New Endoscope for Enhancing Embryo Transfer to Uterus

Embryo transfer is one of the most critical steps influencing pregnancy outcomes following in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, yet while about 85% of all couples undergoing IVF treatment reach the stage of embryo transfer (ET), reportedly only about one third of the women actually become pregnant. There are numerous factors that limit the successful implantation of the embryo in the uterus and we have developed an enhancement to the endoscope that permits the physician to control the delivery of the embryo using a flexible catheter that permits the physician to operate a syringe that expands an insufflator, a small balloon, that expands the uterus permmiting the physician to check the best position for the embryo. Using the camera and light projector and a virtual screen that projects a gauge that measures the uterus cavity the physician can choose the optimum depth and angle of placement of the embryo so as to effectively place the embryo in the most effective position in the uterus to effect fertilization of the embryo and a successful pregnancy. The endoscope that is used with our invention will include an opening on one side of the device. This opening contains a tube with a syringe type device that can produce air pressure to inflate an insufflator, a type of a balloon, that is attached at the fore end of the endoscope just before the front opening of the endoscope that contains the fiber optic camera and light projector. The catheter that is entered from the opposite side of the endoscope will include a mechanism to grasp the embryo cells into a capsule that will be inseminated in the womb. Once the front end of the catheter is passed through the insufflator the balloon type device will be inflated by the controlling physician. The front end of the catheter containing the embryo passes into the expanded uterus. A virtual screen will be displayed using software on the camera software that with the aid of a virtual gauge will permit the physician to see the womb cavity and thus choose the optimum spot in the uterus to place the embryo. Once the embryo cell is in place the insufflator deflates on the capsule and embryo. The capsule will eventually dissolve permitting the embryo to be inseminated. This new invention permits:

  • Optimal control of the embryo transfer
  • Ability to implement visual inspection of the embryo cells and uterus during the ET procedure.
  • An insufflator to facilitate improved accessibility of the uterus, depth penetration and optimum positioning of the embryo.
  • Ability to control the angle of delivery to ensure minimum force when the embryo is in contact with the uterine lining.

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