Genetic Testing of Embryos May Cause Ethical Dilemma

There is an emerging ethical morass in the field of reproductive medicine: what to do when patients seeking to get pregnant select embryos with DNA that could lead to a disease or disability. Should clinicians’ desire to help their patients have children override concerns about possibly doing harm to those children? And what about cases in which patients end up …

The Role of Preimplantation Genetic Screening in IVF

Over the past 2 decades, preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) has fallen in and out of favor among fertility specialists.  The benefits of performing PGS with in vitro fertilization have been hugely debated.  While the techniques and technology for PGS have advanced during this time, it’s still unclear whether PGS provides a benefit and that should be determined for each individual …

Why Do Some Normal Embryos Fail to Implant?

One of the hardest questions to answer for a fertility specialist is, “Why did a genetically normal embryo fail to implant?”.  With the increased use of preimplantation genetic screening on embryos, couples often have very high hopes of achieving a pregnancy when a genetically normal is obtained from an in vitro fertilization cycle. Unfortunately, not all genetically normal embryos will …

Questions to Ask if Your IVF Cycle Fails

Although IVF has a high chance of success, not all couples conceive with their first IVF cycle.  Patients who don’t conceive with IVF often ask, “What happened?  Why weren’t we successful?”  These can be difficult questions to answer, but after an unsuccessful cycle, it’s important for both the patients and the physician to review how the cycle went.  For patients, …

Computers May Help Choose the Best Embryos for IVF

Researchers in Brazil are developing a new software tool that may help physicians and embryologists choose the best embryos for transfer after an IVF cycle.  The computer technology is supposed to recognize 24 characteristics of embryos, some of which are not detectable to embryologists using even the most sophisticated microscopes.  These characteristics include the size of the embryo, the texture …

How Genetic Testing Has Changed Fertility Treatment

As the technology for preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) of embryos has advanced over the past 10 years, it has changed the way we approach in vitro fertilization (IVF).  PGS involves genetically testing cells that have been biopsied from embryos made from an IVF cycle to make sure that the embyros we transfer into the uterus are chromosomally normal . PGS …

All Women Should be Offered Genetic Screening Prior to Pregnancy

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is recommending that all women, regardless of ethnic background, be offered genetic carrier screening prior to pregnancy.  In a new Committee Opinion, ACOG states “Carrier screening and counseling ideally should be performed before pregnancy because this enables couples to learn about their reproductive risk and consider the most complete range of reproductive …

Progesterone Treatment May Help Prevent Miscarriages

A new study shows that for women who have had multiple miscarriages, treatment with progesterone may help their chances of having a successful pregnancy.  This study, which was recently published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, showed that 68% of women who received progesterone supplementation went on to have a successful pregnancy compared to 51% who did not receive progesterone.…

Heparin may not help in recurrent pregnancy loss

Low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) does not increase ongoing pregnancy or live-birth rates in women with a viable pregnancy and unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), according to a new study.

“Our data show that LMWH prescribed to women with unexplained RPL and a viable pregnancy does not increase live-birth rates. Moreover, our data show that any effect LMWH may have is minimal,” …

Fewer in vitro (IVF) multiple births in 2013 SART report

More than 1.5% of babies born in 2013 owe their lives to in vitro fertilization, and fewer of them were twins or triplets, according to new figures from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.

A total of 63,286 babies were born as a result of 174,962 attempts to use assisted reproduction treatments, according to the report. Both figures represent small …