We all know the benefits of switching to IVF (more efficient and flexible embryo production, shorter generation-intervals, lower semen volumes, to name just a few) and we’re seeing increasing numbers of ET facilities adding IVF to their offering. So what can your practice do to not get left behind in this increasingly popular field? PS, it’s not as complicated or costly as you may think…
Here are 3 top tips from our experts to get you started:
Jennifer Docherty and Lotte Stroebech, DVM, PhD
Product Specialist and Scientific Advisor at IVF Bioscience
1. Keep it clean
“The best way to treat infection is to avoid it altogether. Keeping the lab clean and the number of people with access to a minimum is the best way to maintain a safe environment for the oocytes and embryos.”
“When you walk into the lab you should change your shoes, put on a lab coat and wash your hands before doing anything else. It’s also best to avoid using alcohol to clean wherever possible. IVF embryos aren’t as robust as their ET equivalents, so stick to a mild soap for daily lab cleaning, and do not wash your hands or any bottles/straws in ethanol – rates do go up when you eliminate that step.”
2. Work consistently
“It’s not just alcohol that embryos are sensitive to, it’s also changes in their environment. Keeping the temperature and pH at constant levels is really important for getting the best rates. A lot of this is down to having equipment you trust and good systems in place for checking that the temperature and gas read-outs are actually what they say they are. It’s probably worth investing in a gas analyser to frequently check and record the environment in your incubators, and get it serviced regularly too.”
“And remember that the oocytes and embryos will always be happiest in the incubator, not out on the benchtop. Design your work-flow and lab layout to allow you to work quickly and efficiently, so the embryos can be back in the incubator in the shortest possible time.”
3. Remember, you’ll only get out what you put in
“The only way to get good stuff out is to put good stuff in. It’s not just what happens in the IVF lab that affects the number of healthy calves you produce, but what happens before and after too. Factors to consider are the nutrition and hormone treatment of your donors and recipients, the quality of the semen and the skill of your OPU-practitioners too.”
And once in the IVF lab, the environment of the embryo – i.e. the media, dishes and vials – have to be high quality too. All dishes and vials should be tested to make sure they won’t be toxic to the embryos. In many cases homemade and stock-based media aren’t checked as thoroughly as they should be, are stored in toxic plastic containers, and contain serum. This all leads to fluctuating conditions for the embryos, and more risk of harm. The simplest way to avoid this is to go with a product you trust, which has been thoroughly tested to keep the conditions consistent and the quality high.”
So there you have it – a few top tips to get you ready for IVF in 2018. For more personalised advice on how to get started in IVF in your practice, contact us today, and one of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly.
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