5 Things You Didn't Know About IVF
In vitro fertilization (IVF) has come a long way since the birth of Louise Brown in 1978, the first human to be born through IVF. Since then, millions of babies have been conceived through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Advances in the field are revealed by the yearly increases in the pregnancies achieved and babies delivered. The Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine is one of a handful of local clinics that specializes in IVF and genetic screening, and believes the field's increased success rates come from five recent advancements in the IVF process.
1. Advances have been made in the medications that stimulate the ovaries.
The introduction of genetically engineered, more purified fertility medications minimizes side effects and maximizes the number of eggs available for fertilization.
2. Advances in single-sperm fertilization techniques are resulting in higher levels of fertilization.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which microscopically injects a single sperm directly into an egg, increases the success of egg fertilization and embryo transfer. It has almost completely eliminated male-factor infertility.
3. Refined equipment and techniques provide an optimal environment for embryos to grow in vitro.
Recent advances, including improvements in incubators, allow more embryos to reach viability.
4. Thanks to advances in cryopreservation, viable embryos that are frozen and thawed before uterine transfer have close to a 100 percent survival rate.
Fertility medications that stimulate egg production can sometimes throw the uterus out of sync, interfering with the timing of embryo transfer and implantation. But newer cyropreservation techniques coordinate viable embryo transfer with optimal uterine receptivity, which increases pregnancy rates.
5. Improved genetic testing allows doctors to identify whether embryos are genetically normal—prior to uterine transfer.
In the past, genetic testing was not guaranteed to identify genetically normal embryos prior to uterine transfer: Research revealed that a number of normal-looking embryos actually had extra, missing or imbalanced chromosomes, which can prevent embryos from attaching and initiating pregnancy. With today's improved technology, efficiency and accuracy, however, all embryo chromosomes can now be accurately identified prior to transfer.
The Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine is one of a handful of local clinics that offers the techniques, including IVF and PGS, for gender/sex selection for nonmedical reasons.
For over 30 years, Dr. Jeffrey Russell has provided reproductive technology, resulting in the births of over 6,000 babies to thousands of couples with dreams of starting or increasing their family. He is Yale University-trained and double board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology. He has always been on the cutting edge of reproductive technology, from the first IVF pregnancy in Delaware to the first ICSI pregnancy in the region. He continues to break ground, being the first to provide genetic testing on embryos (PGS/D) for both genetic disorders and family balancing. Dr. Russell practices in both Newark and Milford, Del.
4745 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Suite 111
Newark, DE 19713
556 South DuPont Blvd., Suite H
Milford, DE 19956