A breakthrough in fertility science could lead to a huge boost in the success of IVF, scientists said today.
IVF is currently the only hope for many women to have a baby, and some 50,000 undergo the treatment every year in Britain. But despite its popularity, the procedure has a poor success rate, with 75 per cent of IVF rounds failing to produce a baby.
Manchester University researchers now think they have found a way to slash the failure rate by half. They have discovered a ‘molecular switch’ which stops an embryo being accepted in the mother’s womb. If that switch can be blocked with drugs, it could potentially boost the number of babies born using IVF by up to 18,000 a year. About 37 per cent of IVF rounds are thought to fail because the embryo does not implant into the wall of the uterus. Women who repeatedly suffer this failure have been shown to have high levels of a molecular switch which interferes in the communication between the embryo and the mother’s womb.