Read the full article “Upgrading IVF with the Help of Artificial Intelligence” by Melissa Pandika at

Recently, Melissa Pandika, writer for, spoke with patients who have undergone fertility treatment to understand the emotional toll of infertility and failed cycles in the article, Upgrading IVF with the Help of Artificial Intelligence. Pandika also spoke with several fertility physicians including SGFs Co-director of Research, Kate Devine, M.D., of the Washington D.C. K Street office, to learn about various IVF treatment strategies and techniques, and why patients and physicians alike should be cautious of new, unproven techniques.

Why conduct fertility research?

Continually researching and improving processes to achieve high pregnancy outcomes from IVF, IUI, and all forms of fertility treatment is a never ending goal for fertility researchers, scientists, and physicians alike. The emotional, physical, and financial strain fertility treatment can take on the couple who is trying to grow their family is the primary reason improving the experience is a priority. It is for these reasons SGF has a dedicated Research Program—to improve your likelihood of becoming a parent.

As stated by Pandika, the goal of research is to “reduce IVF to a single cycle and eliminate the possibility of carrying twins or triplets, which poses risks for mothers and infants alike.”

Using Proven Techniques to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes  

A primary area of focus for improving success rates is monitoring and selecting the best embryo, one that will result in a viable pregnancy. One of the primary techniques to limit the number of IVF cycles is through the use of genetic testing (PGS and PGD).

In the article, alternative methods are proposed, such as evaluating tenacity of embryos as well as shape and rigidness. However, according to the article and Dr. Kate Devine, “While these selection methods are “much needed … patients should be wary.” The article continues, “Scientists still need to confirm they are more likely to lead to successful pregnancies than PGS. Even then, they would complement, not replace, the embryologist’s skilled eye. And, ultimately, they may prove no match for Mother Nature.”

How to Optimize Fertility Treatment

At Shady Grove Fertility, we use several techniques to optimize fertility treatment in addition to genetic testing. Some techniques include evaluating medications, adjusting treatment protocols, and completing a free-all cycle (and subsequent frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle when conditions are more conducive to pregnancy) when progesterone levels are too high, to name a few.

Single Embryo Transfers, a Very Good Option

It is our recommendation for (most) patients transfer one embryo into the uterus to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and baby. Over time, data has shown increased health risks associated with multiple pregnancies. With experience, careful observations of outcomes, and improvements in embryo culture techniques, elective single embryo transfer (eSET) has become a very good option for patients. In fact, 52 percent of patients of all IVF cycles (under the age of 35) used eSET at the Rockville, MD lab.

To learn more about genetic testing or alternate fertility treatment options at Shady Grove Fertility, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kate Devine or one of our other 38 physicians, please call 877-971-7755 to speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons.