What are batch IVF?
Many infertility clinics have started the practice of batch IVF as an essential part of infertility management. This approach is majorly used in developing countries where there are limited resources and a very few numbers of specialists in this area.
How is Batch IVF Done?
In batch IVF, the menstrual cycle of a set number of women is programmed in such a way that, they all undergo the complete procedures of IVF at the same time. This helps in a proper utilization of resources present in an IVF clinic.
The newest method of batching involves, synchronizing menstrual cycles of many women using steroids followed by the process of downregulation with long GnRH (Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone) agonist.
A standardized protocol for Batch may not be applicable to all patients leading to undesirable side effects and results.
Also if the clinician or embryologists are visiting consultants, there may be miscommunication regarding the trigger timing and egg pick up which is crucial for a good outcome. There may be availability delays and mishaps also if the consultant and embryologists are not 'in house 'at the centre.
There could be over utilization of incubators, over work for embryologist if too many ICSI are done on the same day and many embryo transfers planned the same day will compromise the results.
This approach requires appropriate planning and early preparations. From aligning of menstrual cycles to the pre-IVF investigation, counseling to scheduling and planning of individualized treatments, a lot of preparations are required to achieve success in batch IVF. Not just that, with the batch, the IVF unit should also be ready for the process. Cleaning the lab, calibrating the equipment, checking for the Gonadotropins supply, implementing of IVF programme is involved during preparation on an IVF unit.
The whole process of batch IVF needs to be undertaken by highly trained professionals who have extensive knowledge about the human reproductive endocrinology and are well trained in handling laboratory procedure. Any IVF clinic conducting a batch IVF should avoid overcrowding to avoid any discrepancy in the outcome.