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.