Fertility procedures are generally being fleased from patients who are in for these tests. Researchers in Irvine of California, observed a study at present which will help spare some couples the cost of unnecessary fertility procedures.
Lawrence Werlin, M.D., and researchers from the Genesis Network for Reproductive Health are involved in a study looking at the benefits of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for three distinct groups of women. PGD is a procedure that can be used along with in vitro fertilization. During the procedure, doctors look at the embryo and test it for a number of conditions prior to implanting the embryo. This helps eliminate the implantation of embryos that are not going to result in live births.
Dr. Werlin and colleagues are currently studying how useful PGD is in women of advanced maternal age, those who have recurrent pregnancy loss, and women with two or more failed IVF cycles. While the study is still taking place, Dr. Werlin says in two of the categories they have seen results they are fairly confident will hold true. Specifically, in the group with recurrent pregnancy loss, it appears PGD can dramatically increase a woman's chance of a successful pregnancy.
As for the group with repeated failed IVF cycles, PGD appears to have no benefit. In this arm, those who had PGD and those who did not have PGD both showed poor chances for a live birth. The reason, says Dr. Werlin, is that even with PGD, they like to implant several embryos to increase the chance of one developing. The problem is this group has so few quality embryos to implant that only one embryo may be implanted and the chances of success drastically decrease.
Dr. Werlin says it appears PGD makes no difference in this group, although results on more women could alter the findings. Dr. Werlin says this is one of very few randomized studies to look at the benefits of PGD on specific women.