14 April 2016

Virtus Fertility Centre Presents Success Rates for IVF Treatment and Freeze-All Policy at ASPIRE

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Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore

Virtus Fertility Centre has seen success rates for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment of 55 per cent since the centre was opened in January 2015. Results of the centre’s “freeze-all policy” to cryopreserve good quality blastocysts  have also shown good pregnancy outcomes in all age groups. These results were presented at the Sixth Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE 2016) in Jakarta last weekend.

 “While there is no agreed international standard for reporting success in IVF treatment we report clinical pregnancies and in time will report live births per treatment cycle commenced and embryo transfer. To date we have achieved a pregnancy rate of 55 per cent per treatment cycle commenced and 45 per cent per embryo transfer,” said Dr Roland Chieng, Medical Director, Virtus Fertility Centre.

“Success to us is a babe in arms. We report our success rates per embryo transfer as we want to give patients the most realistic understanding of their chance of success following each individual embryo transfer. We are heartened by our achievements in our first year of operations and will continue to do our best to help couples realise their dream of starting a family through comprehensive care backed by science.”

“It is important to understand that not every treatment cycle will result in an embryo transfer, for some women, no eggs will be collected, and, sometimes after eggs have been collected, there may be no transfer because embryos have not developed,” he explained.

To optimise the chances of successful pregnancy after embryo transfer, the centre has implemented elective frozen-thawed blastocyst transfer. This “freeze-all policy” involves freezing all viable blastocysts to be used later in a natural cycle, or in a cycle with hormonal replacement to prime the endometrium. This option is offered to all patients, however in certain situations guided by the quality of the embryos development, a fresh transfer may be recommended.

From January 2015 to February 2016 259 IVF cycles with GNRH–antagonist protocol to prevent premature ovulation and 156 frozen-thawed with a majority single blastocyst embryo transfers were performed. The majority of these cycles involved patients who had had at least one failed fresh IVF cycle previously.

The overall pregnancy rate was 55 per cent. Preliminary data indicates that good pregnancy outcome can be achieved in all age groups with the ‘freeze-all policy”, notwithstanding the small sample size.

“The freeze-all approach increases the chances of successful pregnancy because of a number of contributing factors including the fact that it is performed when the intrauterine environment is more favourable to implantation and patients are typically more emotionally stable, less anxiety, which has a positive impact on a successful IVF outcome. Our laboratory facilities and cryopreservation techniques also ensure that frozen-thawed embryo transfers can be carried out safely and effectively” said Dr Liow Swee Lian, Scientific Director at Virtus Fertility Centre, who conducted the study.

Pregnancy rates were then compared across four age groups as follows:

IVF Outcomes (January 2015 to February 2016)
30 years and below31 - 34 years35 - 39 years40 - 45 yearsOverall
Cumulative clinical pregnancy rate per treatment cycle62.5%64.3%52.8%22.2%55.0%
Clinical pregnancy rate per embryo transfer50.0%58,0%43.5%18.2%45.4%

“Good, clean air quality is essential for embryos to grow and the clean room ensures that the environment in the IVF laboratory has the lowest level possible of environmental pollutants,” he said.

Virtus Fertility Centre’s ISO-certified “clean room” embryology laboratory ensures optimal care for developing embryos with additional safety measures including an automated monitoring and alarm systems for the liquid nitrogen tanks that store embryos. To further enhance patient safety, a radio-frequency identification (RFID) electronic witnessing system has been installed to automatically identify and track tags attached to dishes or tubes containing patient’s eggs, embryos and sperm. The tags contain electronically stored patient information and monitor the movement of patients’ samples throughout the IVF process.

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