Couples struggling to have children have been given hope by a new technique, which can double the chance of IVF success.
A new study, which is the largest ever of its kind, found that by screening embryos for genetic defects, this greatly improved the chances of the embryo successfully implanting, leading to pregnancy.
Around 37,000 women undergo IVF every year, while an estimated one in six couples face problems conceiving. But with this new method, experts achieved a birth in four out of five attempts in women whose IVF treatment had previously failed.
The study was carried out by the Reprogenetics UK laboratory in Oxford. The researchers discovered that twice as many embryos ended in pregnancy when using the technique.
Doctors believe that the test could particularly help older women, whose embryos generally contain more abnormalities.
Allan Pacey, secretary of the British Fertility Society, said, “Embryology is really crying out for something like this. This is very exciting technology but we do need proper trials to see if it does what it says on the tin.”
Researchers hope the technique could eventually become standard practice on the NHS. It’s currently too new to be funded by the NHS and is only offered privately in a few IVF clinics in Britain.