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A technician at an IVF clinic

For patients undergoing in vitro fertilization, there is a common test to help determine the best time to transfer the embryo for a successful pregnancy. But new research has patients and doctors questioning whether the test — one of a growing number of expensive “add-ons” for I.V.F. patients — is effective for first-time patients.

The test, called an endometrial receptivity analysis, takes a biopsy of the interior lining of the uterus. Then a lab analyzes the tissue for more than 200 genes to predict the best time to place the embryo in the uterus, according to the test’s manufacturer, Igenomix.

The study, whose findings were published in September, compared live birthrates for first-time I.V.F. patients who had the E.R.A. to those who did not, and researchers found no difference between the two groups. In other words, the test does not improve chances of achieving an ongoing pregnancy in first-time patients, according to the findings.

The research, which was sponsored by Igenomix and has not been peer-reviewed or published in full, also noted that more studies were needed to assess... see more