new hope from science?

Is there new hope for infertiles who undergo IVF and have successful fertilization, but whose embryos — no matter how perfectly beautiful they may be — fail to implant or thrive?

A recent study has uncovered a new technique that could predict which embryos may be most likely to result in pregnancy, increasing the odds of IVF success by 10-15 percent.

Researchers are using infrared light to measure the chemical composition of embry.onic fluid, which provides a metabolic “fingerprint” that can be compared to embryos used in successful (and failed) IVF attempts. Studies will be conducted in Europe and the technique may be available as soon as 2009.

So instead of relying solely on the traditional means to evaluate the viability of embryos — i.e., number of cells, shape, structure — by comparing the metabolites in your embryos to others that resulted in pregnancy, this technique could provide significant ability to predict which of your embryos may offer the best chance of success.

My RE, Dr. Reassuring, heads a leading research facility and has been talking about the need for this type of technique for years. When I was frustrated after our last cycle, in which I responded perfectly, I asked why my perfect looking embryos wouldn’t stick, and whether it was them or me. She told me they can only select embryos based on what they believe to be the best criteria. But, “we’re not as smart as we like to think we are,” she said, and “it’s not a beauty contest.” She said more science was needed to provide better indicators. 

Clearly, any scientific advances that could improve the odds of pregnancy in treatment would be welcome to those considering whether to gamble on IVF. Let’s hope this technology is successful and soon becomes standard practice.


~ by luna on July 9, 2008.

6 Responses to “new hope from science?”

  1. My stomach clenched as I read this. You described me and my embryo experience exactly. Seven perfect looking embryos that didn’t stick. I’ve tortured myself for what feels like forever trying to understand why. As I wrote in a recent post,
    I now semi-dread reading about studies like the one you’ve shared because I know it’s too late for me. Sigh.

  2. As a rule, I find it frustrating how long it takes for advances to become available. There’s no need for amniocentesis or CVS any longer – maternal serum can be used after week 10 to pick up fetal DNA. That technique, however, won’t be available for at least another two years.

  3. You know, I like your RE. The one we went to seemed to think of himself as the center of the universe and seemed to need to be right all the time, and certainly smarter than his patients. I doubt I would ever hear him say that he is not as smart as he likes to think he is.

    This is very interesting indeed, and if it works, the odds improvement should keep going up with greater use, up until the ceiling of usefulness is reached.

  4. I wish medical science would hurry the fuck up. Sigh.

  5. Oh my god, Pamela Jeanne just said it all for me. Yes, that describes me exactly. And yes, I wonder if it’s going to be too late by the time they have the test available.

    So now I wonder: what will come out in the next 5 years, or 10, after I give up, that I realize would have made me able to have a child? Such a frightening thought. And here I thought I’d had all the frightening thoughts that were out there.

  6. […] truth is, with my wounded womb, I was unlikely to ever carry a baby to term, even with amazing new scientific advances. I know this now. It took me years to believe it, to know it in my heart. But I know this to be […]

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