New ‘safer’ IVF technique: First baby born using method

A healthy baby has been born using a 'safer' method of the infertility treatment IVF.

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Baby boy, Heath Kidd, who is just seven weeks old was conceived using the natural hormone Kisspeptin.

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Kisspeptin is naturally occurring hormone and is much after to use than traditional IVF methods. It avoids a rare but fatal complication seen with conventional IVF.

UK doctors at Hammersmith Hospital and Imperial College London where the trials are being carried out say this pioneering treatment could help many other couples trying for a baby.

While this is a monumental breakthrough, experts warn that it could be years before this treatment is widely available.

It has been reported in the BBC website that about one in every 100 women undergoing IVF treatment will develop a severe form of a medical condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or OHSS.

Instead of producing a few eggs as desired, the ovaries go into overdrive and produce lots in response to the potent fertility drugs.

While most women with OHSS will have mild symptoms and recover, those few with severe OHSS become very ill and can die.

In the UK, more than 48,000 women undergo IVF treatment each year.

While conventional IVF involves the mother being injected with artificial hormones, newborn Heath was conceived by his mother Suzannah being injected with kisspeptin instead.

Lead researcher Prof Waljit Dhillo, from Imperial College London, and Dr Geoffrey Trew, who runs an IVF clinic at London’s Hammersmith Hospital, have carried out the first human trials of this new fertility drug. They have treated 30 women so far.

Early results show that kisspeptin can be used to stimulate egg release in a more natural way.

Kisspeptin worked in 29 of the women and 28 of the women were then able to use their eggs to attempt IVF.

Heath was born in April weighing 7.5lb after a normal pregnancy. And while he is the first baby to be born using this new method, 10 other babies are due in the same trial.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the kisspeptin IVF trial can contact the researchers on kisspeptin.ivf@imperial.ac.uk

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