Medicine is not perfect, especially in the case of reproductive medicine. Despite this, our field of expertise strives for exactly that by implementing advances and innovation which can positively impact potential deficiencies. When the decision to undergo assisted human reproduction treatment has been taken, it is often at a consequence of prior disappointment and frustration.
At the Fertility Institute of Mallorca, we are aware of the aforementioned and understand the desire many have to become parents. In order to address that very sentiment, our clinic offers Endometrial Receptivity Testing – abbreviated to ERA – as an additional guarantee of falling pregnant.
There are several factors and elements which can be decisive in relation to assisted human reproduction treatments, and each individually require care and attention. Until recently, it was the quality and quantity of sperm, in addition to the ova, which were previously the central focus of research alongside the fertilisation of embryos.
While unquestionably essential to the confirmation and progress of pregnancy, what about the space in which such embryos are expected to develop? The uterus and its conditions play a pivotal role in carrying a pregnancy to term, and courtesy of an Endometrial Receptivity Test, it is possible to certify if a uterus is able to meet the demands pregnancy entails.
What is endometrial receptivity?
Pregnancy may be natural, but it is also very precise in the sense each element must work in total synchronisation. Problems related to fertility are often caused when something within this framework is not functioning as it should, and in the case of assisted human reproductive treatments, a receptive endometrium is required.
An endometrium becomes receptive at an interval of around five to seven days after ovulation, a lapse of time often referred to medically as the implantation window in which an embryo needs to be transferred to a uterus during assisted human reproduction treatments. Testing to confirm the receptive state of a uterus, in this sense, can be of great use to medical professionals.
A simple and effective ERA can therefore examine if the uterus walls have the required thickness for embryo implantation to be successful between the 19th and 21st day of a menstrual cycle.
What is an ERA Test?
An ERA is nothing more than a biopsy of an endometrium executed within the aforementioned implantation window. The removal of endometrial tissue is neither a complex or painful operation.
While an ERA is not a treatment and limited to being just a molecular diagnostic test, it is the only one of its kind available while accuracy can determine the condition of the endometrium.
What is the ERA test for and who is it suitable for?
Studies have indicated up to 30% of women who undergo a cycle of assisted human reproduction treatment have a delayed implantation window by about five days either before or after taking progesterone – an important part of the hormonal treatment which accompanies such processes.
An ERA detects the state of the endometrium and can increase pregnancy rates in women prior to SCBA who have suffered recurrent failures in regards to embryo implantation by nearly 60%.
Testing is particularly recommended by women under the ages of 38 who show no signs of functional or structural problems within the uterus but have endured repeated failures at the embryo implantation phase.
Advantages of taking an ERA test
Advanced apparatus available in reproductive medicine opens up a range of possibilities for achieving the ultimate aim of carrying a pregnancy to full term, although the key is knowing when they are required. In respect to an endometrial receptivity test, the advantages are so great it has become widely used among couples where failure is detected at the moment of implantation.
Both a simple and affordable test, the increase in success rate percentages yields obvious benefits to administering an examination which can tailor assisted human reproduction treatments to patients.
How is an Endometrial Receptivity Test (ERA) administered?
Tissue samples from an ERA can be collected upon a sole consultation with the clinic at a time and date which suits you. The procedure does not require sedation and is painless, while the sensation is often compared to that of a routine smear test as a very fine cannula is used to avoid discomfort.
Material collected is then sent to a laboratory, where 238 genes inside the state of the endometrium are studied. This test is accurate due to a collection of data on:
- The thickness of the endometrium at its maximum receptivity between 7-11 millimetres.
- Detection of glands which is an additional sign the optimum state of the endometrium can proceed with implantation.
- The presence of pinopods.
- Measurement of endometrial cell growth.
ERA analysis will determine whether the endometrium is receptive or not. If viable, implantation can take place, while if a shift in the implantation window has been observed, this data will allow for greater accuracy ahead of the next cycle.
Tests available in reproductive medicine are among the most efficient and accurate due to the objective of pregnancy, in which an endometrial receptivity test can be among the useful to determine viability.
If you still have doubts about functionality, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team of specialists. In recent years, ERA has led to higher pregnancy rates and is often regarded as the solution for many women when previous treatments haven’t worked.