The Risk of Multiple Births from In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Technology Is Greatly Reduced by Recent Medical Advances
SAN DIEGO, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has come a long way since the first successful IVF birth back in 1978. IVF is safer and more reliable today. A variety of related procedures has contributed to higher success rates.
Louise Joy Brown, the world's first "test tube" baby, was born on July 25, 1978. Since then, advances in medical science have made In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) safer and more effective.
IVF is the process by which a woman's eggs are fertilized in a laboratory culture outside the body. After fertilization has been confirmed, the embryos are implanted back into the woman, generally after three days.
IVF success rates used to be about 30-40%. For this reason, embryologists often implant up to four embryos into a woman's ovaries during a single cycle, to increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy. Of course, that strategy leads to another danger: high-order multiple births.
People associate IVF with multiple births, but that's no longer a risk. According to Dr. Arlene Morales of the Fertility Specialists Medical Group (http://ivfspecialists.com), "Over the past 25 years, IVF technology and our knowledge about the reproductive processes have improved remarkably, affording many more couples the ability to conceive. Pregnancy rates have nearly doubled, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) has almost eliminated the need for donor sperm, and high-order multiple births have nearly been eliminated."
One of the goals of IVF is to get to the point where specialists can reliably implant one embryo for one baby, but unfortunately, only 25-30% of eggs are usually viable. With improved laboratory conditions, however, a new technique allows embryos to grow in a laboratory culture up to Day 5 or Day 6 prior to transfer. An embryo at this stage is known as a blastocyst, so this procedure is called a blastocyst transfer. By delaying the transfer (normally done on Day 3), embryologists can impact success rates.
Again, Dr. Morales: "By allowing the egg additional time to develop, we can determine with greater certainty which embryos are the healthiest and have the greatest chance of implantation. As a result, fewer embryos need to be transferred, decreasing the chance of multiple pregnancies without compromising [a patient's] chance of success."
To learn whether IVF is a valid treatment for you, contact a fertility clinic. Fertility Specialists Medical Group is one of the most successful San Diego fertility clinics, with multiple doctors and a clean, comfortable, state-of-the-art facility. They offer a full range of products and services designed to help their patients start a family, without pressuring patients into treatments they may not need.
About Fertility Specialists Medical Group: Fertility Specialists Medical Group is located at 8010 Frost Street, Plaza Level, San Diego, CA 92123. They can be reached by phone at 858-505-5500. For more information, please visit http://ivfspecialists.com.
Media Contact: Andrea Carasso, Fertility Specialists Medical Group, 858-505-5500, http://ivfspecialists.com
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SOURCE Fertility Specialists Medical Group