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Irish Scientists Discover Fertility Finger Print

 

Updated : Jul 3, 2009

A simple blood test could help women predict their chances of getting pregnant with fertility treatment, Irish scientists have discovered.

The Dublin-based experts have identified genetic markers in the blood which provide a fertility "fingerprint" that showed different activity patterns in more than 200 genes in women undergoing In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

Study leader Dr Cathy Allen, from the Rotunda Hospital, said: "There does seem to be a particular signature that goes with early human pregnancy.

"The work is in its infancy and has to be developed and validated, but we hope it will improve the blunt prognostic procedures we have now," the Herald claimed.

Dr Allen said the test could help women with a history of IVF failure who faced "difficult decisions" about whether to press on with treatment.

Gene activity, or "expression", at the preparation stage of treatment showed "interesting patterns of gene clustering" said Dr Allen, at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam.

Currently the technology used is expensive. Dr Allen said making a pregnancy-predicting test available at fertility clinics would add "thousands" to the cost of IVF treatment. However the cost is expected to fall as the technology is developed.

 

 

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