Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_94170

First baby born from 'safer' IVF method

24 June 2013
Appeared in BioNews 710

A new IVF hormone treatment that has resulted in the birth of a baby boy could make IVF less risky, scientists report.

Suzannah Kidd was given the hormone kisspeptin to stimulate her ovaries to produce eggs for IVF treatment, and gave birth to her son Heath in April.

She was treated as part of a study to test if this treatment could stimulate egg production as effectively as traditional IVF drugs, which carry a small but real risk of severe complications.

Normally, those receiving IVF are given the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) to stimulate the ovaries, causing eggs to mature. However, in five percent of cases, hCG can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), where the ovaries go into overdrive, swell up and produce too many eggs. Most women only experience mild symptoms, but in one in 100 cases, the condition is severe and can be fatal. Those with polycystic ovary syndrome are most at risk.

'We have shown that kisspeptin can be used effectively in patients undergoing IVF treatment to more naturally stimulate the release of reproductive hormones and result in a healthy baby', said Professor Waljit Dhillo from Imperial College London, who led the study.

'The results of the study are very encouraging and whilst we are primarily looking at women most at risk of developing OHSS, there is the potential that kisspeptin could be used across all IVF treatments as a more natural alternative'.

Kisspeptin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced as part of the normal menstrual cycle. Human chorionic gonadotrophin also occurs naturally, but only in women who are already pregnant. The researchers, at Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospital, hope to show that their method can avoid complications in at-risk women.

Kisspeptin treatment was given to 30 women as part of the trial, and successfully induced egg production in 29 of them. Eleven women became pregnant after embryo transfer.

The study, presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, looked at those who were not at high risk of OHSS to test the safety of the hormone, but the team are planning to test the method in those who are at risk.

Professor Richard Fleming, Scientific Director of the Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine, told the BBC: 'What's been the conventional treatment for the last 30 years is risky. This looks like another way to make the whole IVF process safer'.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
First baby conceived through 'safer' IVF is born
Wired |  18 June 2013
Hormone breakthrough offers hope of safer fertility treatment
The Guardian |  18 June 2013
IVF: First baby born using 'safer' method
BBC News |  18 June 2013
Kisspeptin hormone could make IVF safer for mothers
Imperial College London (press release) |  18 June 2013
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
28 July 2014 - by Purvi Shah 
Twelve healthy babies have been born after trials of a hormone treatment called kisspeptin-54 that has been hailed as a safer way to mature women's eggs prior to IVF...
9 July 2013 - by Siobhan Chan 
A new technique using basic equipment to perform IVF could dramatically reduce costs and make the treatment 'universally accessible', say scientists reporting that 12 babies have been born so far from this approach...
20 May 2013 - by Emma Stoye 
A technique for monitoring embryo health could increase the chance of IVF couples having a healthy baby, according to a study from researchers at a private fertility clinic...
22 March 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard 
A group of scientists at Imperial College London have found that administration of the recently discovered protein 'kisspeptin' could 'restore fertility' for some women and form the basis for a new fertility treatment. The findings of the research, presented at the annual Society for Endocrinology BES (British...
14 April 2008 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo 
By Rachael Dobson: A milder form of IVF treatment that has fewer side effects and is less expensive does not reduce the chances of a successful pregnancy, according to a new study. Research led by Dr Marinus Eijkemans, at Utrecht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, reported that the milder...
23 October 2007 - by MacKenna Roberts 
By MacKenna Roberts: New research found that hormone injections to achieve pregnancy do not 'provide any added benefit' financially or medically in women under 40 as an alternative infertility treatment before advancing to IVF, announced head researcher Dr Richard Reindollar, from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre in New Hampshire, last week...
HAVE YOUR SAY
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.