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new technique for selecting stronger embryos

Fertility clinics often transfer two or more embryos into the uterus of a surrogate or intended mother with the hope that at least one will implant and turn into a viable pregnancy. This practice can also be cost effective, reducing the potential need for additional costly and painful procedures.

Though there are benefits to transferring multiple embryos, if two or more implant, often times some difficult choices must be made.  There are risks associated with carrying multiple fetuses. In some situations, physicians and intended parents decide to undergo selective reduction of one or more fetuses due to health risks to the pregnant woman, or the remaining fetus(es).  Furthermore, many intended parents are looking to have only one child (a “singleton”) at a time; whether for financial reasons, or personal choice.

The search for stronger embryos is made a little easier with the use of pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS). PGS is a technique used by IVF physicians to select embryos lacking chromosomal abnormalities; stronger embryos that are more likely to implant and develop to term. PGS has been a tool used by physicians to help parents find stronger embryos for more than ten years.  With advances in technology, A new technique has been implemented in a number of fertility clinics also designed to find the strongest embryos. This involves the use of time-lapse imaging that follows the development of embryos in the laboratory before they are selected for implantation. This technology enables physicians to identify the embryos with better developmental patterns as those embryos are more likely to implant and survive to term.

Omega Family Global ́s Dr. Kramer says, “This is a good step forward and conforms with the general trends of the industry, which is a goal of a singleton. If proven effective, the additional costs will easily outweigh the cost and risk associated with twins or triplets.”

For more information can be found in a recent article in the New York Times.