A British clinic has developed a new form of IVF treatment that promises to revolutionise this sector of healthcare.
The technology in question enables conception to occur in the womb, rather than the laboratory as has been the case previously.
Doctors hope that making fertilisation more natural will mean healthier pregnancies, And the advantages to expectant mothers are obvious.
The Complete Fertility clinic in Southampton is first in the UK To utilise this new approach, which has been dubbed the AneVivo device method.
While some early analysis and murmurings on this subject have suggested that the new development is merely a gimmick, the manufacturers have strongly suggested otherwise.
Prof Nick Macklon, head of the clinic in Southampton, insisted That the technology was a fantastic innovation that was have a massive influence over IVF treatment in time.
“At this stage we are just offering it to private patients. If the NHS want to use it then they would need to know that it is cost effective. We do not know that yet. But that doesn’t mean new technology like this can’t be introduced in a cautious manner. I’m very keen that we study new innovation in IVF.”
This new technique will cast of patience around £700 per treatment, and has already been approved and rubberstamped by the UK fertility watchdog.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the UK’s independent regulator overseeing the use of gametes and embryos in fertility treatment and research, Has okayed the AneVivo device method To be utilised within the British healthcare system.
And a series of international trials that have already been conducted Suggest that the new technology will achieve a similar pregnancy rate to conventional IVF treatments.
250 women volunteered to participate in trials, and the initial signs for for the new techniques are certainly encouraging.
However, it should be noted that the new techniques significantly reduces the length of time that the current embryo can be kept outside of the world artificially in a dish of culture fluid.
Macklon Span of the homes of the technology, and outlined how it could benefit pregnant women in the future.
“The aim is to maximise the time spent in the body rather than in the lab. The immediate benefit is reducing exposure at this very vulnerable time of human development when genes are being switched on and off.”
In addition to the aspect of convenience, it has also been suggested in some studies that growing embryos in a dish increases the risk of genetic and other health defects.
When the HFEA approved the technology, its advisory committee stated that there was no evidence that the device should be considered unsafe.
However, it “did not feel that there was sufficient clinical data to say whether the process has a greater or lesser efficacy than that of traditional IVF methods” and it said the process “might add an unnecessary cost to patients”.