The Role of an Embryologist in Fertility Treatment

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The Role of an Embryologist in Fertility Treatment

Embryologist: An Overview

The scientists who specialize in the fertilization of eggs and care of embryos are called Embryologists.

They are not doctors or clinicians, but they study the details to the highest attention that is required during the IVF process

Playing an equal role as the fertility specialist, Embryologists make sure that the fertilization of eggs and embryo development takes place in a best-desired way. 

The cellular structure that first forms after fertilization is called an Embryo. The first 9 weeks of pregnancy is known as the embryonic stage after which the term fetus is used. 

Though the job of embryologists during the IVF journey is mostly hidden, their care of the eggs, sperm and embryos plays a big and vital role in the success of the treatment. 

At EVA Hospital, Ludhiana an amazing team of embryologists along with a very competent fertility specialist Dr. Shivani Bhutani ensures that the laboratory is set up according to best scientific practice.

This article explains the role of the embryologists in the IVF Treatment

Responsibilities of an Embryologist in The IVF Process:

1.  Maintaining The Lab 

The laboratory, also known as a fertility clinic’s ‘engine room’, is where the embryologists supervise many of the steps involved in IVF.

The labs where embryos are kept are maintained by the embryologist, maintaining the appropriate environment, which is important for an IVF lab, such as right temperature, humidity and air quality etc.

2. Retrieving Egg

The role of the embryologist in the IVF process normally begins during the egg retrieval stage. 

The healthy sperm tend to swim and hide in the egg. IVF involves retrieving the women’s s eggs from her ovaries and fertilizing them with the sperm of the man.

The embryos formed are then transferred back into her uterus. So there is a fluid that is removed from the ovaries during egg retrieval.

The fluid is examined carefully by the embryologists, under a microscope and the healthy eggs are retrieved and placed in a laboratory dish with a specially prepared sample of the partner’s or donor’s sperm.

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3. Check Eggs for Fertilization

After bringing the sperm and eggs together for fertilization, the embryologist keeps a close watch for any signs of fertilization (when egg and sperm unite to form an embryo) and monitor the growth of any embryos that may develop. 

In some cases, they select a single sperm and inject it directly into the woman’s egg to increase the chances of fertilization, in a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

4. Growth Monitoring

The fertilized eggs are placed in the temperature-controlled incubator and their growth pattern is monitored by the embryologist, by using polarised light microscopy to assess a structure inside the egg called a ‘spindle’ in a technique called ‘egg spindle visualization’.

This helps to ascertain if an egg is at a certain stage of development and therefore, in optimal condition for fertilization via ICSI.

5. Check Chromosome Abnormalities

The possible genetic defects in the embryos are analyzed by the embryologist and they are placed only after making them defect-free.

The embryologist is highly trained and skilled to perform this procedure and to employ more specialized techniques in some cases to assess the eggs, sperm and embryos so that they can select the best ones to use during IVF.  

Highly experienced embryologists with special skills are required for these treatments so they are not offered by every fertility clinic.

However, Eva Hospital at Ludhiana has highly proficient embryologists for the same

6. Embryo Transfer

The best quality embryos are placed on the transfer catheter by the embryologist in 3 to 5 days after egg retrieval.

This loaded catheter is handed to the fertility team who then places it into the uterus through the cervix.

7. Preparing Sperm Samples

The sperm samples are also prepared by an embryologist. The samples are assessed for the sperm count & motility and the healthy sperm segregated for the next fertilization process.

Take Away

Embryologists play an important role in infertility treatments. Their role starts as early as the time before the egg retrieval and lasts till the transfer of the embryo. 

They make sure that the future child is under the best care. Their job is highly skilled as it takes many hours to find the sperm and inject it into the egg.

Eva Hospital has a team of specialized embryologists to assist in IVF treatment, who use extra lab procedures that not all fertility clinics offer. 

These techniques as used routinely as part of our basic protocol to optimize embryo development and give your embryo the best chance of successfully implanting in the womb.

Book an appointment and consult Dr, Shivani Bhutani, the best fertility expert right away. 

About The Author

Dr Shivani Bhutani
A doctor with a rich background and high success rate, Dr. Shivani Bhutani offers the boon of parenthood to couples dealing with infertility. She has opulent knowledge and expertise in offering successful treatment for infertility in females, gynecological disorders, and family planning consultation services. Highly dedicated, concerned, and attentive, Dr. Shivani understands the bliss of parenthood and offers appropriate medical help.