Aussie Hospital launches new fertility treatment that is cheaper and less invasive than IVF
The Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney has become only the fifth facility in the world to offer an exciting new fertility treatment.
The breakthrough process, called CAPA-IVM, involves 80 percent fewer hormone injections than traditional IVF, costing almost half the cost.
Watch the video above to learn more about the breakthrough treatment
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Fertility specialist Professor Bill Ledger spoke to Sunrise to explain how it works and who is eligible.
About one in 20 babies is born in Australia with IVF; IVF treatment typically costs $8,000 per cycle.
In vitro maturation (IVM) technology could now reduce that cost to $2,000 to $4,000 per cycle.
“Traditional IVF is tough,” Ledger told Sunrise.
Many people know someone who has gone through the cycle. Two weeks of multiple injections, many ultrasounds, and blood work appointments interfere with a woman’s life.
“IVM has been around for a while, but it never really caught on because pregnancy rates were low, so it’s not being used as an alternative to IVF,” Ledger said.
New advances in IVM technology are now slowing the lab maturation of eggs, which is why success rates have skyrocketed.
A new development of IVM treatment is now available in Sydney and Perth, with a success rate on par with IVF. Credit: Sunrise
The new CAPA technology was developed by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with Robert Gilchrist, research director of the School of Women’s & Children’s Health, a senior National Health and Medical Research Council research fellow.
Ledger said, “We only give the woman two or at most three injections of a low dose of the hormone (with) no side effect.”
Immature eggs are then collected and matured in a laboratory for two days.
This new development in IVM technology ensures that maturation proceeds slowly so that the embryo quality is higher once the eggs are fertilized.
The new CAPA system, developed to improve IVM technology, enhances the quality of the embryo once the eggs are fertilized. Credit: Sunrise
“We can now get the same pregnancy rate from IVM as IVF,” Ledger said.
“It means the pregnancy rates are even, so it’s a good alternative for the women it’s suitable for.
The new treatment is not for everyone. Ledger says IVM is aimed at “younger patients” under 36 with “good egg reserves.”
“It’s cheaper because we use fewer drugs ands resources – the whole thing is over in three or four days.
“So in a resource-poor environment, IVM is appropriate.”
The treatment is so far only available at Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women and Sydney Fertility and Research and Perth’s Fertility Specialists of Western Australia with Professor Roger Hart.
“This is new, so we want to test it in the two centers,” Ledger said.
“If we can show it is as effective in Australia as it is worldwide, I’m sure colleagues in Melbourne, Brisbane, and the other major cities will adopt it.”
The new treatment would not have been possible without public donations to the hospital’s Fertility and Medical Research Center. To donate, click here.