Before Baby - Week 4
There’ve been some exciting developments in fertility science in recent years. Find out more about how they could help you start a family.
The world of fertility science is ever-changing, and as leaders in the field we’ve got our fingers on the pulse of the latest developments. Having a baby isn’t always straightforward, in fact – sometimes it can feel like straight-up science-fiction, so let’s sort that from the facts.
Artificial intelligence has been a rapidly growing area in recent years, and in fertility science, this technology is now helping select the most viable embryos. We have AI systems which perform comprehensive assessments of embryos to help us identify which ones have the greatest chance of developing into a healthy baby. That means we’re able to zero in on the ideal fetus, then transfer it into the woman’s uterus in IVF. Until now, an embryologist would assess an embryo’s viability based on appearance, but AI technology allows us to select with greater precision.
Pre-implantation genetic testing*
Up to 70 per cent of embryos – whether they’re fertilised naturally or in a laboratory – don’t survive the first three months of pregnancy or aren’t successfully implanted in the uterus due to gene conditions or chromosome variations. A sophisticated scientific technique called pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) has been a real game-changer, testing embryos so that only those that are chromosomally healthy or unaffected by specific disorders will be used in IVF.
One of the most exciting projects in development is our antioxidant trial. Previous small studies have found that certain antioxidants have a positive impact on embryo development, implantation and fetal growth. We’re running a larger study to explore whether those antioxidants, added to the embryo culture conditions, improve embryo development and pregnancy outcome. If successful, the study could lead to greater results for people undergoing IVF.
This innovative time-lapse technology carefully monitors and analyses the development of embryos. It combines an incubator, high-resolution camera and software to automatically photograph an embryo every seven minutes.
Electronic ID tracking
Known as ‘Witness’, this electronic system allocates the patient’s identity to each sample to ensure better traceability of vessels containing that patient’s eggs, embryos and sperm. This reduces the chance of error in human samples.
*PGTA is currently only accepted on a trial basis in Singapore. It is not a process prescribed for every couple and involves counselling to understand the pros and cons prior to the procedure.
In case you missed it last week: Week 3 of Before Baby >>>>