One of the major setbacks for patients opting for IVF is the recurrent implantation failure or RIF. Some couples go through multiple rounds of IVF with great success but ultimate, the embryo fails to implant. It can be extremely disheartening for the pair.
So, what can be the reasons for implantation failure?
This is the most common reason for implantation failure. This issue arises especially when aging mothers use their own eggs. The eggs of older women have more chances of genetic or chromosomal abnormality. This is why the success rate of implantation drops in case of women who have crossed the age of 40. The doctors or embryologists can check the embryos for any abnormality before continuing with the process of implantation. There are chances that the rate of implantation might increase. One more way to avoid the genetic complications is to use donor’s eggs.
If there is not any significant genetic problem, there might be a problem with the receptivity of the uterus. The problems can be many, ranging from anatomical problems with the shape and size of the uterus to the positioning of the uterus. Hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, complications because of the endo-material line itself, are some of the common problems with the uterus, too. While there are many tests to the know the receptivity of the uterus, ERA is one of them.
ERA TEST FOR IMPLANTATION FAILURE
ERA stands for Endo-material Receptivity Analysis Test. This test is genetic in nature. In the test, a small sample of the woman’s endo-material lining is collected and evaluated, to check whether it is prepared to accept an embryo or not.
Every woman has an implantation window which is a period occurring between 19 to 23 days of the menstrual cycle. During this window, the ovaries produce progesterone which makes the lining thicker and more suitable of the implant of the embryo. If the embryo implants itself during this time, the success rates are high.
In ERA test, the collected tissues are checked for certain types of RNA. Advanced techniques are used to check if the uterine line is receptive or non-receptive. With the help of ERA, doctors can know if the period of embryo implant matches with the implantation window of the man. If they do not, the doctors try to keep both of them in sync.
HOW IS ERA TEST PERFORMED?
The test is performed during a certain time of the cycle by obtaining a sample of the uterine lining. A catheter is inserted to the uterine cavity, through the cervix. A small plunger in the catheter creates suction to get a tiny sample of the uterine tissues. This process is called endo-material biopsy.
Some women might find this a bit uncomfortable but it is a quick process. The results take three to four weeks to come. Depending on the receptivity or non-receptivity of the uterine wall, the doctor plans the next follow up.
The test is a great advancement in the field of medicine.