What is Pooling Method in IVF? | Dr. Hakan Özörnek

What is Pooling Method in IVF?

What is the pooling method in IVF?

In IVF, the pooling method involves the collection of 2 or more eggs, freezing them without transferring embryos, and accumulating them for future use.

Who is eligible for the pooling method in IVF?

The pooling method may be recommended for individuals aged 35 and above with reduced ovarian reserve to achieve a transfer of 2 high-quality embryos. It is also considered for patients experiencing repeated IVF failures or those recommended for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) due to genetic diseases. The pooling method helps increase the number of embryos screened for genetic abnormalities, enhancing the chances of obtaining a healthy embryo.

Does the pooling method increase the success chances of IVF?

For IVF patients eligible for the transfer of two embryos (age 35 and above or those with more than 2 failed IVF attempts), transferring two high-quality embryos increases the chances of pregnancy, although the likelihood of twin pregnancies also rises.

Is the pooling method only applied to patients with low ovarian reserve?

The pooling method is suggested for patients with low ovarian reserve to increase the number of eggs. However, in patients with good ovarian reserve undergoing PGT (genetic screening of embryos), the pooling method helps reduce costs and improves the chance of obtaining a healthy embryo.

Can genetic screening be performed in the pooling method?

Certainly. In cases where genetic screening is required, embryos are not transferred in the same cycle but are frozen and awaited until healthy results are obtained. To perform chromosomal screening, we prefer to have at least 4-5 embryos on the 5th-6th day (blastocyst stage). The pooling method is beneficial in cases of some translocation types (chromosomal anomaly) or genetic diseases with a low percentage of obtaining a healthy embryo.

What are the stages of the pooling method?

On the 2nd-3rd day of the menstrual cycle, ovarian stimulation injections are initiated, lasting an average of 10-12 days. When the eggs reach a sufficient size (>17-18 mm), a trigger shot is administered, and egg retrieval (OPU) is performed at 35-36 hours. Sperms obtained from the male are used to fertilize the eggs in the laboratory, and embryos are frozen on the 3rd and/or 5th day. Treatment resumes in the next menstrual cycle. This process continues for 2 or more cycles. When a sufficient number of embryos are obtained or a genetically healthy embryo is received, preparatory uterine treatment is initiated, and embryos are transferred around the 15th-20th day of the menstrual cycle.

In patients with low ovarian reserve, after collecting larger eggs, if there are precursor eggs left, additional stimulation treatment can be applied, and a second egg retrieval can be performed in the same cycle.

Is the pooling method an easy treatment?

The pooling method is not significantly different from regular IVF treatment. In fact, sometimes fewer injections are used, making it more comfortable for the patient.

What are the advantages of the pooling method?

IVF treatment is a highly stressful procedure for patients. Some may become discouraged and abandon treatment when faced with a single negative result. This situation eliminates the chance of becoming parents and sometimes leads to a loss of time and decreased success rates, particularly in patients with low ovarian reserve.

The pooling method, by accumulating embryos, increases the likelihood of obtaining a high-quality embryo, thus improving the chances of pregnancy for patients. Additionally, the costs of the 2nd and 3rd treatments are lower, reducing the expense of genetic screening and providing financial advantages to patients.

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