Five-minute IVF is better and cheaper, say experts scientists

Five-minute IVF is better and cheaper, say experts scientists

Scientists said the treatment offered particular hope for older women and could be performed with none of the side-effects associated with standard fertility treatment.
The pioneers of the “mini-IVF” technique said the treatment was so quick and straightforward it could be carried out in a woman’s lunch hour.
Trials involving more than 500 patients achieved success rates one third better than those in Britain for women in their 30s and more than twice as high among those in their 40s.
The technique works by giving women far lower doses of the drugs used to stimulate the ovaries at the start of the IVF treatment.

Scientists said they found that giving low dosages of the standard medication over a longer period meant women avoided premature ovulation so produced eggs of higher quality.
This was particularly significant for older women who are likely to produce far fewer eggs.
Dr Sherman Silber, a fertility specialist, who presented the findings to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual conference in Boston, said: “This is a very significant breakthrough; it was amazing to see the results, especially in women over the age of 40.”
He said the costs were half those of conventional IVF because the drugs are used in such low doses and treatment is carried out more quickly. This could bring the costs of a round of IVF down from at least £3,000 to about £1,500 if carried out privately.

The technique achieved “live birth” rates of 38 per cent in women in their mid-30s – one third higher than the British rate using conventional methods.
It showed the greatest advantage for older women, who rarely succeed via conventional IVF, with “live birth” rates of 13 per cent for women aged at least 43 – more than twice those of standard methods for this age group in Britain.

Dr Silber, a fertility doctor who practises at the Infertility Centre of St Louis, Missouri, said that such women could reach success rates of 50 per cent with four cycles of the five-minute treatments to extract eggs.
Clare Lewis-Jones, chief executive of the patient group Infertility Network UK said: “If we can reduce the costs of treatment, but not the clinical effectiveness, the level of NHS funding for fertility treatment may improve from the current situation, which continues to be unfair and inconsistent.”

By Laura Donnelly

The Telegraph, 17th October 2013

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