EmbryoGlue® isn’t glue as you know it; it’s made with a substance – hyaluronan – that makes the embryo more likely to stick to the lining of the womb.
Hyaluronan is a type of carbohydrate found everywhere in the body. It’s rich in the carbohydrates, amino acids and protein the embryo needs to develop properly, and it also helps to thicken the EmbryoGlue®, which reduces how much the embryo can move around.
If you decide to use EmbryoGlue® in your treatment, it will replace the standard culture medium that we use for embryo transfer following ICSI or IVF. The embryo(s) selected for transfer are placed into EmbryoGlue® and are cultured for a short time up to the point of embryo transfer. The embryo transfer procedure remains the same, although the embryo is transferred in EmbryoGlue®.
There are no known risks from the use of EmbryoGlue® but, based on our experience, we don’t place hatched blastocysts (embryos which have emerged or are emerging from their outer shell) before transfer into EmbryoGlue.
What is the evidence for EmbryoGlue®?
The independent regulator of fertility treatment, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has developed a ‘red-amber-green’ rating system and provides information on their website about treatments that are offered on top of your routine fertility treatment – known as treatment add-ons. They consider that the only way to be confident that a treatment is effective enough to be used routinely is to carry out a randomised controlled trial (RCT). In an RCT, patients are assigned randomly to two groups: a treatment group, given the new treatment and a control group, given a well-tried treatment or a placebo.
The HFEA has given EmbryoGlue® an amber rating because there is only one high quality study which shows that the use of hyaluronan enriched medium improves live birth rates: other studies are only of moderate quality and further high-quality studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of the treatment. CARE’s own experience of EmbryoGlue® is that it does not have a proven benefit. The HFEA raises no concerns about the safety of EmbryoGlue®
We believe it is important that you have all the information you need before you decide to have treatment using EmbryoGlue®. We also recommend that you read the information on the HFEA website before making a decision