IVF technique 'doubles chance of having a baby'
Ability to detect egg abnormalities will reduce risk of miscarriage, say scientists
Women undergoing fertility treatment could more than double their chances of having a baby with a new technique for detecting chromosome abnormalities in their eggs, scientists said yesterday.
The procedure – developed in Britain – has already enabled a 41-year-old woman with a history of miscarriages and failed IVF attempts to become pregnant with her first child. A leading fertility specialist said it was a fast and accurate method of detecting changes to the 23 chromosomes within the human egg that are implicated in miscarriages and birth defects.
"We are likely to reduce the number of miscarriages, increase the number of implantations into the womb and increase the number of live births with this technology," said Simon Fishel, managing director of Care Fertility, an IVF centre in Sheffield. "We now have a technology that can examine all chromosomes from either an egg or an embryo."
About half of the eggs produced by women carry chromosome abnormalities that can affect the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby. For women aged 40 or more, this rises to 75 per cent of eggs.
Dr Fishel and colleagues used the test on nine eggs extracted from the 41-year-old woman, who had previously undergone 13 cycles of failed IVF treatment. Even without her history of failed IVF attempts, the woman's chances of having a baby would be less than 7 per cent, he said. The new chromosome test showed that just two of her nine eggs were normal. These were subsequently implanted into her womb after being fertilised and she is now more than six months pregnant with a single child.
The technique, which costs £1,950 and is not offered on the NHS, involves extracting the "spare set" of chromosomes ejected from the egg in a structure called the polar body. Scientists then extract the polar body's DNA and test it for chromosome changes without any interference to the DNA of the egg itself, Dr Fishel said. Only eggs that prove to have a normal complement of chromosomes are selected for implantation into the womb. This significantly cut the risk of failed implantation or miscarriage – a trial doubled implantation rates, Dr Fishel said.
The latest version of the test has been automated with the result that it takes no more than 48 hours to complete, so the IVF embryos do not need to be frozen before implantation.
However, the British Fertility Society said that further research and clinical trials were needed before the new test is offered widely to couples undergoing IVF treatment.
50 per cent: The proportion of eggs produced by women that carry chromosome abnormalities
75 per cent: The proportion with chromosome abnormalities for women over 40
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 2 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 3 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
First-time buyers in London 'need to earn at least £77,000'
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...
£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...
£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...