IVF is a costly procedure that involves retrieving a woman’s eggs, fertilizing them outside the body and then transferring them to her uterus. Due to the debilitating cost, it is often a last chance effort for couples who have not had luck conceiving on their own.
The exciting new development involves a different approach to embryo selection. British fertility experts have devised a new technique that takes “thousands of snapshots of a developing embryo” which can help them discern which embryos will be most viable in the womb. The technique helps to illuminate “low risk” embryos that will have the greatest chances of implanting and surviving. In this study, “the team’s chances of producing a successful live birth after in-vitro fertilization (IVF) were increased by 56 percent using the new technique compared to the standard method of selecting embryos that look best through a microscope.”
“In the 35 years I have been in this field, this is probably the most exciting and significant development that can be of value to all patients seeking IVF,” said Simon Fishel, a leading fertility doctor and director at the IVF clinic operator CARE Fertility where the technique is being developed.
The scientists who led this study said that using time-lapse images, they had found that developmental delays in the embryo at crucial stages are good indicators of likely chromosomal abnormalities that could result in a failed pregnancy.
Using this new knowledge, the team developed what they call morphokinetic algorithms to predict success (MAPS). By applying these MAPS to the selection of embryos, they predict they could reach a live birth rate for patients undergoing IVF of 78 percent – about three times the national average.
Three times the national average? Having known several couples who have gone through the financial and emotional stress of a failed IVF treatment – this makes me want to jump for joy. If further studies proves these statistics to be true, this is amazing news.
I just wish it would have come sooner for all of those I know who have gone this route and not achieved a viable pregnancy.