10th Nov, 2015
A Cork woman has become the first in Ireland to give birth following a complex new IVF treatment at a leading fertility clinic. The healthy baby girl was born last week at Cork University Maternity Hospital, following Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening with IVF at Waterstone Clinic.
The 33 year old mother and her partner were recommended PGS treatment following a number of unsuccessful IVF cycles. The woman was the first to give birth as a result of PGS carried out in Ireland.
Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) is a technically challenging IVF treatment that involves screening embryos for chromosome abnormalities, before transferring them to a woman’s womb. PGS significantly increases the chance of having a successful pregnancy after embryo transfer. It also decreases the chance of miscarriage and, considerably reduces the chance of having a baby with a chromosome anomaly.
This breakthrough will provide vital information to thousands of Irish couples who have endured multiple miscarriages, or failed IVF treatments.
Miscarriage affects one pregnancy in five and in most cases no explanation is found. However, research indicates that at least 50% of miscarriages are caused by chromosome abnormalities.
This uncertainty is particularly upsetting for couples who have suffered recurrent miscarriage. Around one in every hundred women will have recurrent miscarriages.
Welcoming the news of the birth, Dr John Waterstone, Medical Director of Waterstone Clinic, said: “We are all delighted that PGS has helped this couple to become parents. PGS is a significant development that provides real information to couples who have endured the heartbreak of repeated miscarriages, or failed IVF cycles, without getting any answers. Through PGS, we can provide an extra level of information on the true potential of an embryo. “
What is PGS?
PGS is a highly complex form of IVF treatment where embryos which are developing normally in culture are biopsied and cryo-preserved (by vitrification) at the blastocyst stage. The biopsied cells are analysed to determine if they are normal with regard to chromosome number and structure.
This process identifies chromosomally normal embryos which are suitable for transfer. A successful PGS programme is only possible if the laboratory team involved can carry out all of the component processes flawlessly, i.e. blastocyst culture, embryo biopsy and embryo vitrification.
PGS is recommended for couples who have experienced recurrent miscarriages, or repeated cycles of unsuccessful IVF treatment. It is also recommended for women in their 40s with good egg numbers.