A pioneering new chromosome counting technique could put paid to endless IVF cycles.
Microarray CGH (comparative genomic hybridisation) is used to check for any significant abnormalities present in the chromosomes of the embryo before implantation in IVF treatment.
A small number of cells are removed from the growing embryo five days after fertilisation and the DNA in them is scanned for any clear problems.
The results are available within 24 hours, which allows the maximum information to be obtained from the embryo before it is used.
Armed with this knowledge, doctors can then ensure that only embryos with the correct number of chromosomes are transferred in IVF, thereby improving the chances of a successful pregnancy and reducing the likelihood of miscarriage or Down’s syndrome.