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The Infertility Blog

November 14, 2016

Mosaicism, an early error in cell division that results in two or more cell lines with different genetic makeup, is common in the early stages of development. High-resolution next generation sequencing (hr-NGS) is a new, more sensitive way to detect mosaicism. Researchers are just beginning to unravel the ramifications of this condition, which can sometimes allow full-term pregnancies, or can lead to a higher risk of miscarriage and lower implantation rates.

A recent study explored the rate of mosaicism—as well as aneuploidy (an odd number of chromosomes) and other abnormalities based on the mother’s age. Using hr-NGS, the researchers analyzed biopsy results of 33,000 blastocyst embryos from more than 250 fertility clinics sent to two different genetics laboratories.1

For purposes of the study, therefore, the researchers defined the conditions:

November 11, 2016

In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) at a private fertility center, researchers found basic parity in outcomes between fresh and frozen transfers.1

Fresh or frozen transfers. Conducting the study between January 2014 and October 2015, the researchers randomized 179 patients on the day of hCG administration to either a fresh transfer (88 women) or a frozen thawed transfer (91 women).

Embryologists biopsied blastocysts on Day 5 or 6. Comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) was performed using high-resolution next generation sequencing—a quicker, cheaper, and more accurate method of DNA sequencing. Depending upon availability and patient preference, physicians transferred 1 to 2 euploid embryos with a balanced set of chromosomes.

November 10, 2016

Fewer multiples after single embryo transfer and Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) is a clear benefit, but does it make IVF less cost-effective overall?

Researchers from New Jersey recently explored this very question. They compared the overall costs of CCS and chromosomally normal (euploid) single embryo transfers (SETs) with SETs of unscreened embryos.1 Understanding these cost comparisons is important, especially given that the cumulative live birth rate per stimulation cycle is the same for both types of cycles.

The mathematical model. The researchers created a mathematical model to determine the average number of unscreened SET cycles required to produce either a live birth or to exhaust all embryos produced from a single retrieval. Based on actual outcome data, they assumed a baseline fresh embryo transfer rate of 30 percent for unscreened SETs.

November 04, 2016

A population-based study involving nearly 20,000 Danish women found that about 7 in 10 became pregnant and gave birth within 5 years of starting fertility treatment. Among the successful, 57 percent became pregnant following treatment and 14 percent conceived spontaneously.1

Overall results. The Copenhagen researchers looked at live birth rates 2, 3, and 5 years after the first treatment with either intrauterine insemination (IUI) or assisted reproductive technology (ART). Overall live birth rates were 57 percent, 65 percent, and 71 percent, respectively.

ART as first treatment. When ART was the first treatment tried, birth rates after ART were 46.1 percent at 2 years, 51.1 percent at 3 years, and 52.9 percent at 5 years.

October 25, 2016

PFC’s Dr. Carl Herbert was interviewed by SELF Magazine about the benefits of going through fertility treatment before age 40. Dr. Herbert also spoke to the benefits of testing embryos for any genetic abnormalities, which can increase a woman's odds of having a healthy baby to nearly 60%.

You can read the full article on SELF magazine online here.