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Area Fertility Expert Has High Hopes For New In Vitro Embryo-Screening Tests

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(Embryologist holds a dish with human embryos.   File photo by Sandy Huffaker/ Getty Images)

(Embryologist holds a dish with human embryos. File photo by Sandy Huffaker/ Getty Images)

(Photo by Ed Fischer) Lynne Adkins
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By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new screening method for embryos during in vitro fertilization could dramatically increase success rates.

The technique known as NGS, for Next Generation Sequencing, is a screening method for embryos during IVF to determine which ones are chromosomally normally and have the best chance of leading to a successful pregnancy.

Dr. Michael Glassner, director of the Main Line Fertility Center, says this will revolutionize fertility treatment.

“In a 36-year-old,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “more than 60 percent of picture-perfect embryos, to the eye, will be chromosomally abnormal, and a vast majority just won’t implant.   If we can’t know ahead of time which ones are normal and which ones aren’t, embryos will be put in that have no chance of making it or will lead to a miscarriage.”

During the NGS procedure, a small amount of genetic material is retrieved and tested.  Glasser says implanting only the healthiest embryos will increase fertility chances by a lot.

“It should increase IVF success rates 50 percent higher than where they are now,” he says.   “It will decrease miscarriage rates by about 50 percent.  It will also decrease the likelihood of congenital anomalies and chromosomal issues.”

The procedure was developed in England, and the genetic material must now be flown there for the testing.

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