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Case study: Embryo transfer


The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, America’s leading professional organization in reproductive medicine and infertility, developed a simulation training program with VirtaMed to standardize embryo transfer techniques for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).


VirtaMed is the world’s leading company in developing virtual reality training devices in medicine. They already have a successful history of producing simulators for other techniques in reproductive medicine. We feel confident that their expertise in training devices and our expertise in infertility care will combine to make a terrific product. A product whose use will improve patient care.

– Rebecca Sokol, MD, MPH, ASRM Past President.

A compelling case for simulation

  • Embryo transfer is a very delicate procedure: patients typically pay USD 10,000-20,000 out of their own pocket. As patients receive no anesthesia and as both parents-to-be are usually present during procedure, the clinicians work under high stress.
  • Success rates vary between 15-60%, and procedures often need to be repeated. ASRM carried out a systematic review of the literature.
  • 25% of fellows never perform an embryo transfer during their fellowship, and a further 25% perform fewer than 10 across their three years of training. Read the paper.
  • ASRM's survey of over 100 fertility specialists revealed that there were no well defined best practices or standardized approaches.
The standardized embryo transfer protocol was published by ASRM here.

Confidence & competence

ASRM organizes two-day proficiency-based certification courses for REI fellows. A study showed that the simulation course increased clinician confidence up to 125% while improving knowledge, cognitive and technical skills.

The results of the full programme and study have been published in Fertility and Sterility online

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