A new IVF technique could increase pregnancy success rates from 30% to around 75%.
Using the new technique, doctors will examine sample cells from a 5 or 6-day-old IVF embryo to check each has 23 chromosomes, the correct number to have. An incorrect number of chromosomes, a fault known as aneuploidy, is thought to be the cause of 6 out of 7 miscarriages. By screening out the embryos that have too many or too few chromosomes, success rates should be higher.
This technique will also reduce the risk of a baby being born with a genetic disorder, such as Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau syndrome, as the embryos with an incorrect number of chromosomes will be screened out.
The new technique will also involve comparing the embryo’s chromosomes with the DNA of its parents. This second layer of screening will identify any genetic problems and boost the chance of successful fertilisation.
The first baby to be delivered in the UK as a result of this improved treatment was Louise and Andrew Riley’s baby son Elliott, born just after Christmas. After a failed cycle of IVF the couple opted for the £8500 procedure because it was their “last hope”, reports The Telegraph.