Scientists have developed a new IVF screening technique that can dramatically reduce costs. The IVF screening technique can also help impregnate women at a faster rate.
The new IVF technique was developed by doctors at Oxford University. The new screening technique has already been successful in delivering Connor Levy, a little boy who was chosen based on the new IVF screening technique.
Doctors used the test to find the embryo with the best DNA. Typically only one in three attempts at IVF result in a baby. IVF treatment often fails because of abnormalities with the packages of DNA, called chromosomes. If there are DNA issues, the embryo will not implant in the womb or the fetus will not reach term.
The embryo problem increases after women reach their 30s and then soars when women are in their late 30s and early 40s.
Some labs already offer chromosome screening, but, unlike this new IVF screening, those tests can cost $3000 to $6000.
By using information mapped from the human genome project, the new test can scan DNA and within 24 hours ensure all of the correct number of chromosomes are present.
Deeper embryo screening often means a higher chance of success even among healthy embryo’s. Oftentimes an IVF screening procedure may find two or three health embryo’s at which point “guessing” was used when chromosome screening was not available or too expensive for the patient.
Dr Dagan Wells from Oxford University tells the BBC:
“What our technique does is it gives you the number of chromosomes and other biological information about the embryo at a low cost – probably about two thirds of the price of existing methods of screening.”
While the first screening for a child was successful, doctors must now perform a large scale trial to determine the true success of the new IVF screening technique.