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Our Science

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Repromed has the most active and successful research and development programs in South Australia. Our Scientists and Doctors have made major contributions to global knowledge about the causes of and treatments for fertility problems, which have had positive real impacts for our patients such as:

  • Development of metabolomic testing (BeSST embryo selection) of embryos to assist our laboratory team in selecting the highest quality embryos for transfer.
  • Development of embryo glue culture media, giving you a higher chance of a successful pregnancy outcome.
  • Development of the male fertility pill ‘Menevit’ to assist in the creation of healthy sperm.
  • Development of the Egg Timer Ovarian  Reserve Test (AMH) in 2004, which is now widely used by many IVF clinics in Australia.
  • World-leading research into the impact of lifestyle issues on fertility.

Latest Techniques/Best Practice

Repromed are thrilled to launch our new cutting edge embryo genetic screening technology Embryo Screen.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)

Repromed is the first – and only – clinic in SA to offer Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) testing on site. It allows IVF scientists to confirm the correct genetic material (number of chromosomes) is present in an embryo being transferred. The presence of extra or missing chromosomes is known as aneuploidy and may explain an embryo’s failure to establish or maintain a pregnancy. PGS may assist couples with

  • repeated IVF failure
  • recurrent miscarriage
  • a known chromosome rearrangement (known as a chromosome translocation)
  • gender selection for a medical reason

Screening for aneuploidy before an embryo transfer increases the likelihood of selecting the embryo(s) with the best chance of implanting while also reducing the rate of miscarriage or chances of a pregnancy of a baby with a genetic condition. Click here for more information

Extended Embryo Culture and Transfer

Embryos can be grown in the laboratory for up to 5 days after egg retrieval. Extended/blastocyst stage is the term used for either day 4 or day 5 embryo culture and transfer. This is beneficial as it allows the Scientists to further monitor your embryos and choose the most advanced one for transfer. This extended culture and transfer technique that Repromed uses has been proven by Level 1 Medical Evidence to result in higher pregnancy rates.

Vitrification

Cryopreservation is an integral part of an IVF program and allows patients to store oocytes or surplus embryos for subsequent treatment. At Repromed embryos are frozen using a specialised method of rapid freezing known as vitrification which is different to the traditional method of slow freezing. The introduction of day 4 and day 5 vitrification has led to improved survival and pregnancy rates compared to the previous blastocyst slow freezing. This cryopreservation program also provides a viable option for cancer patients needing to preserve their fertility.

High Magnification Sperm Selection for ICSI

Sperm plays a significant role in determining pregnancy success. Recently several advanced sperm selection techniques including High Magnification Sperm Selection have been developed. High Magnification Sperm Selection requires the sperm to be assessed under a much higher magnification to examine features that are thought to be predictive to sperm health.

Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test (Male)

At Repromed, our goal is to do whatever we can to help you realise your dream of having a baby. Part of this is determining what may be contributing to your infertility. Repromed uses a test called Halosperm, which determines the health of the DNA in sperm.

Smoking, alcohol, heat, some chemicals and other factors can damage the DNA in cells including sperm cells. Halosperm allows us to assess any DNA damage in sperm. The test can be performed in conjunction with a routine semen analysis and provides additional information as to the quality of the sperm.

The test is recommended for couples who have repeated IVF failure, poor blastocyst development or for men who are heavy smokers.

Pioneering science

Ovarian Reserve Testing – AMH

A woman is born with approximately 1 million eggs and during her reproductive life, this number will decline as they are lost through natural attrition and ovulation. The rate of loss varies between women and it is estimated that 10% of women will have accelerated loss. The ovarian reserve or number of eggs remaining can be estimated by a single blood test which measures a woman’s Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH). This gives an indication of the likely fertility status of a woman to give an estimate of the Ovarian Reserve. The initial design and validation of the AMH test for ovarian reserve was performed in conjunction with Repromed staff and Repromed is the only IVF clinic in South Australia to perform this testing on-site. Click here for more information

Menevit

Menevit is a supplement which is specifically formulated to support sperm health. It contains a combination of antioxidants that are thought to promote male fertility and therefore increase pregnancy chances. Menevit is the only male preconception supplement clinically shown to help with pregnancy rates and was designed in conjunction with one of Repromed’s Specialists, Associate Professor Dr Kelton Tremellon.

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.

Completed Clinical Trials

The Miniva study: A Study to Assess Minimal Ovarian Stimulation in IVF

As we are better able to grow embryos, we do not need as many eggs to start with. Data analysis from the last two years from our laboratory has shown that pregnancy rates from a fresh embryo transfer in young women do not improve when more than four eggs are collected.  An increase in the number of eggs does not translate into increased fresh pregnancy rates, but does increase the risk of complications such as Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and may interfere with egg and endometrial quality. The Miniva study involves low dose stimulation coupled with high quality low intervention embryology.  These protocols are designed to produce a small number of eggs which can be fertilised, cultured and the best transferred.  The advantages of these protocols are;

  • Reduced OHSS
  • Increased egg viability
  • Reduced number of stimulation injections
  • Option of oocyte retrieval operation (OPU) under local anaesthetic
  • Good fresh pregnancy rates
  • Reduced cost associated with Day Surgery, drugs used in an IVF cycle and laboratory techniques
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