CARE Fertility - UK's first birth from Blastocyst Chromosome Screening

CARE Fertility in Manchester is pleased to announce the birth of the UK's first baby following full chromosome testing of IVF embryos. Fertility specialists conducted a year long trial aimed at significantly increasing the chances of having a child from IVF.

Lancashire couple, Andrew and Louise Riley were amongst the first patients to take part in the trial. Their son Elliott was born just after Christmas. Louise Riley, said "The last 10 years have been a very emotional and difficult period of our lives. We have been unable to conceive despite undergoing numerous tests and a failed cycle of IVF. Many friends and family have had children during this period and whilst being extremely happy for them it was heartbreaking for us. We approached CARE as a last hope. Mr. Mark Sedler, Consultant Fertility Specialist at CARE Manchester, offered us a place on a forthcoming trial using enhanced genetic testing that could potentially increase our chances of success. On 30th December 2010 we were finally blessed with a baby son Elliott. We find it hard to express just how happy we are as he is our little miracle. He means everything to us and our thanks go to CARE and our family and friends for all their support"

Andrew and Louise Riley  - CARE Fertility Manchester - Blastocyst Chromosome Screening
Andrew and Louise Riley
Blastocyst Chromosome Screening

Mr. Mark Sedler lead the year-long trial, approved by the HFEA and conducted solely at the CARE Manchester clinic. "Louise and Andy have endured years of infertility, and failed treatments, a situation common to many couples. Chromosomal abnormalities account for a large proportion of failed IVF cycles and miscarriage. This very early screening test allowed us to replace only chromosomally normal embryos. We are delighted that Elliott has brought such joy to mum and dad"

The technology analyses the total chromosome complement of certain groups of cells from each embryo following IVF treatment. Embryos develop after fertilisation of the egg and sperm. On day 5 to 6 of development, the embryo is called a blastocyst. Blastocysts have two distinct areas of cells, one (the inner cell mass) forms the foetus, the other, the trophectoderm) forms the placenta. However all these cells are derived from the original egg and sperm. Therefore sampling the trophectoderm cells will inform us indirectly of the chromosomal status of the embryo, without actually biopsying the embryo cells.

Specially designed lasers and microscopic tools, finer than a human hair, are used to gently remove these cells from the embryo. Embryos are not damaged by the procedure.

The cells are analysed to check their full chromosome content. This BCS test can confirm whether a chromosomal abnormality arises from either the egg or the sperm. This capability is unique to this specific testing and may have significant clinical benefits for future treatment.

Only those embryos having cells with chromosomally normal results are placed in the woman's womb. Chromosomal abnormality is the principal cause of embryo implantation failure, early pregnancy loss and miscarriage, particularly in older women. This is the exact reason the overall pregnancy success in fertility cycles is relatively low.