Embryologists play a key role in the success of IVF. It is an assistive reproductive technology that involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing with sperms, according to an article by Healthline. This process is partly or wholly performed, monitored and directed by an embryologist. In fact, it is believed that an embryologist is your child’s ‘first babysitter’. They are essentially scientists who use the best possible techniques with utmost precision to improve the chances of conception.
If you wish to understand the importance of an embryologist in the success of infertility treatment in Bangalore, here is a detailed guide.
Who is an Embryologist?
Most patients interact with gynecologists and doctors in the initial stages of IVF. They do not have any experience with the embryologist. Therefore, it is important to know who would perform this procedure. Embryologists are highly knowledgeable professionals with a degree in ART or Embryology or Biotechnology. The more qualified ones also have a doctoral degree. They receive extensive training to handle all the processes of IVF. This includes everything from egg retrieval to fertilization to transfer in the womb.
Work of an Embryologist
A process called ovarian stimulation is performed to induce ovulation. This helps increase the number of healthy eggs to better the chances of conception. When the eggs are ready to be released from the ovary, the embryologist performs the retrieval process.
Here’s a detailed look at what their work involves:
- Egg retrieval is done via a minor surgical process known as ‘follicular aspiration’. A thin needle is inserted through the vagina into the ovary which is connected to a suction device to pull out the eggs, according to an article by Medical News Today. The embryologist examines the ovarian fluid under a microscope. The best ones are identified and retrieved. They make the best efforts to collect at least 15 eggs to enhances the chances of fertilization.
- The next step after egg retrieval is incubation. The gametes (sperms and eggs) are placed in a petri dish in a special culture medium for mixing. However, in case the eggs are not fertilized normally, an ICSI is used. One healthy and high-quality sperm is directly inserted inside the cytoplasm. These procedures are solely performed by the embryologist and their team.
- Once the embryos have been developed, the embryologist will monitor their health. This is done through the process of genetic testing. The biopsy is done by removing a single cell on the 3rd day or a few cells from the Trophectoderm on the 5th day from the embryo. This is done carefully to avoid any damage. The most potent one will be selected for transfer in the womb.
- An embryologist also helps in assisted hatching. This is required when the embryo has a hard shell and is unable to break through. There are multiple types like mechanical hatching, chemical hatching, mechanical expansion of the shell, drilling and laser-assisted hatching to suit various medical needs, according to an article by Verywell Family. The success of these procedures highly depends on the skill, knowledge and experience level of the embryologist. Otherwise, the embryo might get lethally and complications can significantly increase the IVF cost in Hyderabad or any other city.
- Lastly, an embryologist also plays a crucial role in cryopreservation. Sperms, eggs and embryos are carefully frozen for use at a later time. This is one of the most vital parts of infertility treatment and can influence the IVF cost in Hyderabad to some extent.
The success of IVF depends on the collaboration of a team of healthcare professionals. Although you might never have a direct conversation with your embryologist, know that a lot of credit for a healthy baby goes to them.