A British fertility clinic says it’s developed a technique that has dramatically improved couples’ chances of successful IVF – calling it the biggest breakthrough in 30 years.
CARE Fertility uses a computer that tracks embryo growth from the moment the sperm enters the egg. It then uses a special algorithm after five days to select the best candidate to be implanted into the mother. It’s important to note it’s not about choosing a baby’s characteristics (so-called “designer babies”) – the algorithm looks for key markers during the cell division process to give IVF the best possible chance of success.
About 70 per cent of embryos produced either through fertility treatment or natural conception are lost before birth, with chromosomal abnormality the leading cause of failure. Until this development, CARE says embryologists have been unable to tell the difference between embryos with or without chromosomal abnormalities – which means sometimes an unviable embryo will be transferred to the womb and lead to unsuccessful pregnancy.
CARE says its time-lapse imaging, along with other factors such as “closed incubation”, have led to more than 1000 pregnancies and a 56 per cent rise in live births – equivalent to a 78 per cent live birth rate. According to a Michigan State University report, the estimated rate of conceiving naturally after six months is 65 per cent and 12 months is 85 per cent – so this comes pretty close to the matching the natural birth rate.