Embryo transfer learning using medical simulation tools: a comparison of two embryo transfer simulators

J Gynecol Obstet Hum Reprod. 2023 Mar;52(3):102542. doi: 10.1016/j.jogoh.2023.102542. Epub 2023 Jan 20.


Introduction: Embryo transfer(ET) is one of the main procedures to become pregnant by assisted reproductive technology(ART). Simulation training is a way to improve the skills of clinicians. The objective of this study was to evaluate the interest of trainees in learning embryo transfer using simulators.

Material and methods: An observational study was conducted at the University hospital-based research center. Trainees, comprising midwives and resident or graduated gynecologists, who attended the medical training for infertility and ART in June 2019, were included. They trained on two ET simulators (Simulator A and B) and complete an anonymously online questionnaire. A sub-group analysis focusing on graduated gynecologists not performing ET in current practice, was performed.

Results: Thirty-two trainees were included. Trainees felt that ET simulators should be used in medical education to promote learning how to perform the ET procedure (n=26, 81.3% for Simulator A and n=21, 65.5% for Simulator B; p=0.31). The use of both simulators improved the level of self-confidence (81.3% and 75.0% respectively; p=0.55). Significant differences in the global and in the subgroup analysis (n=24) in favor of Simulator A were observed regarding learning the precision of the ET procedure (p<0.01), the pathway to introduce the catheter into the uterine cavity (p<0.05), and the guidance for proper placement of the catheter into the uterine cavity (p=0.03). In the subgroup analysis of graduated gynecologists not performing ET in current practice, Simulator A was found more realistic for the visualization of the introduction of the catheter into the uterine cavity (p=0.01) and more useful to learn about difficult cases (p=0.03).

Conclusion: Students expressed a high level of interest in ET simulators to improve their skills. Although the simulators displayed some differences regarding learning the precision of the ET procedure, both improved the level of self-confidence. This new learning method needs to be further developed in order to offer to trainees the most realistic simulators.

Trial registration: This study was approved for publication by the Ethics Review Committee of the Cochin University Hospital (CLEP) (n° AAA-2020-08016) retrospectively registered.

Keywords: Education; Embryo transfer; Simulator; Training.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Embryo Transfer*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Machine Learning
  • Uterus