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Egg screening test hope for women struggling to have children

world Updated: Oct 20, 2009 13:27 IST

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A new technique that screens embryos for genetic faults and greatly increases the chance of IVF success, would be a boon for lakhs of women struggling to have children, experts have said.

Doctors at an annual US fertility meeting heard for the second year running of the merits of a test that screens embryos for genetic faults. So far more than 20 babies have been born using the technique.

According to a BBC report, doctors believe the 2,000 pounds test, called comparative genomic hybridisation or CGH, will be particularly useful to older women, whose embryos have a greater risk of carrying genetic errors that cause conditions like Down's syndrome.

The UK researchers say they are now able to back the method with "great confidence" and they hope it will eventually be available to all, the report said, adding currently, it is offered in a few private UK clinics.

The screening checks chromosomes in the developing embryo when it is a few days old, meaning only those embryos with the best chance of success are used in fertility treatment, Pacey said.

Dr Dagan Wells from Oxford University, who led the study, described the latest results on 115 women - six times as many as last year - as "astonishing".