New fertility drug makes 40 the new 32

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Couple looking at pregnancy test

A recent article in the Globe and Mail about new fertility research should be of particular interest to women who are struggling to conceive after the age of 35.

The method is reportedly similar to traditional in vitro fertilization techniques, but with two significant adaptations. First, rather than implant the women with a fresh embryo, researchers at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (who recently helped Bill and Giuliana Rancic with their reproductive struggles), froze the embryos first. Additionally, the researchers screened the embryos for chromosomal abnormalities, which may negatively affect the chances of conception, before implanting them in the woman’s uterus.

The two-part technique appears to be a worthwhile combination. According to the trial’s initial results, the method significantly increases the chances that the embryo will implant by more than half (57 percent).

As the Globe article points out, this is a significant boost in the chances of IVF success. Most women in the same age range who undergo IVF have anywhere from an 18 to 20 percent chance of conceiving the article notes.

While many are encouraged by the trial’s results and its implications for improving reproductive medicine, the article reveals that there are others who are equally cautious about indulging in magical thinking when it comes to the enduring, and often painful struggle between biology and desire that plagues many women.

Even one of the trial’s researchers advised women to inform themselves about the realities of their biological status.

Dr. Mandy Katz-Jaffe, the scientific director of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, told the Globe and Mail: “Nobody in our field advocates that you should wait until your 40s if you have choices. As much as, yes, we have made advances and we have improved the success and outcome, it’s still difficult for many women in their 40s.”

What do you think about these types of reproductive advances?