Implantation screening

The Agora offers a number of investigations into cases where the embryo fails to implant (attach) to the womb. This can lead to recurrent miscarriages, a positive pregnancy test after which the embryo fails to develop, or implantation failure after the transfer of good quality embryos following IVF treatment.

The following simple blood tests can help us to rule out or treat potential problems:

  • Clotting (thrombophilia) screen – this is a test that determines whether you are at an increased risk of developing blood clots that could be a potential cause of miscarriage and implantation failure (where the embryo doesn’t attach to the womb and develop). If this test is positive, the problem can be easily treated by taking aspirin and/or an anticoagulant (medication that thins the blood) throughout your treatment cycle and early pregnancy
  • Immune testing – there has been a lot of research to try to discover possible immunological reasons why an embryo fails to attach to the womb and develop, causing repeated miscarriages. It has been suggested that this can be caused by higher than normal levels of ‘natural killer’ cells (a type of white blood cell that is part of a healthy immune system) and auto-antibodies (antibodies that attack specific organs) and positive results have been reported from women treated for these. The treatment for a positive test result involves taking various medications that gently suppress the natural killer cell activity in the immune system. You can read more about natural killer cells in our separate patient leaflet