Background/Aim: In-vitro fertilization-embryo transfer requires meticulous technique. To minimize endometrial trauma and perform the procedure as delicately as possible, various catheters are used for embryo transfer. In this study, we aimed to determine whether pregnancy rate is affected by the softness of those catheters. A standard catheter is not preferred in clinics. We wanted to see how pregnancy success would be affected if we made the catheter a constant variable.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted with the participation of 149 patients in Acibadem University Atakent Hospital IVF Unit. We used Wallace (Smith Medical) semi-rigid catheters and Labotect (Labor-Technik-Göttingen) flexible catheters (divided into two groups). Patients between 28-35 years of age, with infertility without known causes or who had mild male factors and received Gn-RH antagonist treatment protocol were included in this study. Patients with azoospermic partners, tubal factors and severe ovarian failure were excluded.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the patients who got pregnant and those who did not in terms of age, basal FSH, duration of infertility, antral follicle count and endometrial thickness before transfer. The pregnancy rates after transfer in the semi-rigid (Group 1) and soft catheter (Group 2) groups were 43,5% and 56,5%, respectively (P=0.108).
Conclusions: In our study, the pregnancy rates were higher in transfers performed with a soft catheter. Soft catheter positively affects pregnancy success. However, it is difficult to say that this alone affects pregnancy success.
Catheter, Embryo transfer, Pregnancy rate, Assisted reproductive medicine