In vitro culture of the embryo until an advanced stage of development called blastocyst formation (day 5). This technique, as well as increasing the implantation rate—a rate of 50.5% in the case of blastocysts as compared to 30.1% in D3 (day 3) embryos—allows the transfer of a single embryo, thereby reducing the risk of a multiple pregnancy.
Geri Incubator + EEVA Test
With an innovative time-lapse technology, the Geri incubator provides thorough monitoring of embryos in the laboratory. The incubator’s design also allows for independent incubation of embryos, thus ensuring optimal incubation during the entire treatment. The IVF Donostia team pioneered the implantation of the Eeva (Early Embryo Viability Assessment) system in the north of Spain. This new non-invasive technology allows for early, objective selection of the most suitable embryos for transfer to the uterus (without the need to remove the embryos from the incubator to evaluate them), thus increasing the chances of successful treatment.
Vitrification of embryos
After IVF treatment there is often a surplus of high-quality embryos. Using this technique, embryos are frozen for use at a later date, either because gestation has not occurred or because a second gestation is requested.
This technique achieves an increased survival rate of embryos after their vitrification. Collapse consists of previously dehydrating the embryo before vitrification, thereby preventing the formation of ice crystals.
A small opening is made in the zona pellucida (the layer surrounding the embryo) to facilitate the embryo’s exit (hatching) and its subsequent implantation in the woman’s uterus.
Hatching is applied in embryo thawing processes or when embryos have a very thick zona pellucida. It is also used with couples who have undergone several unsuccessful IVF processes and with older women.
Techniques applied to semen
The sperm washing technique is used in cases where the man is a carrier of a virus or infectious disease such as HIV. This technique prevents the risk of infection for both the woman and the baby. The process involves obtaining a sample and washing it. One part of the sample is frozen and genetic testing is conducted on the other part to detect the virus. If test results are negative, the frozen sample will be used.
The testicular biopsy is the technique whereby sperm is retrieved through a small operation. This technique is used in cases of azoospermia, severe oligozoospermia, or elevated fragmentation, and also in patients who have had vasectomies.
Magnetic-Activated Cell Sorting (MACS)
This technique allows the sperm with the best characteristics to be selected for use in reproduction treatments. It involves eliminating apoptotic sperm (sperm which will die without achieving fertilization) and choosing the healthy ones, thus increasing the possibility of pregnancy. This technique is used with patients who have a high level of DNA fragmentation, successive miscarriages, or patients with poor quality embryos.
Other complementary techniques
Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT-A)
An advanced technique to screen embryo’s genetic health before implantation. Several cells are taken from the embryo at day 5/6 (embryo biopsy) and analysed using the most advanced genetic techniques available (NGS) to detect genetic abnormalities. Recommended for: patients over 38, cases of repeated miscarriages or patients who have suffered several implantation failures after IVF.
Thanks to the Recombine genetic screening test we can detect more than 200 genetic disorders and the risk of passing these disorders on to the baby. The Recombine test is one of the most advanced screening tests available given the large number of disorders it screens for.
ERMAP — IMAP
The personalized Endometrial Receptivity (ER) Map determines the receptivity status of the endometrium in order to precisely identify the best moment for an embryo to be transferred. ER Map is the solution for 20% of recurring implantation failures caused by what is known as the displaced window of implantation.
Immunological factors, such as an abnormal response by the mother’s immune system to embryo development could be the cause of many cases of infertility whose origins are unknown. The Immunology Map (Imap) allows us to examine the endometrial immune profile and prevent implantation failure due to this cause.
Gidget is an advanced system for monitoring, identifying and tracking all laboratory in vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques. The device correctly identifies patients and assists in tracking their reproductive cells during clinical and laboratory procedures. The process ensures that embryos, gametes and patient samples are handled and mixed correctly.