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Embryo Recuvery:

Flushing the Donor

Embryo recovery begins with Dr. Wehrman palpating the donor to determine stimulation (how well she superovulated). He will then insert a specialized catheter into the donor's uterus. This catheter is used to isolate the uterine horn. He then flushes each uterine horn separately with a specialized flush media.

As the media is removed from the uterus it is ran through a specialized filter. The filter utilizes the size of the embryos, approximately 150 micrometers, to isolate them from other uterine debris by allowing material less than 75 micrometers to pass through. Once both uterine horns have been flushed and all the media has been passed through the filter the flushing process is complete.

  1. The flush catheter (also known as a Foley Catheter) and metal stylet are inserted
  2. The metal stylet is removed a couple of inches at a time to allow Dr. Wehrman to manipulate the catheter through the uterine horn
  3. Media is inserted into the catheter to inflate a balloon at the end which allows the top portion of the uterine horn to be isolated
  4. Dr. Wehrman uses flush media and manual manipulation to remove the embryos. The process is the repeated for the other uterine horn

Isolating the Embryos

Upon completion of the flushing process the embryos must be isolated. The filter used during flushing is rinsed with flush media into a gridded search dish. The search dish will contain other debris that was too large to pass through the filter such as uterine tissue and mucus. Embryos are removed from the search dish and placed into a new sterile dish where they will be prepared (embryo preparation) for cryopreservation or fresh embryo transfer.

Steps of the isolation process can be seen in the images above.

  1. Uterine debris that is typically seen in the search dish
  2. An embryo in the search dish
  3. Isolated embryos in the new sterile dish ready for embryo preparation

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