BEDMINSTER, NJ – July 22 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — The Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine (SIRM-New Jersey) in Bedminster has implemented a new genetic test that may dramatically increase the odds of a woman getting pregnant through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), while at the same time reducing the likelihood of multiple births.

The test, developed by an affiliate of SIRM-New Jersey, analyzes the level of a genetic marker produced by healthy early human embryos. The presence of this genetic marker above a specific threshold level was found to be associated with a pregnancy rate of more than 70% in previously infertile women who underwent IVF in the study. In cases where the embryos showed a marker level below the threshold or an absence of the marker, the pregnancy rate was three times lower – just 23%. SIRM-New Jersey is the only IVF practice in the state that offers access to this genetic test.

A study published in the May 2005 issue of the medical journal Fertility and Sterility details the findings on the genetic marker, known as soluble Human Leukocyte Antigen-G (sHLA-G) (Volume 83, Issue 5, Pages 1410-1413: Soluble human leukocyte antigen G expression in phase I culture media at 46 hours after fertilization predicts pregnancy and implantation from day 3 embryo transfer).

This is the first method that enables a chemical evaluation of the “competency” of developing embryos. The test, referred to as the Embryo Marker Expression Test (EMET) is a non-invasive procedure that evaluates the level of the sHLA-G marker in the media surrounding individual embryos in culture, thereby leaving the embryos themselves undisturbed.

“Current methods for selecting the best quality embryos for transfer to the uterus rely mainly on visual assessment of individual embryos under a microscope,” said Dr. Alexander Dlugi, Medical Director for SIRM-New Jersey. “These types of evaluations are severely limited in their ability to provide a strong indication of subsequent normal embryonic and fetal development.”

Because of the limitations of embryo assessment methods, there has been a tendency among many IVF practitioners to transfer more, rather than fewer embryos to the patient’s uterus in the hope of improving the chances of pregnancy. This in turn has led to a high rate of high-order multiple pregnancies (triplets or more) with inherent long-term or even life-endangering risks to both mother and children. “The explosion in the rate of higher order pregnancies as a result of IVF has created an enormous burden on the health care system,” explains Dr. Dlugi. “This is the primary reason why most insurance companies currently don’t cover IVF.”

“The advantage of this novel marker is twofold,” continues Dr. Dlugi. “First, it dramatically increases the chances of success with IVF in women who have embryos that are marker positive. Second, by allowing us to select the best embryos to transfer, we can reduce the total number of embryos transferred and thereby reduce the incidence of twin and triplet pregnancies.”

For more information or to receive a copy of the study, please contact Dr. Alexander Dlugi at 908-781-0666 or via email at dlugia@sherinstitute.com.

About SIRM

The Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine (SIRM) are separately owned IVF centers that operate under a shared set of practice standards and centralized management systems. SIRM founder, Dr. Geoffrey Sher, also established the country’s first private IVF practice in 1982. SIRM offices are located in New Jersey, New York City, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Central Illinois and Sacramento.

Further information about the Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine can be found on the SIRM website at www.haveababy.com.

News issued by: Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine

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Original Story ID: (594) :: 2005-07-0722-002

Original Keywords: Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine, SIRM, New Jersey, haveababy.com, Embryo Marker Expression Test, EMET, developing embryos, medical journal Fertility and Sterility, In Vitro Fertilization, IVF, Bedminster NJ, genetic test, soluble Human Leukocyte Antigen-G, sHLA-G, Dr. Alexander Dlugi, IVF centers Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine

News Source: Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine