Increased IVF Success Rates Result when Ideal Follicular Fluid Temperature is Maintained, Says Research from the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

Share Article

Clinical research by Chicago-area infertility specialist Richard Sherbahn, MD, reveals increased embryo quality and higher live birth rates with in vitro fertilization when the follicular fluid is in an ideal temperature range.

Richard Sherbahn, MD

Our research indicates that the more the ideal temperature is maintained, the better the resulting embryo quality and the higher the live birth success rates.

Maintaining the temperature of follicular fluid in an ideal range during the in vitro fertilization (IVF) egg retrieval procedure can improve IVF live birth success rates, according to a clinical study conducted by the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago (AFCC).

AFCC Medical Director Richard Sherbahn, MD, was selected to present his research at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Denver.

“During IVF, we retrieve eggs from a woman’s ovaries,” explains Dr. Sherbahn, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. “The eggs are retrieved from ovarian follicles and we obtain the eggs and follicular fluid in which they develop.

“When the eggs are removed from the ovary, the fluid and the eggs experience a temperature change because the woman’s body temperature is warmer than the room temperature,” he says, “We found that if this temperature change is excessive, IVF live birth rates are significantly decreased.

“In our study, we performed 1,659 egg retrieval procedures in women under age 43,” Dr. Sherbahn explains. “The extracted fluid and eggs went into our laboratory and we checked the fluid temperature. Our objective was to see if the follicular fluid temperature made a difference in an embryo’s ability to develop into a good-quality blastocyst—and its effect on the IVF live birth success rate.”

A blastocyst is an embryo that has developed for five to six days after fertilization and has developed two distinct cell types and a central cavity filled with fluid. In vitro fertilization done with transfer of blastocyst-stage embryos has been shown to have a higher rate of success than transferring earlier-stage embryos.

“Our research found that maintaining follicular fluid temperatures in a narrow range resulted in improved outcomes: higher rates of blastocyst development, higher rates of embryo implantation in the uterus and more live births,” Dr. Sherbahn reports.

The cases were divided into three groups for analysis: the ideal-temperature group had a live birth rate of 52.8% per egg retrieval. The low-temperature group and high-temperature group had live birth rates of 44.1%, and 37.7% respectively.

“Our research indicates that the more the ideal temperature is maintained, the better the resulting embryo quality and the higher the live birth success rates,” Dr. Sherbahn concludes.

“We use heated blocks for the test tubes containing the fluid and the eggs rather than letting them sit in an open environment with no temperature control,” he explains. “We constantly monitor the blocks and the fluids to maintain the ideal temperature for the eggs.

“The standard temperature for culturing human embryos is 37.0 degrees Centigrade (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—but carefully controlled studies have not been published to prove this truly is the ideal temperature. Likewise, there has not been anything published clarifying the ideal temperature for eggs during the egg retrieval. Our study is a start; further research is needed in this area,” explains Dr. Sherbahn.

“Quality control in IVF is critical. At our fertility clinic, we pay close attention to detail in every IVF cycle—and it matters,” says Dr. Sherbahn. “Our IVF success rates have exceeded the national average for 13 consecutive years. The Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago’s 2008 IVF program live birth rate of 57% per egg retrieval in women under age 35 is significantly higher than the national average success rate of 45%. For 2009, we had a 62.9% live birth rate for the same age group. The 2009 national average is not yet available."

The Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago, with offices in Gurnee and Crystal Lake, Illinois, offers advanced reproductive technology services that attract patients from around the world. IVF pricing and egg donation pricing plans are available with a 100% money-back guarantee.

The Center’s web site,, offers more than 250 articles on fertility issues and IVF.

To schedule an appointment at the Gurnee office, call 847.662.1818.
For an appointment at the Crystal Lake office, call 815.356.1818.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print