New IVF procedure could triple chances of births

Updated: May 17, 2013, 12:40 PM IST

London: A new IVF procedure could benefit thousands of infertile couples, dramatically improving the success rate of having a baby through artificial reproduction.

Scientists believe they can double or even triple the proportion of healthy babies born, as a result fertility treatment with a relatively simple technique that takes a series of time-lapse photographs of the developing IVF embryos, the Independent reported.

On average only about 24 percent of IVF embryos implanted into women in the UK lead to live births, but the researchers believe this could be increased to 78 percent using the new technique for selecting the best embryos.

"I believe it is the most exciting breakthrough we`ve had in probably 30 years," Professor Simon Fishel, managing director of the CARE Fertility Group, where the technique was developed said.

"Every IVF practice in the world is unintentionally and unwittingly putting back into the womb unviable embryos that don`t make babies.

"We hope to see a paradigm shift in terms of IVF. It`s a game changer for everybody to have such an uplift in live birth rates. This is the beginning of something revelatory," he said

Each year, licensed clinics in Britain carry out about 60,000 IVF treatments but most of them end in failure, causing immense emotional upset to couples, many of whom have paid between 5,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds for each treatment cycle.

The new procedure, which costs 750 pounds, identifies the best embryos to be implanted into the womb based on the time it has taken to develop between two key stages in the early life-cycle of the embryo.

The research is published in the journal Reproductive Medicine Online.