A baby boy born in Canada made history when he was born happy and healthy, the result of a new procedure for infertility, called Stem Cell IVF. A group called OvaScience developed the procedure, and it is set to be introduced into the US in the very near future. This offers many parents another option when it comes to treating infertility. Still, as with any emerging technology, many couples are still wondering if this IVF treatment is safe, or if they are better off still opting for more traditional IVF drugs and procedures.
How IVF Stem Cell Procedures Work
In essence, stem cells are taken from the immature eggs and are used to make the older eggs ‘young’ again. It does this by taking mitochondria from the young undeveloped eggs’ stem cells and putting them into the older, more mature eggs. The concern for US scientists so far, is how having double mitochondria in one egg will affect the embryo and the baby. However, the Canadian baby boy, the first birth of dozens at this point, for all practical and clinical purposes, is just as healthy as a baby conceived using traditional IVF procedures and IVF drugs.
Who is a Good Candidate for IVF Stem Cell Procedures?
Since it is still such a new treatment, this new IVF treatment is not available in the US. One of the leading RE physicians in the US has gone on record stating that the technology is still best for women who’ve had problems with miscarriages or multiple failed IVF treatments, and who are otherwise healthy. According to Dr. Ziegler, “The U.S. isn’t going to jump on a treatment that has a lot of problems until it’s been shown to be successful, the bugs have been worked out, and we know the patient is going to be safe.”
Infertility, IVF Treatment, and IVF Medications
Still, with the treatment, called Advantage commercially, available in neighboring Canada, it is not an unlikely stretch that women, and couples desperate for a child, will be willing to go into Canada for this treatment for their infertility. While fertility medications are still an integral part of the overall IVF procedure (whether it is the newer stem cell tech, or the traditional IVF procedures), many physicians will still continue to combine IVF meds and IVF drugs with the clinical procedures for maximum results.
It is to every couples’ advantage to spend the time gathering the necessary data before making a decision for any sort of IVF treatment or procedure. In the end, the best advocate for a patient’s health is still the patient and his/her family themselves. This is particularly true in the US where healthcare is often dictated by the insurance companies, and doctors and fertility clinics’ hands are often bound by the rules and protocols approved by the healthcare industry. Researching procedures, fertility medications, and practicing self-education is the best way to increase the odds of having a healthy, happy new member to a couple’s family.