With one in six Australian couples suffering infertility, more and more people are turning to IVF to conceive. In fact, the latest data available in 2015 showed around 1 in every 25 Australian births was the result of assisted reproduction. And globally, Australian Fertility group Genea’s science and technology has played a part in bringing over 800,000 babies into the world.
Latest advances in incubation technology for patients
Traditionally and in many other clinics, embryos created in the laboratory are placed in a small dish filled with culture media which is placed inside an incubator for the first five days of development. The scientists would need to remove the dish from the incubator to review the development of embryos under a microscope, on days 1, 3 and 5 and also change the culture media fluid exposing the embryos to temperature and atmospheric changes.
Genea’s scientists have introduced a breakthrough in IVF treatment which is the result of the combination of Genea’s new Geri incubator and specially designed culture media. The state-of-the-art incubator uses time-lapse imagery that displays on the outside of the instrument, meaning scientists no longer need to remove the embryos to check their progress. The culture media is also specially designed to support continuous culture, meaning the embryos remain in place for the full five days providing an environment that mimics what they would experience in the human body like never before.
The Geri incubator has six individual chambers, so each patient’s embryos have their own personalised space. The chambers also have their own hi-res camera taking photographs of each embryo at five-minute intervals. Embryologists review the time-lapse footage to assess the development of the embryos and by doing so, can ascertain which embryos are most suitable for transfer, and more likely result in pregnancy.
Revolutionising the patient experience
Until recently, scientists and fertility specialists were the only ones who could view the embryo development but thanks to the new Grow by Genea app, this footage is now available to Genea patients, allowing them unique access during this part of the fertility journey.
Patients can download the app from iTunes or Google Play and view their developing embryos while they develop in the lab at no additional cost. After being highly involved with the clinic in the early part of their IVF cycle with blood tests and ultrasounds, patients often feel detached once their eggs and sperm are collected and growing as embryos in the lab. Being able to see their embryos develop allows them to still feel part of the process during those five days between egg collection and embryo transfer.
Grow is not intended to replace patients’ discussions and interactions with their Fertility Specialists, Embryologists and Nurses as all information about the progress of a patient’s embryos will initially happen over the phone. Nurses will explain to the patients on Day 1 and Day 3 the status of each embryo. The patient can then log into the app and see exactly what the nurse has discussed.
Grow is all about enhancing the patient experience during what can often be a challenging process. The app is intended to give patients an understanding of what embryo development means. It also gives patients a better appreciation of why IVF doesn’t always result in a live birth. The Grow by Genea app and Genea technologies are available to all patients at Genea clinics across Australia.
Genea’s local clinic located in Merewether offers the full suite of fertility treatments including ovulation tracking, IVF and ICSI cycles, donor egg and sperm services, surrogacy and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
The clinic has been helping create families for 33 years, longer than any other fertility clinic in the region. To date, more than 4,100 babies have been born with the help of Genea’s Merewether clinic, about the same number as the total population of nearby suburb Cooks Hill!
Fertility specialists, Dr Myvanwy McIlveen, Dr Matthew Holland and Dr Erin Fuller, offer the highest quality of care and expertise to patients with the support of the clinic’s experienced professional staff. The outstanding livebirth rates and very appreciative parents speak for themselves.
If you’d like to organise an appointment with one of their Fertility Specialists, you can contact the clinic on 4902 7000.