There’s more hope for women who have been battling infertility to have children. Doctors have developed a new technique that appears to improve the success of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
IVF is a technique in which egg cells are fertilised outside the woman’s womb and then introduced into her uterus to bring about a pregnancy. Since 1978, when India’s first ‘test tube baby’ was born, IVF has been widely used, with varying degrees of success.
Under this technique, the embryos are transferred into the uterus along with cumulus cells at the time of ovulation,” says Experts. Cumulus cells surround the oocyte (egg) during maturation and ovulation and nurture the egg prior to, and after, ovulation. “The cells provide nutrition, remove toxins and release some kind of sticky substance that keeps the eggs firmly in place.” These special characteristics facilitate the growth of embryos thereby improving the success of IVF. The cumulus cells are cultured in the laboratory and added during the embryo transfer.
Describing the technique as “harnessing nature”, Expert says, “IVF is not merely a science, it’s an art. Anything that improves chances of pregnancy should be tried.” According to her, CAT is especially helpful for older women, people with previously unsuccessful IVF attempts and in cases where few oocytes are available.
Research on CAT began four years ago, and for the last three years, the technique has been offered to women. The study involved 517 women divided into two groups. The group which tried CAT had a pregnancy rate of 48 per cent while the group which did not, had a rate of 34 per cent.
The results of the study have been published in the October 2006 issue of Fertility and Sterility. Says Experts, “You look into the details, and work with nature instead of trying to outsmart it, always trying to improve pregnancy rates. CAT is a movement in that direction.”
The conditions in which embryos are cultured in the laboratory during in vitro fertilisation could be causing genetic errors that are associated with certain developmental syndromes and other abnormalities in growth and development, such as low birth weight. Researchers told the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that preliminary work investigating genetic imprinting in mouse embryos had shown that certain culture media and concentrations of oxygen altered the expression of several imprinted genes.
Other research has suggested that culturing embryos in the laboratory during IVF could be affecting embryos adversely. “Emerging new evidence shows that some neurological and behavioural abnormalities are associated with assisted reproductive techniques. Cases of Angelman and Beckwith Wiedeman syndromes in humans, which are due to aberrant genomic imprinting, and other abnormalities in growth and development in mice have been described after culture in vitro,” said Professor Rinaudo. Angelman syndrome is characterised by severe mental retardation, speech impairment, balance disorder and a happy, excitable demeanour; it occurs in about one in 10,000 to 30,000 of the population. Beckwith Wiedeman syndrome is characterised by overgrowth, with an abnormally large tongue, umbilical hernia, neonatal hypoglycaemia and a predisposition to certain tumours, in particular, Wilms tumour and hepatoblastoma; it is rare, occurring in one in 36,000 of the population.
Professor Rinaudo and his colleagues cultured mouse embryos in four media with 5% oxygen. Two of the four media were also used with 20% oxygen, making six different cultures in total. As a control, some embryos were left to mature in the mice (in vivo).
“We identified 38 imprinted genes, most of which showed no difference in expression after in vitro culture compared to the in vivo embryos. Five genes showed a statistical difference compared to the in vivo control, depending on the culture conditions,” he said.
Women who exercise routinely for four or more hours per week may reduce their chances of having a successful pregnancy with in vitro fertilisation (IVF), new research suggests.
Although exercise has many known health benefits, it does not seem to contribute to successful IVF outcomes,” senior author Dr Mark D Hornstein, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues note in the journal Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
“However,” they add, “our findings are not strong enough to encourage women to abandon exercise and embrace a sedentary lifestyle.” The researchers assessed various IVF outcomes in 2232 women who underwent their first IVF cycle between 1994 and 2003 in the greater Boston area. In general, regular exercise did not seem to decrease or increase the chances of having a baby through IVF, the report indicates.
However, with four or more hours of exercise per week for 1 to 9 years, the odds of a live birth fell by 40 per cent relative to engaging in no exercise. In addition, this level of activity raised the risks of implantation failure and pregnancy loss.
The team also looked at the potential association of a woman’s body mass index (BMI) with success rates, because of the increased risk of infertility in both underweight and overweight patients.
“However, we did not observe any difference in the relation between exercise and IVF outcomes among the different BMI groups,” they said.
Further research is needed to confirm and expand on these findings, the investigators concluded.
Vardaan Medical Center Docs removed 2.25 kg. Big fibroid in an unmarried woman Successful Laparoscopy executed without damaging uterus
This has been for the first time in North India for any team of doctors that a huge fibroid weighing 2.25 kg, almost equal to a newborn baby, was successfully removed without an open surgery. Laparoscopy Surgeons at Vardaan Medical Center, Jalandhar told that the laparo surgery was done for an unmarried patient from Ludhiana who had this fibroid originating from her uterus. “This was so big that it was noticeable even from outside.” told that along with him his colleague and their complete team performed a laparoscopic surgery that took 4 hours and a half. And finally they did not only remove the fibroid successfully, but were also able to save the uterus of their patient.
The patient is an unmarried, 31 years old lecturer from Ludhiana. “It was even more challenging task for us as we wanted to save her uterus while keeping her ovaries & tubes also undamaged because the patient has yet to marry, become a mother and lead her complete life”, said Doctors.
This is a big achievement for the Vardaan Medical Center docs because many other hospitals including some big names had refused to take the case. Removing such big fibroid would normally call for an open surgery but Vardaan Medical Center team decided to perform a laparoscopic surgery. In this kind of surgery, the part of the body is not opened rather it is performed by inserting tools & a laparoscope through some holes made in the abdomen, while the doctors look at a monitor showing the inside position of the fibroids to be removed.
”It has been a very satisfying & proud experience for all of us. We have complete recording of the whole surgery and we plan to take it to the international conferences, with a purpose to encourage doctors to take such challenges effectively.
London, Jan 13: Louise Brown, the world's first test tube baby, has given birth to a child of her own- a boy. 28-year-old Louise, an administrative assistant, and her husband Wesley Mullinder, 37, were delighted at the safe arrival of the baby.
"She and Wesley are over the moon. It's what they've always wanted," The Sun newspaper quoted a family friend.
The birth of Louise on July 25, 1978 made headlines around the world. It was the culmination of 12 years` research by a British team headed by Dr Robert Edwards and Dr Patrick Steptoe.
The success paved the way for infertile couples all over the world to have children through IVF techniques.
Unlike her parents, Louise was able to conceive naturally and did not need IVF treatment.
When she and Mullinder married in 2004, Louise made no secret of the fact she wanted a baby. She had feared she would have trouble becoming pregnant as problems with infertility can often be inherited.
But two years later, the couple, who live on the outskirts of Bristol, announced that they were expecting their first baby.
"This is a dream come true for both of us," Louise said at the time.
Mullinder told the Sun, "we are so excited about becoming parents, and I know that Louise will make a fantastic mother.
"We are already beginning to think about getting the house kiddy-proof."
Louise's parents, John and Lesley, had tried for nine years to conceive naturally before turning to the pioneering IVF treatment being developed by Dr Edwards and Dr Steptoe. Their daughter was born by caesarean section of Oldham General Hospital.
Since then, millions of babies have been born through IVF, including Louise's sister, Natalie, 23.
Dr Steptoe died ten years after the birth of Louise, but Dr Edwards was Guest of Honour at her wedding at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol.
Mullinder has said that Louise did not tell him her background when they began dating but it was not an issue he worried about.