Can environment make a different to IVF outcomes?

When it comes to factors that could possibly have an impact on IVF success, the things that often spring to mind are often those we can influence ourselves – a healthy diet, not smoking or drinking too much – or the kind of add-ons that have become increasingly popular in many clinics such as embryo glue or time-lapse.

For most fertility patients, the type of liquid embryos are placed in at the clinic would not be the first thing to consider when it comes to treatment outcomes – in fact, it’s not something most of us think about at all. However, new research carried out at Boston Place Clinic by Dr Stuart Lavery of IVF Hammersmith, suggests that the culture medium used by the clinic can make a difference to the way that embryos grow. You can read more about the research here 

The influence of embryo culture

4cell_embryo.tifAnyone who has had or is having IVF may be interested in some new research published in the journal Human Reproduction which looks at the influence the liquid that eggs, sperm and embryos are put into in the laboratory has on the babies born from the treatment. The liquid is known as the culture medium, and the researchers have found that it has an impact on the birthweight of IVF babies.

At the moment, the manufacturers don’t publish detailed lists of the ingredients of their culture media for reasons of commercial secrecy – but given the impact it may be having on IVF babies, there are now calls for the exact make-up of the culture media to be made public. You can read more details about this here and you can find the research paper itself here.