October 04, 2011
Each year, more than 50,000 children are born because of in-vitro fertilization. It’s a technique that has revolutionized how doctors treat infertility, but it’s not perfect.
Being a mom is what Valerie Simpson always wanted. At 37, she got pregnant — but the baby died during birth.
“The cord was wrapped around my son’s neck, and I lost him,” Simpson said.
Valerie struggled to get pregnant again, but had a miscarriage. That’s when she decided to try in-vitro fertilization.
Doctor William Schoolcraft offered Valerie a new procedure known as CCS. It screens embryos for chromosome problems before they’re transferred to the patient. It allows doctors to implant only healthy embryos.
“We can get pregnancy rates similar to younger women when we transfer these normal embryos back,” Schoolcraft said.
Doctor Schoolcraft says with CCS, women 35 to 37 have a 78-percent chance of pregnancy. Those 38 to 40: a 68 percent chance. And women up to 42 have a 62 percent chance of getting pregnant.
Another technique known as vitrification is making in-vitro fertilization more effective when embryos have to be frozen.
“You put it in a cooling solution, and very, very rapidly, so it cools within seconds,” Dr. James Goldfarb of The Cleveland Clinic said.
With conventional, slow freezing — about 30 percent of embryos do not survive. With the rapid freezing — embryos have more than a 95-percent chance of surviving. Another method called ICSI is making in-vitro a possibility for more men. Instead of placing thousands of sperm around the egg and hoping one will fertilize it, doctors take just one sperm and inject it into each egg. It’s about 75 to 85 percent successful.
“We have a perfect baby boy,” Simpson said.
A dream come true for his mom.
The new technologies aren’t cheap. They run between $1- and $5,000. That’s in addition to the cost of in-vitro fertilization, which typically runs about $13,000 or more per cycle.
Channel 7 News