24.4.18

IVF With Donor Eggs And Rainbow Babies

Did you know that it is estimated that one in four pregnancies in the UK end in miscarriage?* Also, in 2016 one in every 225 births ended in still birth in the UK*. Miscarriage and still birth are heartbreaking and devastating moments for every couple trying to conceive. Fortunately, for many lucky families the storm goes away and the rainbow comes in the form of a healthy “rainbow baby.” However, there are many women who keep experiencing recurrent miscarriages and are struggling to carry to term. Recurrent miscarriage is defined as having three or more miscarriages in a row. The problem touches approx. one in a hundred British women. What are the causes?

Reasons for miscarriage
Every case is different but some of the reasons for miscarriage include:


* genetic causes: chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo – it happens that one of the parents can pass on an abnormal chromosome which results in abnormal embryo and then miscarriage. If you have suffered from a miscarriage before, your doctor can recommend karyotyping – a simple blood test for you and your partner to check for genetic mutations;

* hormonal imbalance – there are hormonal treatments available to deal with conditions such as cysts and PCOS which are often blamed for miscarriage;

* woman’s BMI over 30;

* ectopic pregnancy (one in every 80 pregnancies) which comes to approximately 12,000 pregnancies a year in the UK. An abnormally shaped uterus can also pose risk for pregnancy. In some cases uterine surgery can solve the problem;

* other underlying causes which have to be investigated closely by a fertility specialist and/or embryologist.

Solutions?
The good news is that over 60% of women who suffer from recurrent miscarriages will probably have a successful pregnancy and a healthy rainbow baby in the future. So what about the other 40%? If the problem lies in chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo, then your fertility doctor may recommend having IVF with donor eggs as a solution to the problem. Errors in chromosomes do happen and we have no influence over that. However, IVF treatment brings a lot of hope for intended parents, hope to have a healthy baby.

If your parental karyotype tests have revealed some chromosomal abnormalities, you may continue to keep trying naturally, have IVF with own eggs with PGD (pre-implantation genetic testing) or make a decision to have IVF with donor eggs. PGD will show you if and which embryos are abnormal. The procedure is recommended if you suspect a chromosome disorder in the family. Certainly it is an extra cost, but many couples decide to go ahead with

PGD for fear of implanting an abnormal embryo and experiencing the trauma of another miscarriage. If both karyotype testing and PGD show genetic mutations in your biological material, your fertility doctor may discuss with you the option of IVF with donor eggs. It is an option worth considering: donor eggs come from young, healthy and genetically tested donor and the success rates are really promising. Cost of donor eggs varies per clinic and per country and it is usually more affordable in private IVF clinics in Europe. Rainbow babies may be conceived in various ways, naturally or via IVF with donor eggs – but in the end what really matters is that precious moment when you finally get to see you baby’s first smile and to hear their first laughter.

*Data according to www.tommys.org

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