Endometrial Receptivity Array Test (ERA)
ERA is a pioneering new method of assessing when the endometrium is most receptive, in order to give a personalised embryo transfer.
The receptivity of the endometrium is a crucial factor in determining the success of IVF treatment. The endometrium is the tissue lining the uterus, which gets thicker during the cycle until it reaches the optimum thickness for implantation following ovulation. In IVF treatment, practitioners have to estimate the most suitable time to introduce the embryo into the womb based upon scans and conventional wisdom. However, this approach does not fully take into account individual differences. The length of every woman’s cycle differs slightly, and this means that not every woman’s endometrium will be at its most receptive at the standard time of implantation.
Until recently there has been no way of accurately assessing whether the endometrium is at its most receptive. However, our colleagues at Igenomix, part of the IVI group, have now made a breakthrough with pioneering research which has discovered a reliable method of assessing endometrial receptivity. The test involves taking a biopsy of the womb-lining and analysing the genes of these tissues. Scientists now know that certain genes are ‘switched on’ when the endometrium is receptive, and they can pinpoint these genes and check whether they are switched on or not. This gives a good idea of whether the endometrium is ‘pre-receptive’, ‘receptive’ or ‘post-receptive’. The test will be carried out in the month prior to the treatment cycle, and the results will determine the exact timing of the embryo transfer in the month of treatment. This technique may be particularly useful for patients with repeated implantation failure.
Implantation failure is one of the final frontiers in IVF treatment and research, and is estimated to account for around 2/3 of cycle failures. We are therefore very keen to remain at the forefront of IVF clinics in staying up to date with scientific advances and offering ground-breaking services in this area. We hope that by offering the most tailored treatment possible we can break new ground in achieving high success rates.