A Working Mum
According to an article in the BBC News, the results of a recent study suggests that babies born from frozen IVF embryos are heavier and result in a longer pregnancy when compared to using fresh embryos.
The study involved measuring the weight and length of gestation of 384 babies born resulting from a fresh embryo transfer and 108 resulting from a frozen embryo transfer.
By freezing some embryos couples are able to have several cycles of IVF using the eggs which were collected during one round of treatment. Couples can use their fresh eggs initially before moving on to their frozen ones if the treatment was unsuccessful, or if it has been successful they can be used if they wish to try for a sibling at a later date.
The results of the study indicated that babies born as a result of frozen embryos were on average 253g heavier than babies born as a result of fresh embryos.
The study also indicated that the proportion of low birthweight babies (weighing less than 2.5kg) was also lower in the frozen embryo group, 3.7%, compared to 10.7% in the fresh embryo group. Frozen embryos babies also had a longer gestation period, average of 0.65weeks longer.
According to lead researcher Suzanne Cawood "the study was important because prematurity and low birthweight were both risk factors for poorer health in later life."
This indicates that the resulting babies born using frozen embryos may be healthier than the resulting babies born using fresh embryos.
"The reasons behind these findings are not yet fully understood, but one possibility may be that there is a difference in the uterine environment between fresh cycles, when embryos are transferred soon after the eggs have been collected, compared to frozen cycles when the uterus has not been stimulated in the days before transfer."
Obviously further research is needed to test this possible theory.
According to an article in the Daily Mail, Lord Winston, former head of NHS IVF clinic at Hammersmith Hospital, has accused fertility clinics of over charging couples, up to three times the actual cost, for their IVF treatment!
Out of the reported 45,000 woman who had fertility treatment during 2010, 60 percent were self-funding, and 40 percent were treated on the NHS. The average basic cost for an NHS clinic is £2,500 compared to £3,500 in a private clinic. These costs are minus the drugs and any tests required, which can often double the cost again!
Lord Winston's views are that NHS and private clinics are charging much more than the cost of the treatment. He calculated that a large unit treating 2,000 patients a year, could carry out the treatment for £700, rising to between £1,200 and £1,300 a cycle by the time overheads were included. 'The NHS is basing its fees not on what it costs but on what it thinks the market will bear'. He also commented that 'The market was being driven by greed on the part of the clinics and by desperation on the part of the woman'
He also criticised clinics for charging hundreds of pounds each year for storage of frozen eggs and embryos, which he says should only cost about £10 a year!
It's a lot to get your head around in the first place that you may need some extra help in your goal of becoming a parent ...
... and you most certainly shouldn't be exploited in attempting to attain that goal !!
Miscarriage terminations: Doctors question diagnoses
According to the BBC News/Health some pregnancies are being terminated unnecessarily after an incorrect diagnosis of miscarriage, say doctors.
They say there is too much room for error in ultrasound scans in the first six weeks, which wrongly label a small percentage of embryos as miscarried.
The true scale of the problem is unknown but researchers said it was "hard to see how there can't be women having misdiagnoses being made".
Guidelines are currently being reviewed.
As many as a quarter of men have a genetic change which makes them less fertile than usual, research suggests.
The discovery could lead to a new screening test to identify those who will take longer to father a child, experts report in the journalScience Translational Medicine.
The change is in a gene that codes for a key protein found on the outside of sperm. Sperm lacking in the substance find it harder to swim to the egg.
Researchers believe a man with the altered gene can still get his partner pregnant, but this will take longer than usual.
Dr Edward Hollox of the University of Leicester is a co-author of the study
A woman’s blood type may yield clues to her fertility, a new US study suggests. Women with blood type O who seek fertility help may have more difficulty conceiving.
The results show that, of a group of women in their 30s who sought medical fertility help, those with blood type O were more likely than women with other blood types to have diminished ovarian reserve, meaning their ovaries had few eggs or had eggs unlikely to meet with success during in vitro fertilization procedures. Type O blood is the most common type in the United States.
“I don’t want the message to be that women in the healthy population should be petrified that their blood type may predict compromised fertility,” said study author Lubna Pal, who researches reproductive endocrinology at the Yale University School of Medicine. But if the study’s link is shown to hold up for other women, then the connection may provide a tool for earlier, more accurate fertility prognoses, Pal said.