Clinical trials underway after scientists in Madrid pioneer technique which homes in on woman’s optimum time for treatment. The scientists behind the technique believe IVF frequently fails because the embryo is transferred at the wrong time. The estimate about 15% of implantation fail simply because of bad timing.
Thousands of infertile couples could benefit from a new test that tailors the timing of IVF treatment to a woman’s individual cycle for the first time.
The new test assesses the activity of genes of the womb lining to pinpoint a woman’s optimum time for treatment and in pilot studies the personalized approach appeared to significantly boost success rates.
For most women there is a two to four day stretch when the lining, or endometrium, sends out crucial chemical signals that allow the embryo to attach. For some women the fertile window is shifted earlier or later in the cycle or is unusually brief, however.
In the new test, a biopsy of the endometrium is taken and the gene activity is analyzed. As the cells enter the receptive phase a series of genes switch on and off in a reliable sequence that scientists can read like a clock.
In a pilot study, the test was given to 85 women who had each experienced on average five rounds of IVF that had failed at the implantation stage. In these women, the fertile window was more likely to be shifted early or late, in some cases completely missing the day when the embryo is transferred in standard IVF protocols, the study found.
When the gene analysis was used as a guide, 33% of those treated had a successful implantation.
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