What if doctors performing IVF could tell which embryos would turn into healthy babies?
A team of international scientists may have just figured out how to do exactly that. According to a study in today's online journal Human Reproduction, testing in vitro fertilization embryos with DNA fingerprinting could someday predict which embryos are most likely to result in successful pregnancies.
Today, IVF clinicians have to rely on subjective, imprecise techniques like examining the shape of embryos to decide which embryos to transfer to the uterus of an IVF patient. Because there's no way to be sure which embryos will be viable and which won't, it's standard procedure at most clinics to transfer more than one (and in some cases even five or six). But that leads to the possibility of multiple pregnancies, which are risky for both mother and children. This new breakthrough may one day make it possible to transfer just a single embryo without reducing pregnancy rates.
If you're trying to get pregnant, how scared are you of having twins, triplets or more?