Oxygen Concentration & IVF
Optimizing the success of IVF treatment is one of the main objectives of research in reproductive medicine. An area that has received significant focus is improving the environment that embryos are exposed to before being transplanted into the uterus.
The environment of the IVF lab has an important effect on the development of the embryo. Animal studies have shown that high oxygen concentration could have a negative impact on embryo quality, but in humans it is currently unknown which oxygen concentration provides the best success rates for IVF procedures. While some laboratories have an atmospheric oxygen concentration of 20% others have much lower concentrations of 5% which more closely mimics the womb. After a systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials, the author of this abstract has concluded that "culturing embryos under conditions with low oxygen concentrations improves the success rates of IVF and ICSI, resulting in the birth of more healthy newborns."