Australian researchers have come through a major breakthrough in infertility treatment by coming up with a cheaper and less invasive alternative to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) that could be made available to women who are struggling to become pregnant.
This rather innovative technique does indeed build up existing treatment that is referred to as in-vitro maturation (IVM) and makes use of significantly fewer hormone drugs than the IVF and thus greatly reduces the risk of medical complications, especially for women who are suffering from conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome.
What does the New IVF process involve?
The improved technique resulted in an improved quality of eggs and a 50 percent increase in the number of embryos compared to the standard IVM process.
• To restore the natural processes that occur during egg maturation.
• To improve egg quality and embryo yield with next to no drugs.
• Making use of potent growth factors produced by the egg.
The improved IVM technique makes use of a special protein called cumin, which was actually developed in the lab to imitate the growth factor proteins of eggs in the ovary, which are combined with signaling molecules referred to as cyclic-AMP (cAMP) modulators.
The new protein mimics the egg’s own unique protein that actually communicates with the cells that are supporting the egg during the maturation process.
It entails better quality embryos that are produced when we undergo this in-vitro maturation technique.
This new IVM method makes use of more than 90 percent fewer hormones than in IVF, which could cut down about a third to half of the cost that involves regular IVF treatment.
Standard IVF treatment does require hormone treatment to be able to stimulate egg cell growth in the ovary. These hormones can cause great discomfort for women and can also lead to medical complications such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Not only is this rather less expensive and less invasive than IVF, but it is also much safer for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that does affect around 10 to 15 percent of women.
No risk involved in IVM treatment
Usually, there are several risks involved in IVF treatment. This is more so in the case of those who suffer from a condition called polycystic ovaries or polycystic ovarian syndrome. On the other hand, as far as the IVM is concerned the risk is not there completely. In other words, the patient need not have what we call ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. It is better for the patients to undergo IVM.
The monitoring regime is rather less strict in IVM and does involve only one or two transvaginal ultrasounds and blood tests over a few days, whereas an IVF treatment cycle does require at least three of the ultrasounds and five blood tests taken over a four-week period.
The view held by the researchers is that one of the major reasons why women do not opt for IVF after the initial treatment cycle is because of the emotional cum physical burden of the treatment.
The researchers also hold the opinion that the improved IVM methods could also potentially unseat IVF as the go-to infertility treatment for women who want to be pregnant.
- The efficiency of producing good-quality embryos is lower than in IVF.
- Many clinicians still prefer that their patients follow an IVF procedure that would maximize their chances of getting good-quality embryos, which would obviously improve their chances of becoming pregnant.
- The belief held by several clinicians is that IVM treatment will become a common affair.
- The research will soon move onto the preclinical trial phase and the results will be approved by the regulatory bodies, the treatment could be available for women within three to five years.
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