Microarray CGH improving the IVF odds


The first babies born using a new technique developed at Oxford University to select the best embryos for IVF have been born. The results could bring hope to couples who have struggled with infertility and the IVF process including multiple painful and expensive cycles of treatment.

The technique is called microarray CGH with IVF embryos. It takes place about five days after fertilization in the lab. The technique gives doctors a chance to test for the right number of chromosomes before implantation. This lessens the chance of miscarriage or Down’s syndrome.

“If a sperm and egg come together and produce an embryo with the wrong number of chromosomes, the embryo will usually fail to establish a pregnancy or miscarry,” explain Dr. Dagan Wells of the Nuffield Depart of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

As with routine IVF treatment, eggs are harvested and fertilized. Five days later, a small number of cells are removed and examined using a microarray CGH to check for abnormalities. Results take 24 hours after which time the most viable eggs are implanted. This process improves pregnancy results.

George and Helen Ashton may be the first parents of microarray CGH IVF babies: twin boys named Ales and Louis who are now eleven weeks old. “We were of the opinion that this was going to be our last go,” said Mr. Ashton. “Array CGH has been a godsend to us – but the big issue is that not many people know about it.”

Source: University of Oxford, ScienceDaily


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