Saturday, December 30, 2006

IVM safer and cheaper alternative to IVF

The procedure of in vitro maturation (IVM) continues to receive support form fertility doctors because it does not require the woman to receive large doses of follicle stimulating hormone with its potential for serious health risks and its high cost.

The IVM process involves extracting up to ten immature eggs early in the mentrual cycle. A tiny amount of stimulating hormone is added to the culture containing the eggs which are then matured for 24 to 48 hours. They are then fertilized with the man's sperm and the resulting embryos are allowed to develop for several days before implanting them in the woman's uterus.

According to a story in the Times Online, 400 babies have already been born to women using this technique. The story gives no details, however, so we don't know when or where those 400 babies were born. A 30 percent success rate is cited, comparable to standard IVF according to the story. That's a little high to quote as the "standard" success rate. Perhaps they are limiting their statistics to the optimal candidate group. Also, it appears too early to tell if there is a higher incidence of genetic disorders or other problems with the babies born through this technique.

Overall, however, a very promising procedure that is much safer and less expensive for women considering IVF as well women donating eggs.


Monday, December 11, 2006

IVF treatment may cause chromosone damage

Professionals involved in IVF treatment are apparently aware of a risk that a woman's eggs may suffer chromosone damage from the high doses of fertility drugs used during treatment. An article in BioEdge talks about how this risk, although known among doctors, is unknown to patients.

This is the first I've heard of it and I've read quite a bit of information provided by doctors in the way of patient handbooks, etc. There are many risks discussed in the information supplied to patients but this isn't one of them. Some IVF professionals are calling out this risk and advocating a movement toward minimal stimulation IVF.

Labels: ,

IVF camp for men in India

An IVF center in India named Forerunners Healthcare Consultants is holding an "IVF camp" for men. The object is to counsel them about the treatment of male factors infertility with the use of something they are calling TSEICSI, Testicular Sperm Extraction with Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. The two techniques are not new, although perhaps combining them is new at this center. What is new is the acronym they coined which they pronounce "sexy" - ok, that's fun.

They center says that 10% of Indian couples have fertility issues and for close to half of them it is due to male factors. The center says that previously it was believed that a period of sperm "maturation" was required before it could be used for ICSI. But with new techniques they can take the sperm directly from testes to ova and achieve fertilization.