Fertility and pregnancy * Babies and children

Miracle baby born thanks to new IVF screening test

Couple Increases chances of successful IVF

A couple who tried for a baby for a decade have finally become parents thanks to a new genetic screening technique.

Baby Elliot was born just after Christmas to Lancashire couple, Andrew and Louise Riley, after they decided to try out a new method for screening IVF embryos, called array comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH).

Louise Riley, said: “The last 10 years have been a very emotional and difficult period of our lives. We have been unable to conceive despite undergoing numerous tests and a failed cycle of IVF.

"Many friends and family have had children during this period and whilst being extremely happy for them it was heartbreaking for us.”

The technique involves screening embryos produced through IVF for chromosome abnormalities before the embryo is placed in the woman's womb.

A chromosomal abnormality is one of the major reasons why an embryo fails to implant in the womb and why IVF success rates are relatively low. It can also lead to miscarriage, particularly in older women.

The new technique, which cost the couple £8500, was performed at CARE Fertility, a private clinic in Manchester. Microscopic instruments are used to extract cells from five to six day old IVF embryos, at the blastocyst stage.

The entire chromosome content of the cells are then checked for abnormalities. Only embryos having cells with normal chromosomes are placed in the woman's womb.

As well as increasing the chances of giving birth to a baby when undergoing IVF, the new screening method can even detect whether a fault in the chromosome has arisen from the egg or sperm used to produce the embryo. Armed with this knowledge, couples may then decide to use donor sperm or eggs for future IVF cycles.

Mr. Mark Sedler, Consultant Fertility Specialist at the CARE clinic said: “Louise and Andy have endured years of infertility, and failed treatments, a situation common to many couples.

"Chromosomal abnormalities account for a large proportion of failed IVF cycles and miscarriage. This very early screening test allowed us to replace only chromosomally normal embryos. We are delighted that Elliott has brought such joy to mum and dad.”

This article was published on Wed 2 February 2011

Image © Sara Cuff @ C Pictures

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