment programs which enables us to achieve the highest pregnancy rates in the state.
Repromed is pleased to announce an exciting new platform for genetic screening. 24sure, developed by BlueGnome in the UK, is the first array technology that allows IVF scientists to screen for aneuploidy and confirm the correct number of all chromosome pairs are present in an embryo. Growing evidence suggests that a major factor in the failure to establish or maintain a pregnancy is when the cells in the embryo contain the wrong number of chromosomes, a condition termed aneuploidy. 24sure array technology has been developed specifically to analyse a single cell from an embryo for chromosomal aneuploidy.
Repromed is the first IVF clinic in South Australia to offer 24sure on-site to patients. To learn more call Repromed on (08) 83338111.
At Repromed, selection of an embryo for transfer may now include assessment of the metabolic health of your embryos. To do this, the media solution used to culture your embryo is assessed for specific metabolites, which have been shown to relate to embryo viability. The use of this new technique has significantly increased pregnancy success rates in patients with multiple good quality embryos available for transfer.
The following outlines our recent and current research projects:
Assisted Reproductive Treatment and Maternal BMI: Does Fat really matter?
The increasing prevalence of obesity in young women, of child bearing age, is of growing concern in the health community. Obesity is associated with sub-optimal reproductive performance so it is understandable that the number of young women with elevated body mass index (BMI) accessing assisted reproductive treatment (ART) is on the rise. Despite this increase, there is little known about the effect of BMI in young women on ART outcome. Our study here at Repromed therefore assessed the impact of BMI in women aged ≤38 years on fertilization rates, embryo development and freezing during IVF as well as determining clinical pregnancy and delivery rates after ART.
BMI did not impact on embryo development or quality at any stage assessed (day 2 through till day 6) or affect freezing rates. Obese women also had significantly increased rates of caesarean section and morbidly obese grade I women gave birth to significantly heavier babies (P<0.05). In contrast underweight women gave birth to significantly lighter babies (P<0.05).
Obesity in women aged ≤38 years does not appear to affect fertilization, embryo quality or freezing rates however does reduce clinical pregnancy and increase rates of caesarean section as well as altering fetal weight. Low BMI (<18.5) also results in sub-optimal obstetric outcomes implying that ART outcome can be influenced by either BMI extreme.
Single Embryo Transfer: The ideal embryo transfer option
The desired outcome after IVF is a live, healthy, singleton term baby. This can be achieved by transferring single embryos, however it has been suggested that this will reduce pregnancy rates. The aim of this study carried out at Repromed was to assess the impact of single embryo transfer (SET) coupled with blastocyst culture on pregnancy outcomes.
A retrospective analysis of 2006/2007 cycles (increased blastocyst SET) was compared 2003 (increased cleavage DET). The primary outcome was live singleton, term baby rates per cycle with secondary outcomes being clinical pregnancy and pre-term birth rates.
The implementation of high rates of SET resulted in a significant decrease in multiple-birth rates however clinical pregnancy rates and delivery rates were unchanged.Improvements in culturing protocols have facilitated extended culture, increasing embryo selection pressure and allowing SET to occur. These results indicate it is possible to maintain pregnancy rates and decrease multiple-birth rates by performing SET coupled with blastocyst culture.
Repromed Genomics Research - predicting the likelihood of a successful pregnancy
The genomics research project will focus on cumulus cell viability markers of oocyte quality to predict the likelihood of pregnancy success and in turn to increase the numbers of single embryo transfers and successful pregnancies (live birth rates) while decreasing multiple births. The project will use cumulus cell gene expression to select a single embryo for transfer based on the genetic information of the cumulus cells which surrounded the oocyte the embryo was derived from. This test will be particularly important for those patients who are to receive a single embryo at transfer but have multiple embryos with similar developmental rates and morphological appearance available on the day of transfer.
The test is completely non-invasive to the oocyte as it utilises the cumulus cells collected prior to insemination when they are routinely removed. The cumulus cells then undergo genetic testing of candidate genes already associated with the primary outcomes of the project: pregnancy success resulting in live birth and health outcomes of the babies born. Each oocyte and embryo is tracked individually throughout culture and the gene expression profile of the cumulus mass from each oocyte can then be used to predict the likelihood of a successful, healthy pregnancy resulting in a live birth.
Increased Pregnancy Rates with Embryo Health Testing
BeEst enables us to more accurately pick the best embryo for transfer based on its metabolic health.
To do this we test the solution that your embryo has been bathed in to determine the quantity of nutrients consumed by the embryo. This technique is completely non-invasive and therefore does not disturb the embryo.
As a result of this new technology we are seeing a significant increase in pregnancy rates.