Air Bubble Position in Embryo Transfer Affects Success

Standardized depth of catheter placement also a factor in pregnancy rate

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Higher pregnancy rates are achieved when the air bubbles surrounding the embryo during transfer procedures are positioned closer to the fundus, according to a study published in the July issue of Fertility and Sterility.

Marieke Lambers, M.D., of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed 367 ultrasonographic-guided single and double embryo transfers, which resulted in 129 pregnancies. A single physician was responsible for ultrasonographic guidance in all the procedures, positioning the tip of the inner catheter at a standardized depth of 1.5 to 2 cm from the fundus.

Among the pregnant group, the mean distance between the transfer bubble and fundal myometrium-endometrial interface was smaller than in the non-pregnant group (8.7 mm vs. 10.2 mm.), and the relative position of the transfer bubble to the length of the endometrial plate was lower (0.36 vs. 0.45).

"The position of the air bubble at embryo transfer was found to be relevant for pregnancy rates, but unfortunately, it is at present not possible to predict and/or control the position of the air bubbles," the authors concluded. "Therefore, we feel there is need for a more standardized method of embryo transfer that allows the surplus value of exact positioning at embryo transfer to be analyzed."

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