During fertility treatment such as IVF, a fertilised embryo will be implanted into the woman’s uterus. The hope of treatment is that the embryo will successfully implant itself into the wall of the uterus where it will grow and develop. However, sometimes the embryo does not implant well and a woman’s fertility treatment cycle is unsuccessful.
A substance has now been developed to aid embryo implantation within the uterus. ‘EmbryoGlue®’* is a new embryo treatment culture that consists of a naturally occurring adhesive substance that, when it is applied to the embryo before being returned to the uterus, has shown to have a positive effect on embryo implantation rates.
Prior to implantation, the embryo is coated in a rich culture medium containing a high concentration of an adhesion molecule called hyaluronan, which anchors the embryo to the surface of the uterus. Studies with EmbryoGlue® have also shown significantly raised clinical pregnancy and live birth rates.
IVF Scotland recently started culturing eggs and embryos in Vitrolife embryo culture, and all patient embryos are now transferred to the uterus in EmbryoGlue®.
* EmbryoGlue® is the brand name for Vitrolife’s embryo transfer medium.