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New Fertility Treatment Now Available In New Zealand

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Fertility Treatment Now Available In New Zealand

Women with polycystic ovarian disease or who are undergoing cancer treatment are set to benefit from a fertility treatment previously unavailable in New Zealand.

The technique, called In Vitro Maturation (IVM), involves the removal of the eggs from an ovarian follicle, allowing them to mature in the laboratory for one to two days and then fertilised in the same way as IVF. This offers an alternative to conventional In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) whereby mature eggs are collected and fertilised straight away.

Dr Simon Kelly of Fertility Associates, who will be introducing this service to New Zealand, says that this will mean pregnancy with their own eggs will be possible for some 5% of women for whom conventional IVF treatment is more challenging.. "IVM is commonly used for women who have polycystic ovarian disease or who may be about to undergo treatment for cancer where it is known the IVF drugs may stimulate the growth of the existing cancer," Dr Kelly said. "While we expect the initial numbers to be quite low, we do expect to see more women opting for IVM as the process improves and understanding of IVM increases."

IVM has huge potential as the technique of maturing a woman's eggs outside of her body continues to improve. It has the potential to minimise the duration, cost and side effects of IVF drugs, and to relieve women of the time consuming and intrusive nature of blood tests and ultrasound scans leading up to IVF itself.

Dr Kelly believes that as more fertility clinics gain experience with IVM, the pace of improvement will accelerate.

IVM has been used overseas for around 12 years but approval for use in New Zealand has been granted by the Ministry of Health under the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Act 2004 this week.

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