AI for embryo selection

Assisted Reproductive Technology continuously evolves as each year passes. With each new scientific development, the chances of a successful outcome increases. This is wonderful news for men and women across the world who are unable to conceive naturally and who will depend on the use of ART to help them achieve their dream of parenthood.

We turned to the team at iGin Fertility clinic and asked them to explain a relatively new technique that is revolutionising the IVF process –  AI for embryo selection.

Team iGin, can you tell us what AI for embryo selection actually means?

As an Assisted Reproduction Centre, our aim is to offer future parents the greatest chance of achieving pregnancy in the fewest possible number of attempts. To achieve this, advances in the field of technology are essential. In this sense, at iGin we are pioneers in introducing AI to improve embryo selection in Spain.

These are a series of very advanced morphokinetic algorithms, called IDAscore and KIDScore, connected to an international neural network. These analyse each of the patient’s embryos and their development patterns, contrasting them with information collected from millions of embryos from around the world. Thus, they identify and classify those with the best chance of being successful in implantation. This is done in an objective, reliable and automated way, based solely on real data. This helps the iGin lab team choose the most promising embryo in terms of evolutionary potential.

At what stage in the IVF process does this happen?

After studying the case, considering the patients tests results and past medical history, the medical team designs a unique and personalised plan that begins with ovarian stimulation. The patient takes medication for a few days in order to develop as many oocytes as possible. These oocytes are collected in the operating room during the egg retrieval. This is a simple, fast and painless process. The retrieved eggs are fertilised in the laboratory with sperm selected from the partner’s (or donor’s) sperm sample. This is when embryonic evolution begins in the laboratory. At iGin we let the embryos reach blastocyst stage (day 5 or 6), which gives better success rates. At this point, our embryologists, with the support of AI, select the embryo with the greatest potential for implantation which will then be transferred to the patient.

Is this process commonly used?

Not at all. It is a cutting-edge technology that, due to its cost and the technical and human requirements it demands, is not within the reach of all centres. For example, in Spain there is only one other clinic apart from iGin who uses this technology.

Can a patient request this process?

Each clinic has its own policies. Some may use it only for complex cases, add it to packages at an extra cost, or use it at a patient’s request. I can tell you what we do at iGin: AI is used in all our treatments that require embryo culture (IVF, PGD, egg donation, ROPA Method), without exception. It is an improvement that we offer to all patients because we understand that all should benefit and have the best chance of success.

Is it an additional cost?

There are no extra charges for the use of AI technology at our clinic. We offer closed packages which include the application of all the advances we have at iGin.

How long has this process existed?

AI applied to embryo selection has been in development for many years, but it was not until a few months ago that its use could be standardised and made accessible to patients from all over the world.

Is it safe?

AI applied to embryo selection has been in development for many years, but it was not until a few months ago that its use could be standardised and made accessible to patients from all over the world.

Do your chances of a successful IVF outcome increase if this process is used on your embryos?

Yes, by improving the implantation capacity, our pregnancy rates grow. Thanks to AI we are achieving pregnancy in fewer attempts and even in highly complex cases.

Huge thanks to the team at IGin. If you have any questions, please do drop them a line by clicking here.

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