Jan 28, 2009

Health - Pioneering IVF treatment 'could double birth rates'

London, Jan (ANI): A woman has become pregnant with the help of a pioneering IVF treatment which doctors hope could more than double birth rates.

The 41-year-old patient had previously undergone 13 failed cycles of fertility treatment but is now seven months pregnant, all thanks to the new technique, which involves screening a woman's eggs for abnormalities in chromosomes.

The technique has previously been used with frozen eggs and, in one trial, doubled the success rate.

Now, doctors have for the first time used the method with fresh eggs, which experts believe will further raise the birth rate, as 'good' eggs will not be lost in the freezing process.

Most tests for abnormalities look at between just seven and nine chromosomes.

The researchers believe that knowing that an egg is more viable will also help doctors to cut the number of embryos transferred during each IVF cycle, reducing the number of risky multiple births and taking them closer to the goal of "one embryo, one baby".

The woman, who is due to give birth in two months, has previously suffered two miscarriages at very early stages of pregnancies.

Doctors tested nine of her eggs, and found just two to be chromosomally "normal".

These two embryos were then chosen for transfer.

"We are delighted to announce the world's first pregnancy using real time polar body array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH) and the baby is due later in the spring," the Telegraph quoted Dr Simon Fishel, from the Care Fertility Group in Nottingham, as saying.

"This screening method has the potential to improve birth rates, minimise the incidence of miscarriage and birth defects caused by chromosomal irregularity," he added. (ANI)

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