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Egg screening doubles IVF success

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Wednesday, February 07, 2007 | 0 comments

A NEW way of screening out bad eggs could boost IVF pregnancy rates and give extra hope to older women who want to have a baby.

Around 75 per cent of miscarriages are thought to be caused by an embryo having the wrong number of chromosomes - a condition called aneuploidy. The risk of aneuploidy increases as a woman gets older.

Until now, one of the only ways of screening eggs or embryos for aneuploidy was to use a technique called fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH), in which specific chromosomes are stained with small pieces of fluorescent DNA to reveal their structure. FISH is far from ideal, though, because it cannot be used on at least 13 of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in human cells.

Now Geoffrey Sher and Levent Keskintepe at the Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Las Vegas, Nevada, and colleagues have used a method normally used in cancer research to count chromosomes in an egg. This could indicate which eggs will produce embryos with the right number of chromosomes.

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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