3 New High-Tech Ways To Conceive
Turn to technology when nature fails you.
5 July 2017
Reproductive Medicine is one field that has undergone a mammoth change in the past decade.
Using technology to conceive is not a taboo anymore and you probably know a couple that has done so (we do too - Kim and Kanye). The past few years have seen the emergence of three key technologies that can help those struggling with infertility.
1. Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CSS)
During in vitro fertilisation (IVF) embryos are planted into a woman's body with the hope that at least one will survive and result in a pregnancy.
Thanks to Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CSS) it is now possible to screen which embryos are the healthiest and best suited for implantation.
During the CCS process, a biopsy sample is taken from the embryo and then undergoes computer analysis to identify any abnormalities. “The concept behind it is that most embryos we make as human beings are, frankly, not that good,” says Philip E. Chenette, MD, of the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco. “At age 20, only about half, and at age 40, only about 20 percent, are healthy. This is about finding the good one.”
Once a healthy embryo is found, doctors are more confident of the IVF process.
Freezing your eggs just got a makeover.
Previously, embryos were frozen using a slow-freeze method in which embryos were run through different solutions of media to dehydrate the cells of water and replace it with cryoprotectant. When patients decide to use their cryopreserved embryos to try for a pregnancy, the embryos are removed from the liquid nitrogen, warmed and run through solutions of media to remove the cryoprotectant and rehydrate the cells with water.
However, with vitrification, it is possible to freeze your eggs from a liquid to a solid without crystallisation, resulting in a higher survival rate than traditional egg freezing.
3. IVA (in vitro activation)
IVA seems to offer hope in the most impossible case: women who have passed through the menopause. During in vitro activation, immature follicles are matured into viable eggs by taking an ovary and treating it with proteins and other nutrients.
The process reawakens follicles that did not develop on their own. Even though IVA is still in its very early stages, it is touted to be the future of reproductive medicine.