3-Scientific Breakthroughs That Could Help More People Become Parents

For centuries, some couples have faced barricades to having children. Scientific breakthroughs in the last few decades have turned procedures like IVF into viable options for many couples who want to have children but who biologically can’t for many reasons. Same-sex couples and couples having trouble conceiving often turn to science to achieve the dream of becoming parents. Now, exciting scientific research shows promising technology that could help even more people become parents.ivf

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Mini-IVF

Many couples have trouble conceiving, even after turning to fertility specialists and undergoing IVF. The process for IVF isn’t easy on a woman’s body because of the number of medications the woman is on to stimulate her ovaries. Hormonal imbalances and sickness can result.

Though IVF is a widely known scientific technology, mini-IVF isn’t nearly as popular. Mini-IVF uses the same technology that regular IVF does, but women don’t receive such high doses of medication. Lower doses are easier on some women, and medical professionals who are proponents of mini-IVF argue that the egg and embryo quality is better on mini-IVF treatments. Studies show that mini-IVF is more successful on younger women and that as women age traditional IVF has better results. If IVF makes a woman sick, though, mini-IVF is also an option.

Stem Cell Germ Cells

IVF has long been a way same-sex couples elect to have children. However, IVF has its limitations; mainly that only one parent is actually biologically related to the child. A new breakthrough using stem cells is close to giving same-sex couples an amazing gift: children that are biologically related to both parents.

Current stem cell technology can turn either a skin cell or a fibroblast into an embryonic stem cell. Scientists have figured out how to turn an embryonic stem cell into what’s called a germ cell, or the stage of a cell before it becomes an egg or a sperm. In experiments using mouse cells, scientists were able to get the germ cells to become eggs and sperm. The result? Baby mice. If scientists can repeat the process with human stem cells, two women or two men could have a child biologically related to both parents.

Embryo Photos

Understanding the makeup of an embryo could result in far more successful IVF treatments than currently occur today. At the University of Adelaide in South Australia, medical researchers have discovered a way to analyze simple photographs of embryos to determine which ones are the most likely to result in pregnancy. The technique doesn’t damage the embryo at all and is simple to perform. Researchers have used the technique on mouse embryos. The results leave the scientists confident that the photograph approach will add success to IVF treatments.

As these technologies emerge, their applications may widen in scope and they may inspire and influence even more fertility techniques. The more these new technologies become available, the more options potential parents will have when deciding how to pursue parenthood. Keep an eye on this exciting medical field as some of the globe’s best minds keep finding new solutions to fertility issues.

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