Advances in fertility treatment are offering new hope, particularly for women over 40 or those suffering from a failed in vitro fertilization (IVF), unexplained infertility or repeated miscarriages. Olive Fertility Centre is pleased to announce that they are now offering patients the option of a new IVF technology called comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS).
“This is the test that we have been looking for,” says Dr Beth Taylor, co-founder and medical director at Olive Fertility Centre. “We are very excited about the results we are seeing with older or high risk moms. We have been able to transfer single embryos (e-SET)) for high risk women over 40 or those who have suffered miscarriages or failed IVF with success rates of around 75% using CCS.”
(IVF involves removing a woman’s eggs, fertilizing them in a lab with her partner’s sperm, and then placing the embryo back in the woman’s uterus).
According to a recent study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology International, CCS has made it possible for “older infertile women with the help of eSET [to] have an opportunity to increase the success of their live birth rates approaching those reported in younger infertility patients.”
“Until very recently we have only been able to evaluate or "grade” an embryo based on appearance. But this method of grading can only identify a normal embryo about 50% of the time since an embryo's appearance does not indicate whether it has a normal number of chromosomes.” says Dr Taylor “With CCS, we can now determine if an embryo that appears healthy is in fact chromosomally normal.”
Identifying the chromosomally normal embryo for transfer can result in:
WHAT DOES CCS INVOLVE?
With CCS, an egg is fertilized in the laboratory and the embryo is grown for 5 days at which point 5-10 cells are taken from the part of the embryo that will form the placenta (thus leaving the cells that are destined to become the fetus untouched). The embryo is then frozen and the biopsied cells are sent to a specialized laboratory for testing. The results usually return in less than 5 days identifying which embryos are chromosomally normal. This healthy embryo can be transferred in the next menstrual cycle.
The biggest potential disappointment with CCS is there is a chance that none of the embryos will be normal. The risk for abnormal embryos increases with a woman’s age. For example, for women under 35, the chance of a healthy embryo is about 65%. For women over 42, however, that plummets to about 15%.
In addition CCS adds about $4000 onto the price of an IVF cycle. However, many women and couples feel that, despite the added upfront costs, CCS may actually improve the cost effectiveness of IVF by reducing the number of failed transfers, miscarriages, and procedures related to unhealthy pregnancies. Also, instead of freezing all embryos that appear healthy, only those that are chromosomally normal will remain cryopreserved.
“Many in the field believe that CCS has ushered a paradigm shift in the field of IVF, and it is quite likely that within a few years, it will be the universal standard of care: no embryo will be transferred unless it has been confirmed to be euploid.” says Dr Taylor.” At Olive, we are already embracing this change, and now performing CCS on a daily basis.”
Olive Fertility Centre, http://www.olivefertility.com, is one of Canada’s largest fertility clinics, offering an advanced IVF lab, personal care teams and innovative programs that include comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS), egg freezing, and prenatal NIPT testing.
Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Olive Fertility Centre. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.
Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).
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