Study hopes to make IVF more effective

January 24, 2012 8:09:49 PM PST
By next month, Susan Kinard's son Gavin will have a baby sister.

She is due to deliver her second child in February through the help of in vitro fertilization.

"To have a bigger family, that's what we needed to do," Kinard said.

The first time Kinard underwent IVF treatment she did not get pregnant, even though the embryos appeared healthy.

The second IVF cycle worked.

"It was a very overwhelming experience to see that the baby was actually There," Kinard said.

Kinard is part of a new study to improve the success rate of IVF treatments.

Dr. Kaylen Silverberg is the medical director of the Texas Fertility Center.

He's also the lead researcher of a worldwide IVF study.

"We can identify the best embryos and transfer those to raise the likelihood of pregnancy," Dr. Silverberg said.

The new process would test fluid around an embryo for certain proteins.

Those protein levels would indicate whether the embryo is growing normally or dying.

Right now, doctors use a microscope to perform a visual inspection, it's not always accurate.

"Under the current method, 60 percent of embryos that appear normal under a microscope actually have problems and will either not implant or miscarry," said Jade Mingus.

Researchers are studying 2,000 pregnancies at centers in several countries including Japan, Israel, and Spain.

"They were all large programs with very high success rates and fortunately we were asked to be included in that study," Dr. Silverberg said.

Once the study ends next year, the findings will be published and shared.

"I just had an ultrasound the other day and she is great," Kinard said.

All in hopes of helping more couples experience the joy of parenthood.

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