Autologous Endometrial Coculture (AECC)
Definition - What does Autologous Endometrial Coculture (AECC) mean?
Autologous endometrial coculture (AECC) is an advanced method of assisted reproduction that involves placing a woman’s fertilized eggs on a layer of cells grown from her own uterine lining (endometrium), mimicking a natural embryo development. This doubles the odds of a normal, healthy pregnancy. The improved embryo quality achieved by coculture increases the clinical pregnancy rate from 0% to 26.6% in women who failed IVF twice and up to 88.5% whose IVF failure is due to poor embryo quality.
FertilitySmarts explains Autologous Endometrial Coculture (AECC)
The AECC mimics a natural pregnancy as the embryo is allowed to develop in the vicinity of a woman's uterine lining. The technique of coculture is as follows:
- To perform a coculture, the doctor first collects a small sample of the endometrium at a certain day of the menstrual cycle via an outpatient procedure called endometrial biopsy.
- The collected sample is sent to a research lab, where it is purified and frozen.
- Conventional IVF medications are then given to the woman to stimulate the growth of eggs in her ovaries.
- These eggs are then retrieved and fertilized with the sperm in the lab, and simultaneously the collected endometrial cells are thawed.
- After fertilization, the embryos are positioned on top of the cultured woman’s own endometrial cells.
- Once developed, the embryos are transferred into the woman's uterus for implantation and hopefully pregnancy.
Coculture is generally a safe procedure and does not cause any problems.