As In Vitro Fertilization Technology Improves, TTCers May Be Able to Avoid Unhealthy Pregnancies and Multiples Photo: Veer
Improved technology when it comes to in vitro fertilization can mean women trying to conceive can have healthier pregnancies, not to mention less of a chance of giving birth to multiples.
A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that “transferring one embryo into women during in vitro fertilization doesn’t lower their chances of giving birth,” reported Fox News. In the past, IVF has involved implanting multiple embryos into a patient to increase her chances, which has led to births of multiples. Doing so has also raised risks of diabetes during pregnancy, premature birth and cerebral palsy.
Although only 1 percent of births each year are conceived through IVF, it is responsible for 17 percent of twins, Jessica Kresowik, MD, of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, who led the study, told Fox News.
In the past, doctors would use six embryos at once for better odds at one resulting in a pregnancy. Now, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says no more than two embryos should be transferred if a woman is under 35.
In Kresowik’s fertility clinic in 2004, she used a single embryo for IVF for women under 38 who were getting their first round of the fertility treatment and showed positive signs of becoming pregnant. “Data for the five years before and after that time showed that birth rates didn't suffer -- and actually improved,” according to Fox News. “Before the single-embryo policy, 51 percent of all women younger than 38 got pregnant and gave birth to a live baby, compared with 56 percent afterward.”
A new development in IVF technology includes embryo tests that “could dramatically raise success rates for couples,” reported The Guardian. “The procedure checks embryos created at fertility clinics for biological signs that they are growing healthily and screens them for abnormal chromosomes.” Researchers at Oxford University are hoping to improve pregnancy rates by giving doctors a way to pick the best embryos to implant in women trying to conceive.
“The scientific community is so excited by the novel technique, that the study has won a prize from the US Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies,” according to the Press Association. “Dr. Dagan Wells's team at Oxford has already pioneered a technique for checking embryos for these abnormalities. Embryos are grown for five days in the lab and analyzed to check the chromosome number.” Healthy embryos are considered for IVF transfer, increasing the woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Wells pointed out that the vast majority of embryos transferred worldwide are not genetically screened, and 85 percent fail as a result.
Thoughts on these recent developments? More hope for TTCers?
Plus, more from The Bump:
How Infertility Affects Women
Mom to Donate Womb to Daughter
Women Are Freezing Their Eggs
See More: Fertility Concerns , Fertility and Ovulation , Fertility Expert , Multiples
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