New Embryo Lab Opens at UCSF Reproductive Center

October 11, 2002
News Office: Eve Harris (415) 885-7277

A state-of-the-art Embryology Laboratory, including the most advanced equipment for fertility procedures, has opened as part of the new facility of the Center for Reproductive Health at UCSF Medical Center.

The new lab includes a "multi-layer" air filter system, new isolettes or "incubators" for fertilized eggs and the latest equipment for procedures such as sperm injection, egg fertilization and embryo biopsy. The new on-site lab means eggs and sperm will not be transported elsewhere, providing greater protection.

Dr. Marcelle Cedars, director of the Center for Reproductive Health, said the center's recent move to the UCSF Women's Health Center at Mount Zion creates a truly comprehensive program - the first on the West Coast -- for optimizing successful pregnancies in previously infertile men and women.

"The really unique things about the lab are things you can't see," she said. "For instance, our multi-layer air filter system is built into the ceiling, not just added on. We've done everything to limit exposure of egg and sperm to outside elements."

Specialists in embryology, male and female infertility, psychology, urology and genetic counseling now collaborate in one facility at the center's new location at 2356 Sutter St., on the seventh floor, in San Francisco. Previously, the center's staff was spread between several labs and clinics.

"We also will have a psychologist and psychiatrist on site," Cedars said. "We hope to set up a formal stress reduction program for our patients because we know how stressful infertility can be."

"All of our staff is dedicated to providing personalized care with understanding and respect," Cedars added. "We tailor each diagnosis and treatment plan to the individual patient and offer couples support, information and counsel in addition to the latest technological procedures."

The center's Male Reproductive Laboratory provides male infertility evaluation and treatment as well as donor sperm insemination.

Other services of the center include:

  • Embryo and semen cryopreservation or freezing
  • Gestational surrogacy
  • In vitro fertilization in which an egg is fertilized outside the body before re-implantation in the womb
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in which a single sperm is injected into an egg to fertilize it
  • Ovum or egg donor program
  • Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis
  • Reversal of tubal ligation

The new facility will allow for research in the areas of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, ovarian aging and menopause, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, in addition to research to improve egg, sperm and embryo quality.

For information or to make an appointment, please call (415) 353-7475.