Improving the odds of a successful IVF pregnancy

The embryoscope allows IVF specialists to monitor every moment of the embryo’s development before it is implanted

Fertility specialists are constantly providing more opportunities to couples disappointed with repeated failed pregnancies.

The success rate for the usual in-vitro fertilisation method is only about 40 per cent and it has certain limitations.

But specialists now aim to improve the quality of the embryo before it is implanted into the uterus, thus increasing chances of a successful pregnancy.

An embryoscope allows the specialist to select the best embryos for implantation. In traditional incubators, an embryologist ran the risk of disturbing the embryo’s environment every time she had to check its development, experts note.

In contrast, embryoscopes allow the IVF specialist to monitor every moment of the embryo’s development, check for abnormalities and also for developmental milestones such as cell division, says D. Dakshayani, clinical director, Nova IVI Fertility, which recently installed an embryoscope.

The use of an embryoscope increases the chances of parenthood significantly – from one in three couples, successful pregnancy is possible for one in every two couples, she claims.

The embryoscope is said to be an improvement over the incubator as it provides the embryo “a closed system, which mimics the mother’s womb” and comes with an in-built camera that records the development of the embryo every 20 minutes.

C. Geetha Haripriya of Prashant Multispeciality Hospital, who has been using an embryoscope for the past 18 months, says it has improved the pregnancy rate by 12 per cent.

The possibilities of an embryoscope are exciting as it allows specialists to study cell development and eliminate multinucleated embryos or those with irregular cell division. But, it cannot help identify genetic or chromosomal abnormalities, she adds.

Sports for holistic wellness

How healthy is your child? Is her Body Mass Index in the normal range? Does your child have the requisite upper and lower body strength, or endurance?

A recent survey indicates that two out of five children in the city are either under or overweight, and less than half of them have sufficient lower body strength.

The survey was conducted by EduSport, an organisation working to encourage children to take up sport. As part of the survey, the organisation measured aerobic and anaerobic capacity, flexibility, lower body strength, upper body strength, abdominal strength and the BMI of children from schools across the city.

While Chennai scored slightly higher than the national average, much needs to be done, according to Saumil Majumdar, founder of EduSport.

Sports, in some form or the other, helps in the overall development of the child, George Selleck, sports and medical doctor who is sport consultant with EduSport, says.

“In terms of psychological and holistic wellness, I have seen a huge difference in children who take up sports. Whether it is yoga, tennis or aerobics, some kind of structured physical activity is needed for the overall health of children,” Dr. Selleck says.