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In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer: a brief overview.

By A. H. DeCherney


The in vitro fertilization process breaks down into three essential components: induction of ovulation, fertilization of the oocyte, and development of embryos that are transferred into the uterus. Problems may arise resulting in failure at any one of these junctions. In 1984, the World Congress on In Vitro Fertilization was held, looking at 9,641 laparoscopies yielding 1,101 clinical pregnancies, with an overall pregnancy rate of 11 percent--clearly indicating that in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer (IVF/ET) was an idea whose time had come. Ovulation induction is monitored by both the use of ultrasound and daily estradiol levels, ultrasound indicating the number of oocytes that will be available for capture, and estradiol indicating in an indirect way the quality of those oocytes. It is a major aim in each patient to obtain at least four embryos, since this optimizes success rates. Ovulation induction at Yale is carried out with a high-dose human menopausal gonadotropin (HMG)/human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) regimen. This regimen has insured us a success rate of 17 percent clinical pregnancies per laparoscopy. In the future, modification will occur in the process with cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos, and gamete manipulation. The modifications will be effected primarily to increase pregnancy rates. Research will continue mainly to delineate better biochemical markers for oocyte quality, but also to further explain the mystery of implantation

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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