Posts Tagged ‘ in vitro fertilization ’

One Way to Predict IVF Success More Accurately

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Fertility test resultsAlthough in vitro fertilization (IVF) has been a mainstream procedure for decades, there are constant improvements in its technology. Just recently, scientists in Madrid created a test that could boost IVF success rates by calculating the ideal window of time to transfer an embryo.

Related: 9 Myths and Facts About Boosting IVF

There are also existing tools—like IVFpredict and the Templeton method—to help couples determine their chance of having a baby via IVF treatment. A team of researchers at the universities of Bristol and Glasgow set out to conclude how accurate these two personalized tools were by analyzing approximately 130,960 cycles of IVF.

Both models rely on couples’ reports of their infertility history. For the past 20 years, the Templeton method has been the most commonly-used prediction tool; however, it does not consider newly-developed treatments. But IVFpredict, which was developed in 2011, does incorporate new developments, like intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

“The findings showed both models underestimated the chances of a live birth, but this was particularly marked in the Templeton model,” reports EurekAlert. “The team updated the models to reflect very recent improvements in live birth rates and this improved both models; however, IVFpredict still remained the more accurate of the two.”

This latest study confirms the validity of IVFpredict and may lead health professionals to shy away from the more outdated Templeton method. IVFpredict is also available online for couples to access it directly.

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Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

Image: Analyzing test results via Shutterstock

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More Millennial Women Choosing IVF Than Ever Before

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Pregnant CoupleIn vitro fertilization is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, especially in millennial women, according to a new report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).

In 2013, 2,000 more babies were born through the use of IVF than in 2012. Approximately 175,000 cycles of the treatment led to more than 63,000 infants being born. The report also notes that more women, especially those under 35, are choosing to transfer a single embryo, rather than multiple embryos—which eliminates the possibility of multiple pregnancies through one IVF cycle.

“The goal of reducing the incidence of multiple pregnancies is extremely important, and patients can see from the data that fewer embryos transferred do not mean a lower chance of pregnancy,” said James Toner, M.D., president of SART.

Since fewer women are transferring multiple embryos, twin and triplet birth rates resulting from IVF have noticeably decreased. The report also states that from 2012 to 2013, the number of twins dropped from 12,436 to 12,085, and the number of triplets fell from 411 to 376.

These trends are likely to continue along the same patterns in the coming years—especially with more advanced IVF techniques, like Britain’s newly approved “three-parent” IVF technique and the newest stem cell and IVF technology that may lead to same-sex couples having a biological child.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

Image: Pregnant couple via Shutterstock

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Three-Parent Babies: The Way of the Future?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Test tube babiesUpdate (2/25/15): Parliament passed the bill on Tuesday, 2/24, making Britain the first country to officially embrace this three-parent IVF technique.

Early last year, we blogged about a fairly new and controversial IVF technique called the mitochondrial transfer procedure. The IVF technique allows a mother’s egg and father’s sperm to be fertilized along with another donor woman’s genes, essentially giving a baby genes from three parents.

The “three-parent” IVF technique benefited babies predisposed to genetic disorders because the donor’s genes (contained in donated mitochondria) could “cancel” out any defected genes. But naysayers were concerned about the ethics of gene manipulation and the morals of “customizing” a baby to fit certain specifications. (Think: Gattaca)

Despite the concerns, Britain became the first country to begin legalizing the IVF procedure. The House of Commons voted 382 to 128 to approve a bill that would make “three-parent” babies official in the U.K. A similar procedure was also created in the U.S. over a decade ago, and a few benefited from having three-parent genes. But the procedure was eventually banned, reports The Washington Post

Later this month, Parliament will vote on the bill. If it passes again, the IVF technique will be legal in Britain starting in October.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea

Baby Care Basics: When a Baby Has a Birth Defect
Baby Care Basics: When a Baby Has a Birth Defect
Baby Care Basics: When a Baby Has a Birth Defect

Photo: Test tubes indicating boy or girl babies via Shutterstock

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Insurance Coverage for IVF May Reduce Multiple Births

Friday, May 16th, 2014

A study of insurance coverage of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Canada has found that the more complete the coverage of the common fertility procedure, the fewer multiple births are recorded.  Multiple births–twins, triplets, or more–often happen when multiple embryos are transferred into a woman’s uterus as part of IVF.  And multiple-embryo transfers often happen when women have limited resources to pursue a number of IVF cycles.  Reuters has more on the Canadian study:

Quebec’s universal health insurance started covering all IVF-related costs in mid-2010. The new research is based on data from the first full year of coverage.

“Multiple pregnancies have important health consequences for pregnant women and their babies,” said lead author Dr. Maria Velez, from the University of Montreal.

Multiple pregnancies have an emotional and economic impact on families and cost the health system, which is a delicate point to bring up with patients dealing with fertility issues, she told Reuters Health by email. Patients are often misinformed about the negative consequences of multiple pregnancies, she said.

“Our obligation as medical doctors is to place the health of our patients above all,” Velez said. “Our role is to prevent a patient choosing a treatment that may cause harm if there is a safer alternative.”

Five fertility centers offer IVF in Quebec. The new study compared data from the Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technologies Register from those centers in 2009, before IVF was covered, and in 2011.

There were 1,875 fresh IVF cycles performed in 2009, which rose to 5,489 cycles in 2011. The number of clinical pregnancies and projected live births increased, while the rate of multiple pregnancies decreased from 29 percent to six percent.

And although public coverage of IVF led to more government spending per treatment cycle, the cost per live birth decreased, according to results published in Human Reproduction.

Researchers said the rate of multiple pregnancies likely fell because in Quebec, as in other areas with covered IVF, public policy requires that only one embryo be transferred at a time into women under age 36, called single-embryo transfer (SET). There were no restrictions on the number of embryos transferred at one time before the public coverage policy.

Under the policy, women who undergo IVF can still have several eggs harvested and embryos produced at once, but only one fresh one is implanted. The rest are frozen, and if the first embryo does not survive, another can be thawed and implanted.

Single-embryo transfer was much more common under universal coverage: 32 percent of cycles were elective SET in 2011, compared to two percent in 2009.

“This confirms what a lot of IVF practitioners have held in the U.S., that with insurance coverage single-embryo transfers are more likely to be done which is going to lower multiple birth rates which is safer and less expensive,” said Dr. Bradley J. Van Voorhis, director of the IVF Program at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

Image: Test tubes, via Shutterstock

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New 3D Film Technique Could Help IVF Success Rates

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

A new technique that takes 3D film of moving sperm could help doctors select those sperm that have the best chance of fertilizing an egg and leading to a successful pregnancy in cases where couples are undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) fertility treatments.  More from The Optical Society, the professional scientific organization that published the research in its journal:

Now doctors may soon have a new technique to help them sort the good sperm cells from the less viable ones: a tracking system, developed by a team of researchers from four European institutions, that takes 3-D movies of living sperm. In addition to showing the sperm’s movement and behavior in real time, the novel method simultaneously provides detailed 3-D imaging of the sperm’s form and structure to detect potential infertility-causing anomalies, such as the “bent tail” that prevents the cells from swimming straight.

The researchers say this is the first technique for collecting data on sperm cell motility—a key predictor of IVF success—in three dimensions and over time. They describe their method in a paper published today in The Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express.

Currently, sperm concentration and mobility in semen are assessed either by subjective visual evaluation or a process known as computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). While the latter provides more detail and fewer errors than the former, CASA still only allows tracking and imaging in two dimensions. In their new technique, the team of researchers from Italy and Belgium combined microscopy and holography—the creation of 3-D images—to visualize live sperm in not only two dimensions (the x and y positions) but according to their depth (z position) as well.

And, “by acquiring a video of the moving sperm in 3-D, we add a fourth dimension – time,” said lead author Giuseppe Di Caprio of the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems of the National Research Council (NRC) in Naples, Italy, and Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

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