At the Herts & Essex Fertility Centre we keep abreast with all new developments and treatment options in Assisted Conception, to tailor the treatment to our individual patient’s needs and requirement and help maximise the chances of a successful treatment.
It is well established that pregnancy cultivates an active dialogue between mother and embryo, with communication taking place early on from the outset of the process of fertilisation and through into pregnancy.
More detailed scientific investigations have shown that mother and embryo ‘talk’ to one another using special communication channels. This communication is driven by the release of natural protein molecules called cytokines by the mother, which are used in the signalling process between the pair. The cytokine called Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) has been demonstrated to be especially important in this communication process. Expressed throughout the woman’s reproductive tract, this cytokine is specifically upregulated following intercourse, after conception and following implantation. It is thought that a failure in this dialogue, specifically a failure to upregulate GM-CSF by the mother, or a low GM-CSF cytokine level, may be the cause of an embryo’s failure to implant, or lead to miscarriage early on in pregnancy. Indeed, studies suggest that as many as 80% of unexplained pregnancy losses may be the result of communication errors between the embryo and mother.
An IVF culture media called ‘EmbryoGen’ has been developed by the company Origio which is the first of its kind, containing the recombinant human cytokine GM-CSF. This is a single medium for fertilisation, Day 3 culture and embryo transfer, with the aim to improve the chances of IVF being successful for those patients who have a history of recurrent miscarriage. Specifically, these are patients who have shown repeated preclinical pregnancy loss/biochemical pregnancy or recurrent miscarriage on two or more occasions. The medium is an advanced culture media which incorporates the naturally occurring cytokines shown to be deficient in those women who demonstrate a history of recurrent miscarriage. In IVF the embryo will spend several days in culture outside of the mother’s body, and will thus rely heavily on its environment. Culture media therefore as closely mimics the body’s natural environment providing the developing embryo with the necessary nutrients. This media aims to act by improving communication channels between mother and embryo for this select cohort of patients, whilst optimising the receptive environment for the developing embryo.
Trials to date using this media have shown an improvement for those patients with a history of previous miscarriage, with an increase shown both in the ongoing implantation rate as well as improvement in the live birth rate.
If you would like more information on whether EmbryoGen may be suited to assist your own fertility treatment here at the Herts & Essex Fertility Centre please contact a member of the clinical staff who will be happy to discuss with you further.