IVF is a sophisticated procedure, which works like clockwork, with every process and every person having a part to play. It is imperative to think that the IVF specialist is the most important link in the chain. However, there is someone else who works tirelessly but gets little recognition for his efforts. It is the embryologist, the technician who nurtures the embryos and does a lot more to promote the success of the cycle. He plays crucial role in building the reputation of IVF centres in Delhi and everywhere else.
Right from the beginning to the end of the cycle, the embryologist has a vital role to play. Handling the eggs, sperms, and embryos is a delicate task, which requires a great degree of skill and dexterity. It is actually the expertise of the embryologist which can make all the difference in the fate of the cycle. For this reason, the presence of an experienced IVF specialist in Delhi is not enough for a clinic. Having a qualified, in-house embryologist is essential too.
All that an embryologist does at IVF centres in Delhi
A typical IVF protocol constitutes of a series of steps, including ovulation stimulation, egg retrieval, lab fertilization, embryo culture, and finally, its transfer. The embryologist has a significant part to play in almost all these steps, except the last one. His role is as crucial as that of an IVF doctor in Delhi Here is how he contributes along all the stages of IVF:
Preparation for the IVF cycle: The embryologist’s journey begins even before the cycle is initiated at IVF centres in Delhi. His job starts with diagnostic testing to identify the issues related to the quality of the couple’s eggs and sperm. The testing phase is extremely crucial because the actual treatment strategy is chalked out only on the basis of these diagnostic tests. The embryologist has to prepare the lab and equipment for optimal testing conditions. Other preparatory steps include regulating the lab environment for the IVF cycle and ordering supplies including the culture media.
Egg Retrieval: The next stage of the IVF cycle which requires the expertise of an embryologist is after the egg retrieval. In fact, this is the stage when the importance of this technician surpasses that of the IVF specialist in Delhi. The eggs retrieved from the patient’s ovaries are contained in a fluid. Post-retrieval, the test tube containing this fluid is handed over to the embryologist. His job is to examine the liquid microscopically and identify the eggs. The retrieved eggs are then combined with the sperms in a lab dish for fertilization to take place. The embryologist is also responsible for retrieving the healthiest of sperms from the male semen sample. The role of the embryologist is even more crucial for the patients opting for an ICSI treatment cycle. Here, he does the delicate job of injecting a healthy sperm inside the egg. His task also encompasses the assessment of the quality and maturity of eggs.
Embryo Culture: The embryologist’s responsibility extends beyond the fertilization process too. He has to take care of the eggs throughout the culture process, whether the IVF centers in Delhi follow a 3-day or 5-day culture protocol. The eggs left to be fertilized by the sperms are periodically examined under the microscope. This is done to check the progress of the culture stage. The other tasks of the embryologist include maintaining the optimal lab conditions (temperature, humidity, etc) for embryo growth. He also has to look after the culture medium and change it when required during the process.
Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening: Once the embryo is ready for transfer, it may have to undergo a biopsy for pre-implantation genetic screening. (Hyperlink with the blog on PGS) This is usually recommended for cases where either or both partners have genetic conditions. Also, the IVF specialist in Delhi may recommend it for patients with recurrent IVF failures or miscarriages. This is a micro manipulative procedure that requires a great deal of skill and precision. It involves the removal of a few cells from the embryo and then examining them for abnormalities. Only a skilled embryologist can be trusted for performing the embryo biopsy and giving trustworthy results.
Assisted Hatching: The embryologist plays an instrumental role in an IVF cycle if the case requires assisted hatching. Assisted hatching involves creating a small opening in the outer lining, the zona pellucida, of the embryo. The process was previously carried out mechanically or chemically, but now it is done using the innovative laser technique. IVF specialist in Delhi suggests this treatment for patients who come across implantation failure in the previous IVF cycle(s).
Embryo Transfer: Finally, as the embryos, as screened and hatched using laser technology, they are ready for transfer. The embryologist now has to load the embryo into the transfer catheter. Further, he has to help the IVF specialist in Delhi to carry out the transfer. The entire process has to be monitored by the embryologist to ensure that the healthy embryos reach their destination.
Embryo Freezing/Cryopreservation: The job of the embryologist does not end with the completion of the IVF treatment cycle. He also has to look after the surplus embryos formed during the cycle. A typical IVF cycle yields multiple embryos though only one or two are used for transfer. The remaining healthy ones are not discarded bur frozen or cryopreserved for subsequent cycles.
Embryologists are trained experts who get better with experience. A couple looking for the right IVF specialist in Delhi should make sure that it has a qualified, in-house embryologist. His services are essential to the success of the cycle as well as to making sure that they have a healthy baby.
Gaudium IVF is a reputed IVF centre where patients can avail end-to-end infertility solutions at an affordable cost. The clinic has a team of infertility experts and qualified embryologists to ensure that it offers a high IVF success rate.
For getting a second opinion from the expert infertility specialist in Delhi, Dr. Manika Khanna, get an appointment today.