by Steven Ertelt
January 6, 2005
Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — Italian researchers have confirmed that a new in vitro fertilization technique has the same rate of unborn children dying during pregnancy as the standard IVF procedure.
If the conventional procedure fails to make a woman pregnant, a new technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be utilized whereby sperm is directly injected into an egg.
They examined 543 women at a public fertility clinic in Italy who underwent conventional IVF and 419 who used the new sperm injection procedure, according to a Reuters report.
The "embryo loss" — or number of unborn children who died during pregnancy — was determined by comparing the number of unborn children found via ultrasound in the first trimester with the number found during the second.
Dr. Isaac Blickstein, of the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, Israel, who led the study, told Reuters the number of unborn children who died was similar in both IVF techniques. That similarity was found regardless of whether the mother was carrying quadruplets, triplets, twins or one baby.
The survey revealed that the highest loss rate occurred among triplets created with the standard IVF procedure — as one-third of the unborn children perished. The lowest death rate (18.6) occurred on twins who were created through the newer technique.
"Our observations suggest that there is no difference between loss and/or survival rates of multiple gestations after conventional IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection," the authors wrote.
The researchers initially conducted the study to determine whether the new technique was more likely to cause physical or mental disabilities among developing unborn children.
The Italian report appeared in the December 2004 issue of the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.