Every day we seem to read news stories surrounding the latest scientific breakthrough and in relation to fertility, some of the developments over the years have been bordering on the incredible.
While some couples may still be blighted by difficulties in conceiving, it goes without saying that there are now a lot more options available and children are now open to more people than ever before.
Such advancements aren’t showing any signs of stopping either. If you were to take a look at the treatment options available at somewhere such as CHA IVF, you’d soon see that the list looks much different to what it did several years ago. The science is moving at great pace and for those couples who are looking for children, this is only good news.
To highlight how fertility has been transformed by advancements over the years, let’s take a look at some of the most groundbreaking ones.
Let’s start with the very first groundbreaker; IVF. It’s incredible to think that this technique was first used almost four decades ago, yet now it is regarded as something which is exceptionally common.
In simple terms it involves fertilizing an egg with sperm in vitro, with doctors then moving the embryo which has formed to the woman’s uterus.
As you would expect, there have now been countless branches which have taken off on the back of IVF. For example, chromosomal screening has now been developed, with this providing a screen on embryos which are just 5-days old. The upshot is that doctors can now get a very young genetic analysis, meaning that any abnormalities can be spotted almost instantly. As a result, miscarriage rates have been halved.
With time-lapsed photos and all sorts of other advancements being available – it’s doubtful that we’ll ever see anything that shook the fertility world in the way in which IVF did.
Freezing ovarian tissue
In the past, women who were experiencing chemotherapy or radiation had very few options when it came to their fertility. These procedures caused immense damage to ovarian tissue, meaning that the chances of them conceiving in the future were significantly diminished.
Recently, it has become possible for this tissue to be frozen. It means that it can be removed from the woman, frozen before then being replanted when the time arises.
Similarly, researchers have developed an artificial human ovary, which acts as a place for women to store their eggs if they are about to undergo cancer treatment. Ultimately, it again offers a layer of protection that once never existed.
One of the most recent developments has come in the form of a uterine transplant.
This procedure involved a patient who had been born without a uterus, yet still had ovaries which functioned. They were then given a uterine transplant from a 61-year-old, who was postmenopausal and had given birth twice in the past.
The transplant was ultimately a success and following on from this, more are expected to be performed in the future should the need arise.