How important is training for IVF

People handling human tissue have to be properly trained to do justice to such a sensitive procedure of handling live gametes and embryo inside an IVF lab.

A recent study done at New Jersey examined over 2000 cases from their practice between 2011 and 2015. They chose cycles where the embryo transfer procedure was assigned randomly to a “ET physician of the day” They found that live birth rate was strongly influenced by which individual performed the embryo transfer with success rates ranging from 51% to 66%. The randomized study suggests that the physician performance is a strong isolated factor for positive clinical outcome. And highlights the importance of characterizing optimal ET technique, showing an opportunity for improving success rates through remediation of experienced providers and formalized instruction of trainees.

Study link

There have already been studies highlighting the importance of manual skill levels that have to raise to a certain competent level which justifies the position of these fertility specialists to be in an IVF lab doing such a specific work responsible for a child. A study done in 2000 found, “For the most experienced providers, 3 high-grade embryos were required to produce a gestational sac. In contrast, the provider with the lowest pregnancy rate per transfer required an average of 7.6 high-grade embryos to produce one gestational sac.” However, the author states that experience alone is not enough to differentiate performance. Such findings are suggestive that lab personnel should have undertaken a certain standardized training to be well positioned for lab duties.

Study link

Another study has also given merit to the reasoning that patients can expect varying treatment outcomes with different physicians. The study was done at a University-affiliated infertility center with 14 physicians over a considerable time period covering 1850 IVF cycles performed consecutively and found that  Lower than expected pregnancy and implantation rates usually are not caused by poor ET techniques alone, but appear to be disproportionately the consequences of poor cycle stimulation.

Study link

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