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Finding The Best IVF Embryos

Armen Hareyan's picture

Gene analysis helps in finding the best IVF embryos and giving birth to healthy babies.

A study by Monash University examined 48 women. Researchers took five day embryos at blastocyst stage, examined DNA from cells taken from trophectoderm - a cell layer from blastocyst. DNA test was conducted for from 8 to 20 cells. Then IVF embryos were inserted into women's wombs.

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When babies were born, researchers analysed DNA of babies, compared the data with DNA from embryos to find out which embryos lead to the healthiest babies. The researchers are also using DNA information from blastocysts to identify exact genes in healthy embryos. They have already found numerous gene variation, but more work still needs to be done to give the clear picture of how to find the best embryos.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is now getting more and more popular in developing countries. Generally, several embryos are being inserted into womb hoping that at least one of them will result in a pregnancy. Several embryos pose a risk of having multiple pregnancies, which is dangerous for both babies' and mother's health.

Currently, researchers all other the world are looking for a solution of finding the best IVF embryos, inserting only one embryo into womb and having one healthy pregnancy, one healthy baby. There are some clinics offering single IVF embryo options for single pregnancies, but these options are very expensive, because embryos are being kept in laboratories to achieve a stage when scientists can make sure they can develop healthy pregnancies. Keeping embryos in labs for a long time is expensive. Besides, in case of failing, multiple single-embryo sessions are needed to achieve one single pregnancy, which also increases the cost.

This new method allows to insert a 5 day old embryo into woman's womb, and the blastocyst DNA analysis takes only 2 days, so the embryo doesn't need to be frozen, which itself adds the risk of the embryo to fail. If this research is successful, IVF will be cheaper and easier to achieve a single-pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.