Home » CooperSurgical » Bringing Hope to Families Dealing With Infertility

Through new innovations across the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) journey, one company is providing “end-to-end” solutions for families trying to get pregnant.

IVF, a form of assisted reproductive technology, or ART, offers families struggling with infertility something priceless: hope. Only about 5% of couples dealing with infertility pursue it today1 , but technology in this space has developed significantly over the last decade to give families more opportunities for success.  However, the journey is still filled with ups and downs.

“Choosing a consistently successful, and reliable IVF Program is the first challenge when patients are seeking a convenient and economical option for good patient care while considering IVF therapy,” said Michael J. Tucker, Ph.D., HCLD, scientific director of Shady Grove Fertility. “The IVF clinic must ensure personalized and effective approaches to infertility therapy, based on extensive clinical experience to optimize chances for birth of a healthy baby.”

Fertility challenges

IVF involves collecting mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries, which are then fertilized using sperm from a partner or donor in a laboratory setting. If fertilization is successful and the fertilized eggs further develop into embryos, one can be selected to be implanted into the uterus, hopefully resulting in a pregnancy.

One of the biggest challenges for the medical team is identifying developing embryos that have the highest likelihood of resulting in a healthy pregnancy and baby. A process known as preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A) has become a common screening of embryos for chromosomal abnormalities. One of the challenges for embryologists is identifying these healthy embryos.

“If the reproductive specialist can identify embryos that have normal chromosome content, they’re the most likely to implant and result in a live birth,” explained Dr. Robert Auerbach, M.D., past President of CooperSurgical®. “Previous generations of PGT-A technology provided a display of the chromosome data that, in certain cases, was ambiguous and impacted its accuracy.”

“Additionally, maintaining strong lab procedures is important, since some level of manual handling of sperm, eggs, and embryos is necessary,” Dr. Tucker said, “and physical loss or destruction of any of these reproductive tissues may occur.”

This process is very detailed work, and it is important to maintain “chain-of-custody” of these materials.

Cutting-edge hope

Companies like CooperSurgical have developed cutting-edge solutions that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological safeguards to help minimize error and optimize success in IVF, meeting the challenges met by clinics.

“We now have tests like PGT-Complete℠, our comprehensive PGT test from CooperSurgical, which uses AI to improve the odds of success,” Dr. Tucker said.

“The use of CooperSurgical’s PGTai® technology platform used for embryo selection transformed the output,” Dr. Auerbach explained. “Because we had a very large repository of data, CooperSurgical was able to develop technology that compares the chromosomal data against ‘known truths,’ removing the subjectivity of previous generation technology and resulting in an increase in pregnancy and live birth rates. PGT-Complete builds on this advance by providing further clinically impactful information.”

As a result, rates of ongoing pregnancy and live birth went up by 13% and incidences of miscarriage dropped significantly.2 These statistics will continue to improve as more data is added to the algorithm.

Another way CooperSurgical has improved the IVF process is through its RI Witness™ ART Management System, which augments manual double witnessing. By using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, each patient’s ID is locked to their sample and the entire process can be monitored.

“It tracks gametes and embryos through the IVF laboratory process to help optimize a successful outcome,” Dr. Auerbach noted. “In addition to the primary purpose of mismatch avoidance, RI Witness also provides efficiency and quality control information to fertility clinics thus supporting a culture of continuous improvement.”

“Electronic witnessing technologies, like the RI Witness system, helps to ensure a high-quality process for the clinics and allows embryologists to focus on their highly detailed work,” Dr. Tucker said.

End to end

CooperSurgical has strived to be an “end-to-end” resource in the field, developing resources for families dealing with the many sides of the issue of infertility.

In 2021, to further their commitment to a positive fertility journey and success for all different kinds of families, CooperSurgical acquired Generate Life Sciences®, a leading provider of donor eggs and sperm for fertility treatments. The Generate Life Sciences family of brands also includes CBR®, which offers stem cell preservation via umbilical cord blood and tissue. Newborn stem cells that come from umbilical cord blood can help treat certain types of cancer and other conditions, and both umbilical cord blood and tissue are being investigated for use in regenerative medicine.

“From the early days, there was a vision in CooperSurgical for providing a complete fertility solution,” Dr. Auerbach said, “always centered around patients, providers and outcomes.”

To learn more about CooperSurgical and its portfolio of fertility solutions, visit coopersurgical.com.

1“In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Risks, Success Rate, Procedure, Results.” WebMD, WebMD, 1 Aug. 2021, https://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/guide/in-vitro-fertilization

2Buldo-Licciardi J, Large M, McCulloh D, McCaffrey C, Grifo J. Second generation artificial intelligence technology for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) improves pregnancy outcomes in single thawed euploid embryo transfer cycles (STEET). Presented at American Society for Reproductive Medicine on October 19, 2020. Available at: https://asrm.confex.com/asrm/2020/meetingapp.cgi Paper/8645. Accessed Sept 8, 2022.

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