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First 'fast-freeze' IVF baby born

12th August 2008

Cardiff doctors have said that the first woman in Wales has given birth to a baby using a new kind of IVF which allows the embryo to be "fast-frozen".

Embryo

The new technique freezes an embryo using liquid nitrogen and lessens the danger of the embryo becoming damaged in the thawing process.

The couple, Ian and Rebecca Bloomer, had been trying to have a baby for seven years but Mrs Bloomer suffered from endometriosis.

The IVF clinic at the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff tried the new technique after conventional IVF did not succeed.

The method is known as "vitrification" and because it freezes embryos so quickly, it stops potentially damaging crystals forming during the freezing process.

The hospital started to offer the treatment in August last year. Lyndon Miles, head of embryology and andrology for IVF Wales, said "17 out of the 39 women offered the treatment so far had fallen pregnant and four of those were expecting twins".

He said that the technique could potentially help women who had received chemotherapy and wanted to try for a baby.

He said: "Vitrification differs from traditional cooling and storing techniques in that it allows instantaneous 'glass-like' solidification of eggs and embryos without the formation of ice crystals."

"In addition, since the introduction of the technique, our pregnancy rate has more than doubled compared to conventional freezing methods," Mr Miles added.

 

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