IVF breakthrough ‘doubles chances of a baby’

New IVF technique promises increase in success rates

Fertility experts in the UK have a made a breakthrough that could more than double the chances of a patient getting pregnant.

The advance means that scientists can now screen the eggs for abnormalities before they freeze them.

Up to half of eggs in younger women, and up to 75% in women over 39, are found to be chromosomally abnormal.

The new procedure has already enabled one woman with a history of miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy to conceive her first child.

The screening method could reduce the risk of miscarriages and birth defects as well as increasing birth rates.

Simon Fishel, managing director of Care Fertility, who led the development team, estimates that as many as half of all couples going through IVF could benefit from the development, known as Array Comparative Genomic Hybridisation (Array CGH).

‘IVF success rates are around 30% , and reach 40% only in the best clinics, which means at least 60% of cycles still fail,’ he said.

‘One of the holy grails is to get to one embryo, one baby, but the great stumbling block is that only 25 to 30% of eggs are actually viable. By being able to select the normal ones, we should have an impact on success rates. How great that might be we don’t yet know.’

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