Fertility Trends, Part I

Submitted by Shelby D Burns Thu 08/26/2010

Pregnant with a tree How nice that we can actually talk about trends in fertility treatments? It really wasn’t that long ago that “test tube” babies were miracles and public skepticism about messing with Mother Nature was supreme. Now there are choices and here are the top trends according to Conceive magazine’s latest issue: 1. IVM In vitro maturation is the process where young eggs, ones which have not dropped from the ovaries, are harvested. They are then exposed to hormones in the lab which mature them and prep them for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This is new, only 400 babies born from the procedure worldwide, but it is getting a lot of attention. Even with half the success of “traditional” IVF, it’s still an alternative to egg freezing for women undergoing chemotherapy or for women with PCOS.

2. Single Embryo Transfer (SET) One egg only during IVF. The success rates are higher and the complications fewer. It seems counter intuitive that if you are going through the physical distress and financial expense of IVF you would only transplant one egg, but the numbers and the healthy deliveries seem to support it. Treatment cost ends up being slightly less.

3. Procreation Vacations Oh yeah. Look for resorts which offer specials for couples intent on procreation. Menus and spa treatments are geared to enhancing the effort.

4. All-in-One Genetic Testing Provided by Counsel (counsyl.com) this service identifies 100 potential diseases that can be passed to offspring from a simple spit test. If diseases are identified then alternative arrangements for pregnancy can be explored like pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or donor egg/sperm.

5. Natural and Mini-Stim IVF This type of IVF works with a women’s natural cycle using few drugs and therapies. This saves thousands of dollars and loads of discomfort from medication and/or self-injecting. With this and SET there appears to be a trend toward less is more with fertility treatments. Tomorrow we’ll look at the next five on the list.

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