CO2 Incubator and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

April 24th, 2014 by Acmas Leave a reply »

The desire to have children is a fundamental hope for most couples in fulfilling their life’s plans but this can be very stressful for couples affected by fertility. IVF is an assisted reproductive technology procedure where fertilization occurs “outside of the body in an incubator under controlled conditions”.

In Vitro Fertilization is used when female is the primary cause of the infertility (Endometriosis, Tubal disease, Hormonal dysregulation and Polycystic ovary syndrome) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used in case of male infertility (if the quality of man sperms is inadequate).

“Incubators are vital to the overall success of IVF. They create the optimal, constant environment for embryo cultures. Good embryo culture conditions and subsequent embryonic development are dependent upon a correctly maintained incubator temperature and pH.

The most commonly used environmental conditions for human IVF incubators are 5% CO2 in air, 37°C, and 100% relative humidity. CO2 Incubators are the most important equipment for the IVF because the eggs harvested from the ovaries of the patients for fertilization spend most of the time outside the body that is in the incubator. Because this unit gives the special environment conditions of the body like 37°C (body temperature) and 5-7 % CO2 maintain the physiological pH value of the cultural medium used and offer the best conditions for optimal oocyte and embryo development.

CO2 is used to regulate the pH level, thus pH is measured and maintained by monitoring and adjusting the concentration of CO2. CO2 and pH have an inverse relationship; as the concentration of CO2 increases, pH level decreases.

How does IVF works?

In vitro fertilisation is a three stage procedure involving

  • Collecting eggs and sperms; an initial phase of injections to stimulate the growth of multiple eggs (typically 12 to 14 eggs are obtained in each cycle). The eggs are then collected through the vagina using ultrasound. This procedure is best performed under a light anaesthetic. The male partner usually would produce sperm on the same day although depending on the individual circumstances sperm can be kept frozen at the sperm bank or clinic. In IVF each egg is then placed in a droplet of culture fluid containing all the nutrients required for embryo development and approximately 50,000 sperm are added to each egg.
  • Incubation; The sperm and eggs are then cultured overnight in an incubator mainly CO2 Incubator.
  • Collection of fertilized eggs; eggs are examine for the sign of fertilization. The fertilised eggs are allowed to develop for a further 48 hours until they reach the day 3 stage when one anticipate that the best embryos will have between 6 and 8 cells..

Embryo transfer is a very important process in which the best embryos are placed in mother’s uterus. Pregnancy rates during IVF treatment is dependent on a number of factors such as the women’s age, hormone levels, associated gynecological conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts and pre-existing medical conditions.


Comments are closed.