IVF breakthrough boosts pregnancy chances

October 13th, 2010 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 13 (IANS) A breakthrough achieved in the process of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) could boost the chances of pregnancy for women relying on the treatment.

Australian scientists have developed a technique which selects only the healthiest of embryos from a given set before they are implanted for IVF treatment.

In-Vitro Fertilisation is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body. At present, only 29 percent of women under 35 conceive by this process. The number is lesser for women above 35.

Australian scientists have developed a technique that selects only the healthiest of embryos for implantation, ensuring a higher rate of survival, reports the Daily Mail.

The team, from the University of Melbourne, studied the glucose intake of embryos from the solution in which they were kept in the lab.

IVF units use this solution to provide a bed of nutrients for embryos fertilised in the lab from the eggs and sperm of couples who are unable to conceive naturally.

The glucose in the embryo solution closely matches that which occurs naturally in a mother’s uterus.

In the experiment, the precise amount of glucose in the solution was recorded before an embryo was inserted for IVF treatment.

“By measuring the level of glucose on day four or five after fertilisation, we can determine how much of it a growing embryo has consumed,” Prof Gardner, from the University of Melbourne, explained.

“There is clear evidence that greater the glucose intake, healthier the embryo,” he said.

The research involved 50 patients undergoing IVF treatment. Thirty-two women had a positive pregnancy test after embryo transfer, and 28 babies were born.

“The 28 babies resulted from the embryos which had the highest glucose uptake,” Prof Gardner said.

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