MITERA: New methods increase success rates in Assisted Reproduction

The success rates in the field of Assisted Reproductions are increasing with the help new innovative methods in embryo development and culture.

This was announced during the two-day conference entitled “New Horizons in Assisted Reproduction, which was held at the N. Louros Conference Center, located within the MITERA Hospital, on Saturday March 17th and Sunday March 18th, 2012. The event was organized by the Hospital’s Assisted Reproduction Unit with distinguished doctors from Greece and abroad participating.

Embryologist Giles Palmer, the Director of the MITERA Assisted Reproduction Unit, noted, “For the first time in an IVF Unit in Greece, we can observe and assess the development of embryos through video, with the aim of selecting the healthiest ones for embryo transfer. The new “time-lapse” method essentially photographs the development of an embryo minute-by-minute. This was impossible using the existing methods, since the embryo had to first be removed from the incubator to assess its development. Now, the system’s video can record an ovum (egg) from the moment it in enters the laboratory to the moment the embryo is transferred to the uterus.”

Keynote speaker Gary Smith, Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the Departments of OB/GYN, and Director of the Reproductive Sciences Program at the University of Michigan, USA, spoke about a revolutionary method of dynamic embryo culture, the innovative “Microfluidics” system. As he highlighted, “With this method, an enclosed device is used for embryo culture in a lab, which imitates in the best possible manner the natural environment of the woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus, where the embryos develop. This method aims at replacing the conventional static embryo culture methods.”

These methods are being used in the labs with the aim of selecting the healthier embryos for successful implantation, raising the hopes of women who undergo IVF treatment.

Lastly, in his extremely interesting presentation, the internationally acclaimed Researcher in Reproductive Physiology, Dr. Yorgos Nikas, introduced new aspects that assist in further understanding embryo implantation with the use of 3D electron microscopy. “The information acquired through this technique is already helping the gynecologists of the MITERA Assisted Reproduction Unit in providing better individualized treatment,” he noted.

On Sunday March 18th, there was a large attendance during a separate event organized for the public. Couples who wanted to be informed on the latest technologies and factors affecting IVF success were given an open forum for discussion. The couples who attended the event received a 20% discount for IVF treatment at the MITERA Assisted Reproduction Unit, as well as the opportunity of free consultation with the hospital’s dietitian and psychologist.