Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    


Improving the Odds of One Healthy Baby at a Time


 
Photo Credit: Ovation Fertility™

Technology, Best Practices Help Ovation Fertility Maximize Outcomes

Assisted reproductive technologies have come a long way since the world's first 'test tube' baby was born in 1978. Not only have techniques been refined, but the science behind selecting the most viable embryos has advanced in recent years, reducing the number of high-order multiple births and improving overall success rates.

Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) helps clinicians select an embryo that has the highest opportunity for becoming a healthy baby. The technology, which is utilized by Nashville in-vitro fertilization lab Ovation Fertility™, increases the rate of live births resulting from IVF.


Dr. George A. Hill

"About half of all human embryos are chromosomally abnormal," said George A. Hill, MD, medical director for Ovation Fertility and co-founder of Nashville Fertility Center. "Human reproduction is a very inefficient process," he added.

Double board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Hill explained embryos used to be selected by a visual pass/fail test based on embryo morphology - an evaluation of the shape, progression of growth and degree of fragmentation within an embryo.

"We used to have to judge the embryo based entirely on its appearance under the microscope at the time the embryo was being transferred back into the uterus," Hill explained. "We now realize that the embryo that looks best under the microscope may not be the most likely embryo to turn into a healthy baby."

Visually picking a 'beautiful' embryo was also a subjective exercise, as different embryologists could have varying opinions as to which embryo was most viable. To maximize pregnancy chances, several embryos were implanted in the hope that one would take. With PGT accuracy rate in excess of 95 percent, Hill said fertility specialists using the technology are now able to transfer fewer embryos. "You begin to reduce the number of multiple births if you do that," he added. "We're doing many more single embryo transfers than we used to. Our goal is one healthy baby at a time."

Although PGT doesn't guarantee a live birth, Hill said it does increase the likelihood far beyond what was historically possible.

"If you look at pregnancy rates of those who undergo comprehensive chromosomal screening, those pregnancy rates get up into the 60-70 percent range or even higher, whereas the national average across the board for IVF is about 35-40 percent, depending on age," said Hill. He added, "We're doing next-generation sequencing, which is the most accurate testing that we can do right now on the embryo."

While the advanced technology adds some expense on the front end, Hill said it's more cost efficient over the entire fertility process. With the testing, fewer embryos have to be transferred and more viable embryos can be held back for later pregnancies without additional IVF cycles.

Perhaps the greatest savings ... both in terms of hard cost and emotional toll ... is giving birth to one or two healthy babies. "If you look at an autosomal recessive disease like cystic fibrosis, and both parents are carriers, they have a one out of four chance of having a baby with the disease," pointed out Hill. With PGT, clinicians can identify and avoid transferring an embryo that has the disease. Fewer implantations also reduces the risk of high-order multiples, who are much more likely to be premature and therefore require longer hospitalization and who potentially face lifelong health issues.

Although the physicians of Nashville Fertility Center have utilized genetic testing for a number of years, Hill said it wasn't to the extent or capabilities of what they could now do as part of Ovation Fertility, a consortium of IVF labs. "The labs were separate, but we merged with several others as part of Ovation Fertility so we're a big group of labs that are now collaborating," Hill said of the change that occurred in June 2015. Currently, Ovation Fertility has labs in Austin, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Newport Beach, Calif., with plans to add more.

Bringing everyone together, he said, has exposed the Nashville team to different viewpoints and geographical variances in processes. "When everyone is in the same room, you look at what you are doing differently and how this can improve your program. I don't think we realized how big that would be."

Hill continued, "The biggest benefit that has come out of it is the collaboration with labs across the country and bringing best practices into our lab to try to improve the chance of everyone's success."

He added, "I think where you are going to see the field go in the next five to 10 years is advancement of the genetic testing that leads to improvement in pregnancy rates as we move toward that goal of one healthy baby at a time."

RELATED LINKS:

Ovation Fertility

Nashville Fertility Center

 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

Nashville's First Dedicated Clinic for Rape Exams Begins Taking Clients

Website includes interactive tool to help sexual assault victims determine if the SAFE Clinic is right for them

Read More

Practicing with Precision

Precision medicine holds great promise to tailor treatment in a manner that maximizes outcomes, yet a number of barriers exist that hinder the rapidly growing discipline's integration into daily practice.

Read More

Physician Spotlight: Brandon Downs, MD

Dr. Brandon Downs of Orthopaedic Specialists offers convenient, comprehensive services to patients who rely on his expertise in minimally invasive joint replacement and sports medicine.

Read More

Vanderbilt Bone & Joint Franklin Expands Staff, Adds Pediatric Services

Vanderbilt Bone & Joint Franklin greatly expands staff and adds pediatric services.

Read More

Regenerative Medicine in Orthopaedics

Regenerative medicine means less pain, more options for orthopaedic patients.

Read More

SJRI Opens Dickson Clinic

Southern Joint Replacement Institute opens Dickson clinic.

Read More

Health:Further Keynote Speakers Offer Energy And Insight

Although the annual Health:Further conference is best known for bringing innovative start-ups and investors together, the event also attracts healthcare and business organizations that have massive scale.

Read More

Industry Leaders Announce Innovative Orthopaedic Partnership

Saint Thomas Health, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance recently announced a collaborative partnership for joint replacement.

Read More

Fighting the Good Fight

Franklin company mitigating cybersecurity risks for healthcare organizations nationwide.

Read More

Fighting the Good Fight

Franklin company mitigating cybersecurity risks for healthcare organizations nationwide.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
Assisted Reproductive Technology, Chromosomal Abnormalities, Dr. George Hill, Healthcare Enterprise, High-Order Multiple Births, In-Vitro Fertilization, IVF, Nashville Fertility Center, Ovation Fertility, PGD, PGT, Pre-implantation Genetic Testing, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, Preimplantation Genetic Testing
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: