Conception is a necessary step to grow your family and bring children into the world, but it’s not always possible for all couples without the assistance of a clinical embryologist. With approximately 12% of women and 9% of men in the United States facing infertility, carrying a child to term may never happen naturally, no matter how many years are spent trying to conceive. For these couples, a clinical embryologist may be the key to a healthy pregnancy and a successful birth.
What Does a Clinical Embryologist Do?
A clinical embryologist is a medical professional specializing in diagnosing and treating fertility challenges. When couples attempt to conceive for months or years and are still unsuccessful despite concerted effort, a clinical embryologist can test both partners, diagnose factors affecting fertility, and design custom treatments intended to address root causes. Embryologists manage the IVF process and screen both patients and embryos for possible factors that contribute to infertility.
Many embryologists also function as andrologists within an infertility clinic, working to analyze sperm samples to identify whether or not male factor infertility is present. If a male factor is diagnosed and an IVF cycle is subsequently performed, intracytoplasmic sperm injection is often a key part of the embryologist’s role. In this process, sperm are hand-selected based on the probability of fertilization to produce the best results.
For couples where both partners are found to be carriers of a specific genetic trait, or for women experiencing recurrent miscarriages or are considered to be of advanced maternal age, the embryologist may assist in Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnostics to increase the likelihood of a healthy embryo. In this procedure, an embryologist carefully removes a single cell from an embryo and sends it on for further testing to determine whether chromosomal abnormalities exist. Embryos will then be implanted or discarded based on results.
Why Is Choosing the Right Doctor So Important?
A clinical embryologist plays a critical role in helping to achieve conception, and not all doctors are made equal. An embryologist’s skill, experience, and expertise can all weigh heavily into the success of IVF, making your choice of IVF embryologist critically important.
During an IVF cycle, the embryologist is in charge of merging sperm and egg cells to create a viable embryo. However, this is only the beginning. They also work to keep a close eye on the status of the embryo while it is still in the lab. In many cases, the overall outcome of an IVF cycle can be essentially dictated by the skill and work of the embryologist.
Embryologists are also heavily involved in both embryo preparation before implantation and in creating an ideal clinical environment for the storage of eggs, sperm, and embryos through a process known as cryopreservation. This is an extremely important part of the preservation of so-called extra embryos that will then be available to a patient for future Frozen Embryo Transfer, or FET, cycles. Vitrification, also known as flash freezing, is an important process in which embryologists are able to increase the viability of frozen eggs for women hoping to maintain future chances for conception.
Start Your Family Today
If you have tried and been unable to get pregnant, an embryologist may be able to help you and your partner to successfully conceive. From treatments like hormone therapies to procedures like IVF, it is often possible to address many of the key reasons and factors behind infertility, increasing your chances of starting the family you’ve always wanted.
To find an compassionate, qualified and experienced clinical embryologist, please visit our Contact Page to send us an email or call us using the contact number for your location.