Aneuploidy screening may give childless couples more chance to have baby

Many eggs used for IVF carry genetic errors that can cause miscarriage, even those from young women. Thousands of childless British couples could greatly improve their chances of having a baby if a test that weeds out faulty embryos were carried out. Such screening would benefit many more women than has generally been thought, according to research that suggests its routine use could transform IVF success rates while preventing risky twin and triplet births

Given the findings of three US studies presented at a fertility meeting in Montreal, some believe all eggs used for IVF should be screened for defects.

UK fertility guidelines recommend such screening only for women over 35 or women who have had repeated miscarriages or failed IVF attempts.

The procedure, known as aneuploidy screening, is already available at eight clinics in Britain, but is officially recommended only for women aged over 35 or who have already endured multiple miscarriages or failed IVF attempts, Times Online reports.

Couples at higher than average risk of having offspring with genetic defects are also allowed the screening to check an embryo is free of problems before it is put in the womb to grow.

The screening looks for abnormal numbers of chromosomes, the DNA strands that house genes, and is called preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) for aneuploidy.

It is similar to another IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) check called PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) which looks for specific genes that are known to cause inherited diseases, such as Hungtington's.

The risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities or aneuploidy increases as a woman ages, according to BBC News. A.M.

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