Researchers have invented a new fertility method that will allow women in their late thirties and early forties a better chance of delivering a healthy baby. The technique uses "super embryos" that can be screened to ensure high quality before they are implanted into a woman by her doctor.
The results were reported at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in France.
The study tested 130 women between the ages of 38 and 44. These patients' pregnancies were as successful as the pregnancies of 700 younger women using traditional fertility treatment. According to the study, more than 25% of women using fertility treatments are older than 38, and produce an average of only seven eggs per cycle, as compared with the 12 eggs that younger women produce.
Women in this age group face considerable risks during pregnancy. The chances of having an embryo with an abnormal chromosome increase significantly, as well as the risk of Down's Syndrome, miscarriage, and malformations.
The director of the Italian Society for the Study of Reproductive Medicine in Bologna, Dr. Anna Ferraretti, noted that "Women planning IVF or OCSI in the final part of their reproductive life can now enter treatment feeling their age is not a handicap anymore. This pre-implantation genetic screening test is able to overcome the natural reproductive failure that occurs due to the eggs aging."