If you’re a patient who has undergone several rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) without any success, it can be incredibly frustrating. You may have even utilized genetic testing called Pre-implantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy known as PGS on your embryos. PGS identifies the number of chromosomes in embryos, so that your doctor can select chromosomally normal embryos for transfer. Chromosomally normal embryos are much more likely to implant and result in a healthy baby compared to abnormal embryos. It can be difficult to pinpoint if part of your problem may be the timing of your frozen embryo transfers. You may or may not have heard of a new test that could provide valuable insight called the Endometrial Receptivity Analysis (ERA). If you’re wondering what the ERA Test Success Rate is and if it can help you, below is everything you need to know!
What is the Endometrium and how does it relate to ERA Test Success Rate?
In order to understand the ERA Test and the ERA test success rate, you need to know a little bit about the endometrium. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant naturally or through fertility treatment, knowing a bit about the endometrium can help you understand the importance of timing in conception.
The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus and it is where an embryo will implant. There’s a span of time where your endometrium lining is at its most optimal for the embryo implantation. According to Dr. Carlos Simon, identifying this personalized window of implantation can be essential to having a successful IVF outcome.. Just like fertility treatment itself, every woman is different and finding a personalized protocol, even down to when your embryos are transferred may be what was missing in your previous IVF cycles.
To Understand the ERA Test Success Rate, This is What the ERA Test Is
Before the ERA test was developed, your reproductive endocrinologist could only visualize your uterine lining with the help of an ultrasound. While this can measure how thick or thin your lining is; the ERA test provides a unique set of information about the best timing for a future embryo transfer. This is why the ERA test success rates are noteworthy.
ERA is a genetic test performed on a very small sample of your endometrium tissue to determine the best timing for your next embryo transfer. The sample taken is also referred to as an ERA biopsy.
How Does the ERA test work?
For the ERA test success rates to help you on your next cycle, the biopsy would be taken by your doctor in a mock embryo transfer cycle prior to your next IVF or FET cycle. Next, the biopsy is sent to a lab where molecular analysis determines the expression profile of 248 different genes. Depending on the profile that is observed there are three potential results:
- Pre-receptive: Meaning the endometrium is not quite ready to receive the embryo(s) and transfer at this time may not be ideal. The results will include a recommendation of when transfer should occur.
- Receptive: Meaning the moment the endometrial biopsy was taken is the optimal time to transfer the embryo(s) in a future FET cycle
- Post-receptive: Meaning the endometrium had reached the stage for optimal embryo implantation but has now gone past it. The results will include a recommendation of when the transfer should occur.
Once your results are complete and your endometrial receptivity is determined by the lab, the results will be sent to your fertility doctor. Your reproductive endocrinologist will use these results and schedule your embryo transfer around when your endometrium is receptive for the developing embryo to implant.
What are the ERA Test Success Rates and Should I Consider this Test?
The ERA test success rates improved pregnancy rates to 73% when personalized transfers were made according to the test results (Fertility and Sterility, September 2013). This research
suggests that if you’ve had unsuccessful IVF outcomes and you have quality embryos, it may be worth a conversation with your doctor to see if the ERA test is worth exploring. Some other reasons you may want to consider the ERA Test are:
- If you’ve had 2 or more unsuccessful embryo transfers
- If you’ve had concerns with endometrial lining (example: thin endometrial lining)
- If you’ve had had unsuccessful implantation with high quality embryos
- If you’ve had multiple biochemical pregnancies
If you’ve just started trying to conceive, do not have a history of unsuccessful embryo transfers, and/or have not previously undergone IVF, it may be early in the process to wonder about your endometrial receptivity but overall, if you have concerns or want to discuss this option, you should feel comfortable asking your physician about the ERA test.
It can be a difficult journey trying to find the reason for why you’re not getting pregnant. Understandably, you want answers. Luckily, through communication with your doctor, support from your medical team and reproductive technology like PGS and the ERA test, you have options you can explore to help you find both the insight you need and the right path to a healthy pregnancy.