Fortnightly Newsletter from Varolab

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Uptodate information from the IVF-industry. From


Dear customers and interested parties!

Here we go: The world of IVF in one go. Independent, impartial and all up-to-date. It’s the »Varolab Newsletter«. Every bit of interesting news and views of our common interest from Germany’s leading IVF-equipment manufacturer. Delivered to you regularly!

Assisted Hatching May Not Improve IVF Outcome in Women below 38 Years
(wz) Assisted hatching, a micromanipulation technique that facilitates the embryo hatching process through the thinning or breaching of the zona pellucida (ZP), has been reported to increase the success rates of IVF. Now, a randomized, double-blinded trial reports that the procedure does not improve implantation, clinical pregnancy, or live birth rates during IVF in women younger than 38 years with embryos having ZP thickness of ³13_m. The findings of the study have been published in the recent issue of the journal, Fertility and Sterility._The study headed by Randall Odem, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University School of Medicine, Missouri, determined the effects of assisted hatching in subjects aged <38 years, having embryos with a thickened ZP. The prospective crossover study involved 121 women, who underwent egg retrieval and IVF procedure during the period April 2004 to February 2007 at the university. Patients’ embryos were evaluated on the third day following fertilization, and ZP thickness measured. The eligible participants, who had embryos with ZP >12_m, were randomized into 2 groups: unhatched (no procedure) and hatched (performed by acidic Tyrode’s solution). The outcomes measured included clinical intrauterine pregnancy rate, implantation rate, spontaneous pregnancy loss and live birth rate._The study results did not show any substantial difference in clinical pregnancy (hatched=47% vs. unhatched=50%) or live birth (hatched=46% vs. unhatched= 45%) rates between the two groups. Similar findings were observed in the two groups with respect to the rates of ectopic gestations, spontaneous abortions, monozygotic or dizygotic twinning, or chromosomal abnormalities. Also, the researchers noted that pregnancy was not significantly affected by the mean ZP thickness. Based on the findings, the scientists concluded that assisted hatching may not be beneficial to IVF patients <38 years.

Girl born a record 22 years after father’s sperm is frozen
(cz) A former leukaemia patient who had his sperm frozen as a teenager has fathered a baby after doctors successfully thawed his sample a record 22 years later._Chris Biblis was 16 when doctors told him that he needed radiotherapy that would leave him sterile and recommended before going ahead with the life-saving treatment that they put a sample of his sperm into cryogenic storage for future use._Now aged 38, he is celebrating the birth of a healthy baby daughter, Stella, who was conceived after scientists injected a defrosted sperm into an egg from his wife, Melodie, and implanted it in her uterus._The 22-year lapse between storage in April 1986 and conception in June 2008 is a world record, according to specialists at the US fertility clinic who carried out the procedure._”From my life being saved to being able to create a life, words just can’t describe where we are now,” said Mr Biblis, of Charlotte, North Carolina, who has been free of leukaemia since the age of 18._”I’ve got this bundle of joy to appreciate. It’s truly a miracle,” he told ABC News._The case is being hailed as an illustration of how far infertility treatment has advanced in the past two decades and proof that sperm can remain viable for decades if they are preserved in liquid nitrogen. The previous record was 21 years._The procedure used to create Stella did not even exist when Mr Biblis gave the sample in 1986 during his six-year struggle against leukaemia._”I was trying to get through high school and, you know, living one day at a time just hoping I was going to make it,” he said._It was not until 1992 that the method of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) – by which scientists carefully select a healthy sperm cell and insert it into an egg in the laboratory – was successfully pioneered.

Why Nordica is offering free IVF treatment
(cz) In recent times, there have been some misconceptions about Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART), especially In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). A school of thought says it is fraught with risks due to multiple births and caesarean births. Another is worried about the high cost, lack of regulation and guidelines; and indiscriminate springing up of fertility clinics. There are also fears that IVF babies cannot compete favourably with those born through natural means. Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Center, Victoria Island, Lagos, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, in this interview with CHUKWUMA MUANYA throws more light on these misgivings on IVF, why Nordica is offering free IVF treatment to Nigerians, plans by the clinic to offer free treatment and screening services to more Nigerians; among other things._There are heightened fears on the perceived risks associated with Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART), especially In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). A school of taught says that it’s association with multiple pregnancies and Caesarean section increases the chances of mother and child mortality. How true is this?_Yes! Multiple pregnancies, we know that about 25 or 30 per cent of babies born from assisted conception, especially IVF will be more than one. Therefore the more the number of babies the higher the risk of operative deliveries to start with. That is one way of looking at it. Of course we know the procedure that assisted conception involves. It involves multiple ovulation sometimes even multiple transfer of embryos and therefore sensible success rate. And one of the problems of this is multiple pregnancies and multiple births. They are the attendant risk of this multiple transfer. You remember the one that happened recently in the United States which was overblown. But in this environment we tend to tolerate multiple pregnancies better than Caucasians for whatever reasons. Naturally, Nigeria and the Republic of Ireland have the highest twinning rates in the world. So, there is something in us that carries at least two better than the Caucasians. But when it gets beyond three now it becomes something._But unfortunately the procedure of IVF also involves transferring more than one except now in Europe where they are doing what is called single embryo transfer.

Next ESHRE activities

• ESHRE Campus_”Sperm DNA: organization, protection and vulnerability -_from basic science to clinical application”_21-22 May 2009 @ Stockholm, Sweden
• ESHRE Campus_”High quality patient oriented care in assisted reproduction and_endometriosis: update for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals”_29-30 May 2009 @ Leuven, Belgium
• 25th Annual Meeting_28 June to 1 July 2009 @ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• ESHRE Campus workshop on_”Developing skills for infertility counseling”_29 August 2009 @ Basel, Switzerland
• ESHRE Campus_”Cryobiology and cryopreservation for clinical embryologists”_26-27 September 2009 @ Athens, Greece

In case you prefer to be informed even more often then do visit our ÈVaroblogÇ at with an almost daily dose of news from the industry.

Yours sincerely,

Stephan & Werner Zapf
Varolab GmbH

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