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23-05-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Puff of air may help embryos stay put


Free abstract

MedWire News: Injecting air into the catheter immediately after embryo transfer (ET) results in significantly higher implantation and clinical pregnancy rates compared with standard embryo transfer, say Iranian researchers.

“It has been reported that 15 percent of the transferred embryos are pushed out after ET… which may be a cause of IVF failure,” say Tahereh Madani from Royan Institute in Tehran, and colleagues.

To address this issue, the team compared implantation and clinical pregnancy rates in 110 women undergoing IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, 55 of whom received standard ET, and 55 received ET followed by 0.2 ml of air.

Madani and co-authors hypothesized that the air injection would generate positive pressure to stop embryos from “back-tracking,” and create a force against any waves generated by uterine contractions.

Women in the air injection group had a higher rate of implantation compared with the standard ET group, at 19.5 percent versus 7.0 percent.

In addition, the clinical pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the air injection group than the standard ET group, at 40.0 percent versus 16.4 percent.

The researchers recommend their method as “an easy, efficient, low-cost addition process to the standard ET techniques,” and suggest further studies to confirm efficacy and clarify the mechanism.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy