An important role in reproductive medicine is played by the embryologist. The work of this specialist is of immense importance for the treatment of infertility. The embryologist works mainly in the laboratory, the entrance to which is strictly limited even for the clinic staff for reasons of sanitary standards and in view of the specifics of the activity. Patients almost do not overlap with this doctor, so they may underestimate his contribution to therapy. At the same time, the success of reproductive therapy largely depends on the competence and experience of a specialist.
What does embryology study?
Let’s figure out the basics. Embryology is a science that studies the patterns of development of the embryo. This department of biology covers the embryogenesis of all creatures. Medical embryology is devoted to the peculiarities of the development of the human embryo. Various aspects of fetal formation fall into the field of scientific knowledge: functional, metabolic, physiological and other.
What does an embryologist biologist do?
The specialist performs the main work on artificial insemination. He prepares the germ cells. During the puncture, his task is to find and carry out the correct collection of eggs. After that, the specialist places the oocytes in a special supporting environment. If necessary, the embryologist removes auxiliary cells. At the same time, the doctor checks the quality of sperm, processes the male reproductive material, prepares it for fertilization.
The methodology of the procedure may vary.
- Standard IVF. Fertilization is close to natural. The doctor prepares a special suspension of sperm. The eggs are placed in this environment for several hours. Fertilization takes place without the participation of a doctor in the incubator.
- ICSI (including with TESA, TESE events). The embryologist analyzes and selects the most motile sperm with healthy morphology. With the help of micro-instruments, the doctor forcibly injects it into the egg. With the TESA and TESE approaches, a more thorough sperm selection with additional examinations is carried out.
The dimensions of the female reproductive cell are approximately 1/10 mm. the ovum is very sensitive to external influences, especially to penetration. Therefore, the ICSI procedure requires the utmost care. It can only be carried out by a highly qualified embryologist.
After fertilization, the process of embryo cultivation begins. To do this, in special cups, you need to create a special microclimate with adjustable temperature, humidity and air composition. Cultivation lasts 5-7 days. Throughout this time, careful observation and assessment of the quality of the embryos is necessary. The embryologist analyses the compliance of maturation physiology with the norms. In the process, the specialist adjusts the microclimate, changes cups, maintains an optimal environment.
After successful cultivation, the embryologist and fertility doctor transplant healthy embryos into the uterine cavity. Assisted hatching can be done if necessary to facilitate implantation.
Only one embryo is used during fertilization. The rest, if the parents wish, can be frozen. The cryopreservation procedure is also performed by an embryologist.
Let’s summarize the areas of responsibility of a specialist. Here are the reproductive procedures performed by the embryologist:
- examination and assessment of the quality of the parental biomaterial: spermatozoa and eggs;
- laboratory fertilization;
- support and analysis of embryo development;
- auxiliary hatching;
- embryo biopsy;
- cryofreeze .
Patients need to know the following. It is the embryologist who sees the unborn child first, which makes the specialist one of the most important participants in reproductive treatment.