Archive for the ‘Inside the Lab’ Category

Q From U: Human IVF Culture Medium

June 10, 2012Carole 1 Comment »

From a reader this week: I was wondering about the culture that is used to put the embryos in. I know nothing about it and got curious. My clinic had to get some particular culture/medium in so they could do day 3 vitrification and it got me thinking. What is the culture? What is it […]

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IVF Horizons: Microfluidics

June 4, 2012Carole 1 Comment »

I am starting another new series called IVF Horizons which will be dedicated to reviewing what the new advances in IVF clinical therapies might be. Today’s topic is microfluidics, possibly the next new method for better fertilization and embryo culture. What is microfluidics? Microfluidics is a technology based on the behavior of fluids at micro […]

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Q from U: Embryo Fragmentation

May 18, 2012Carole No Comments »

This week, a reader contacted me regarding fragmentation in her embryos. She was told by her RE that things were looking “good” but then he also mentioned that some of the embryos on day 3 were showing some signs of fragmentation. Her question was how concerning was this observation that her embryos had some fragmentation? […]

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Q From U: US Standards for Embryologists and Fertility Labs

April 26, 2012Carole 6 Comments »

The other day I received this question (paraphrased)  from a reader of my blog: “What, if any, training and on-going education is required for embryologists in the US ?  And, what, if any, regulations are placed on a fertility  lab in terms of passing muster or maintaining some standard?” Well, the answer to that simple […]

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Q from U: Growth potential of frozen vs. fresh embryos

March 28, 2012Carole 4 Comments »

Hi Victoria, You asked me:  Do previously cryopreserved embryos develop similarly to fresh embryos so that, if one is attempting an e-SET, growing them out is one way to determine the ‘best’ one or are they somehow more fragile? How well thawed embryos grow out depend on several factors: method of freezing and thawing (Vitrification […]

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Q From U: Assisted Hatching

March 7, 2012Carole 8 Comments »

I get a lot of questions from you (Q from U) about assisted hatching so here is more on that topic. What is assisted hatching (AH) ? Assisted hatching is a technique used by embryologists to produce an opening in the outer shell of the egg called the zona pellucida.  We talk about hatching in […]

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New Series: Q From U: biopsy

March 3, 2012Carole 4 Comments »

Hi Readers, I am starting a new series, called Questions from You (Q from U), in which I answer some of the common patient questions I get from my contact email. Recently, I seem to be getting more questions about embryo biopsy for PGD. In the beginning, PGD biopsy meant biopsy of one (or at […]

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Do you want a sperm count with that Valentine’s Day card?

February 14, 2012Carole 2 Comments »

Next Valentine’s Day, as your dearly beloved runs into the local drugstore for that last-minute Valentine’s Day card and box of chocolates, he will also have the chance to pick up an at home sperm count test called SpermCheck. I used to joke that we take all the “fun” out of conception in the IVF […]

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Antibody against ZP3 may cause infertility

February 8, 2012Carole 3 Comments »

Unexplained infertility is a frustrating diagnosis. The usual diagnostic work up has no “AHA!!”  moment and clear treatment plan. In spite of no obvious problems, there’s still no pregnancy month after month. Scientist Dr Megan Lloyd and her team announced the discovery of an antibody against the glycoprotein zona pellucida 3 (ZP3) which induces sterility […]

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Disclosing Medical Errors in ART

February 2, 2012Carole 6 Comments »

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has a Ethics Committee which issues recommendations regarding various ART medical practices. Most recently, they published “Disclosure of medical errors involving gametes and embryos”  If this link doesn’t work, you can download a PDF copy for yourself directly from In this article, the Ethics Committee generally advocates for […]

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