There’s a popular knock knock joke that goes like this:
Who is there?
The interrupting cow.
With this joke, timing is everything. In fact, many things in life come down to timing. From a punchline to cooking a perfect meal to making sure your chances of pregnancy are optimal.
When you’re going through fertility treatment, so much feels like it’s out of your control. What can be comforting though is a little something called technology. Technology, especially in the world of infertility, is constantly advancing. It can bring hope (yes, that four letter word hope) and insights for patients, by providing tools to make In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) more effective.
This does you little good though if you don’t know all of the tools available! This is why I want to educate you about Endometrial Receptivity Analysis (ERA). ERA helps avoid implantation failure by helping to identify the best day for embryo transfer. See? Timing!
First, a quick review of what the endometrium is. It is the three layers of tissue that line the uterus. So, much like if you’re having guests over for company, you’re going to want to make sure the place looks as clean and inviting as possible ahead of time!
Second, a quick review of IVF: This is the process of fertilization by retrieving eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then combining those eggs and sperm in a laboratory dish to respectfully suggest, “No really, you two! Get together and create some embryos!” The resulting embryo(s) are then transferred to the uterus. If they implant in the lining, you have a pregnancy, which is the goal.
THIS is why identifying the moment your endometrium is the most receptive can make a huge difference. It maximizes your chances of a pregnancy, especially for those who have experienced repeated implantation failure with quality, healthy embryos.
Here’s exactly what happens:
- A small sample of your endometrial lining will be taken by your doctor (this will not hurt in case you’re worried!) for testing
- This sample will then be sent to Igenomix for analysis using the ERA test to determine the optimal day for an embryo transfer
- A full report will be provided that will give results and recommendations for future treatment to your doctor who will bring you up to speed
- These test results will then be used to synchronize your embryo and your uterus to increase your chance of success
To learn more, you can ask your doctor if he or she feels that you might benefit from the ERA test.
And the next time you’re out having breakfast and anyone asks you how you like your eggs, you can answer, “Fertilized and implanted!”.
Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo is a freelance writer, public speaker, infertility/women’s rights advocate, former stand-up comic, author of the blog, ‘The 2 Week Wait’, and proud IVF Mom. As an Infertility Subject Matter Expert as well as Spokesperson and Blogger, she has been spoken at several conferences (including CCW and RESOLVE New England annual conference). Jay has been interviewed on news outlets such as CNN, NPR and BBC, where she has demonstrated her ability to make even reproductive issues fun and educational. Her articles have been featured on the Huffington Post, Time Magazine, XOJane (to name just a few). She volunteers for various organizations including Resolve: the National Infertility Association, the GMHC, and Gilda’s Club.