What is Metabolomics?

Embryologists are also developing a method known as metabolomics to improve the chances of a successful pregnancy during IVF cycle. Unlike other refinements to IVF, an extremely popular and increasingly successful form of assisted reproduction, metabolomics doesn’t aim to assist in fertilisation, but rather provides a means by which to pick the healthiest embryos which in turn confer the greatest chance of a successful fertilisation and pregnancy. So what is metabolomics and what does it do to increase the chances for a successful pregnancy?

What does metabolomics involve?

The last stages of IVF involve taking a fertilised egg, which has been cultured (grown in a healthy environment) to form an embryo, and implanting it into a womb. An embryo is one of the earliest stages of pregnancy, where the fertilised egg has divided to form a clump of cells able to implant into the walls of the womb (also known as the uterus). The quality of that embryo determines how likely it is to successfully implant and go on to a full term pregnancy, and this is where metabolomics comes in.

The metabolomics procedure is a simple one, and can be done within a few minutes, and the embryo itself isn’t tested, but the materials around it. It effectively provides a metabolomics profile for embryos to determine their quality, what does that mean? This profile is a measure of the performance of the embryo in a sense, and is composed of the end results of all the pathways and reactions that keep an embryo alive and developing. The better the metabolomics profile of the embryo, the better it is functioning and so the better its chances of leading to a full term pregnancy.

What are the benefits of metabolomics?

When metabolomics is applied, the best embryos are selected, giving you the best chance for a successful IVF cycle and saving you time, mental and physical stress, and money. It also cuts down the chances for multiple pregnancies (twins) because fewer embryos are implanted.

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