02 September 2009
A baby boy has become the first in the world to be born following a new egg–screening technique.
Oliver was born to his 41–year–old mother following 13 failed attempts at IVF.
The Care Fertility Group in Nottingham used a technique called array CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridisation) to pick the egg which produced Oliver.
It involves selecting those eggs which are chromosomally normal and have the best chance of producing a pregnancy.
Chromosomal abnormalities can cause embryos to fail, even though they make look healthy down a microscope.
Array CGH differs from conventional CGH in that the eggs do not have to be frozen first, which means results can be obtained quickly.
The results come back in 24 or 48 hours, compared with five or more days with conventional CGH.
Experts believe the technique could significantly improve a couples' chance of having successful fertility treatment.
“Chromosomal abnormality plays a major part in the failure to establish a pregnancy,” said Professor Simon Fishel from Care Fertility Group.
“Full chromosome analysis may double the chance of success in couples who have a poor chance of conceiving or a history of failed treatments and miscarriage; and maximise the chance of pregnancy in all couples.”
Tony Rutherford, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said the technology “Certainly offers much promise”.
Sky News health correspondent Thomas Moore said: This is a very promising development that could help couples who have struggled to have a child using existing techniques.
“But this is just one baby born at one clinic. There need to be proper scientific studies on many other couples to prove that it is effective.”