November 15, 2008
In Vitro Maturation Cuts Costs And Risks For Test Tube Babies

In vitro maturation (IVM) is a variation on conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF) where no hormones are administered to a woman to mature eggs before removal. IVM has yielded lower success rates as compared to IVF. But advances in IVM technique have raised IVM success rates for assisted reproduction.

A form of IVF that does not require women to take powerful drugs has a success rate similar to conventional IVF, according to data from the only UK fertility clinic licensed to carry out the treatment.

The team at the Oxford Fertility Unit followed 40 women who received the treatment known as in vitro maturation including those who had the first babies born in Britain using the technique in October last year. Nine of the women became pregnant a pregnancy rate of 33% in under 35s.

IVF hormone treatment can cause pain, sickness, and an acute deadly complication. Plus, it might raise risks of other problems with ovaries later on. Plus, it costs more. In the future these differences will matter to to many more women than just those who have problems starting pregnancy. More powerful genetic testing techniques will make the use of assisted reproduction more popular as prospective parents try to select which genes to pass along to their offspring.

In a recent study IVM achieved a success rate similar to IVF with one group of British woman.

Among women under 35 - all of whom had an ovary condition that affects fertility - 48% became pregnant with IVM using their own fresh eggs and the percentage achieving a clinical pregnancy, where the baby's heart beat is detected, was 33%. This compares with a UK national average of 31% for those in the same age group having conventional IVF.

The hormone treatment which IVM avoids costs over a couple thousand dollars per cycle.

As well as being more successful, the new technique is also cheaper than the standard IVF as it largely avoids the need for drugs, which cost around 1,500 per cycle.

Historically success rates of IVM have been lower than standard IVF, at 25 per cent compared to around 36 per cent on average.

IVM avoids the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome where in some cases cysts form on the ovaries, fluid accumulates in the abdominal cavity and lungs, and function of kidneys and other organs can be compromised. IVM will probably replace IVF for the masses when many millions of women embrace genetic selection for offspring.

Also see my previous posts Lower Fertility Drug Doses Just As Effective For IVF and In Vitro Maturation Advantages Over IVF As Pregnancy Starter.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 November 15 09:32 PM  Biotech Reproduction

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