New ‘surefire’ IVF Technique Makes 41-year-old British Woman Pregnant

by Gopalan on  January 27, 2009 at 8:05 AM Women Health News
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New ‘surefire’ IVF Technique Makes 41-year-old British Woman Pregnant
A new 'surefire' IVF technique has made a 41-year old British woman pregnant.

Her baby is due in two months. It was conceived using a technique that allows doctors to count chromosomes in eggs, allowing them to pick the best.

The woman's doctor, Simon Fishel, of the Care group of fertility clinics, said the technique brought doctors closer to the 'holy grail' of IVF - turning every egg into a baby.

'One of the main reasons why IVF doesn't work is chromosomal abnormality,' he said.

'Full chromosome analysis offers huge hope to many couples who have a poor chance of conceiving, those who have had many failures, and for those who want to maximise their chance at each attempt.'

The technique - known as array comparative genomic hybridisation - involves plucking a sample of DNA from an egg and putting it through a series of sophisticated steps that allow the chromosomes to be counted.

Healthy eggs should have 23 chromosomes but many have more or fewer than this, greatly cutting the chances of pregnancy and raising the risk of miscarriage and having a child with a condition such as Down's syndrome.

Up to 75 per cent of miscarriages are thought to be due to embryos having too many or too few chromosomes, with eggs from older women particularly likely to be problematic.

The new technique, developed in the U.S., originally needed a fortnight for all the chromosomes to be counted. Embryos were frozen and stored until the results were ready.

The new method takes as little as two days, meaning the embryos don't have to go through the potentially risky process of being frozen and thawed,Fiona Macrae reported for Daily Mail.

The woman had gone through 13 IVF attempts without success, as well as the anguish of two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy.

Stuart Lavery, a senior consultant gynaecologist at Hammersmith Hospital, said: 'Although it is still at a very early stage, this technique may offer a new diagnostic and therapeutic hope to couples who suffer from repeated implantation failure in IVF.'

Tony Rutherford, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: 'The technology certainly offers much promise.

'However, whilst the BFS supports the application of new technologies such as array CGH, it is absolutely essential that these new techniques are subject to further rigorous research, and should only be offered to patients within the context of a robustly designed clinical trial, carried out in suitably experienced centres.'

Source: Medindia

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