September 2, 2009

New in-vitro screen raises birth chances

A new screening test for in-vitro fertilization is improving the chances of successful pregnancies, British scientists say.

A 41-year-old woman in Nottinghamshire, England, in July gave birth to a boy named Oliver, the first child carried to term after the use of a new IVF screening process that can identify which eggs are the most viable, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said the new process could raise IVF success rates significantly, especially for older would-be mothers in their 30s and 40s with histories of miscarriages or failed IVF tries. Doctors say the British woman gave birth to a son after 13 unsuccessful previous attempts.

The Times said the egg test, known as array comparative genomic hybridization, can also be used in younger women to cut down on the possibility of risky multiple births by promoting the use of a single embryo through the selection of the best eggs.

Oliver's birth is an important landmark in shaping our understanding of why many women fail to become pregnant, said Simon Fishel, managing director of the CARE Fertility Group in Nottingham, who treated the new parents.