JAN 24, 2016 7:07 AM PST

Genetic ‘Fingerprint' Predicts IVF Failure

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
Genetic test reveals whether IVF will work

For women who have trouble conceiving naturally, assisted reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be life changing. But despite these interventions, doctors wondered why some women still fail to become pregnant, even with a healthy embryo is present. A recent study shows that this failure to conceive may be due to specific genetic “fingerprints” from the womb.
 
The current success rate of IVF treatments that result in pregnancy stands at a paltry 35%. Many women go through multiple rounds of IVF only to be disappointed. And until now, doctors had no knowledge of the biological factors that influence IVF success and failure.
 
As it turns out, every woman has carries a genetic signature that pre-determines whether IVF treatments will be successful.
 
The genetic “fingerprint” comes from a study that compared biopsies from womb linings of 43 women with recurrent implantation failure, and 72 women who gave birth after fertility treatment. Genetic analysis of the biopsies showed an abnormal gene expression profile for 303 genes in the lining of the womb for 80% of women with IVF failure. This genetic signature predicts IVF failure with 100% positive predictive value, as the pattern is completely absent in women whose fertility treatment resulted in births.
 
The researchers noted that “a specific gene 'fingerprint', when present, is always associated with failure, which is very significant in aiding our understanding of IVF failure."
 
The research findings could shape how doctors will counsel their patients about the fertility treatments. Before, doctors were in the dark about the relative chance of success for each of their patients. Now, however, doctors could predict whether a woman is likely to achieve conception with IVF by assessing her genetic profile. For example, women who carry the genetic signatures associated with IVF failures could be counseled on their risks and be spared the heartache of repeated failures. Knowing the odds will allow both women and their doctors to make better informed choices about whether to pursue IVF.

While we believe this finding to be a very significant development in international fertility research, the next stage is to trial it as a clinical test to study its effectiveness on a wider scale. - Nick Macklon, study co-lead, chair in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southampton.


Additional Source: EurekAlert
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAY 14, 2021
Microbiology
An Imaging Tool for Seeing Bacterial Infections in the Body
MAY 14, 2021
An Imaging Tool for Seeing Bacterial Infections in the Body
Researchers have created an imaging agent that will allow scientists and clinicians to visualize a bacterial infection c ...
MAY 24, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Discovery of Viral Peptides Paves the Way for Cheaper, More Accurate COVID Diagnostics
MAY 24, 2021
Discovery of Viral Peptides Paves the Way for Cheaper, More Accurate COVID Diagnostics
Over 1.5 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, but SARS-CoV-2 variants are now threatening efforts to ...
JUN 08, 2021
Neuroscience
Simple Blood Test Can Detect Depression and Underlying Neurodegeneration
JUN 08, 2021
Simple Blood Test Can Detect Depression and Underlying Neurodegeneration
Researchers led by King’s College London have found that levels of a protein known as neurofilament light chain (N ...
JUL 01, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
An Online Tool for Calculating Dementia Risk
JUL 01, 2021
An Online Tool for Calculating Dementia Risk
Picture this: You’ve misplaced your keys again and you no longer feel comfortable in social settings you once enjo ...
AUG 04, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Variants May Predict Which Young People Are at Risk for Severe COVID-19
AUG 04, 2021
Variants May Predict Which Young People Are at Risk for Severe COVID-19
While people carry mostly the same genes, there are many small changes in the sequences of those genes, and small variat ...
AUG 15, 2021
Microbiology
Lyme Disease Linked to Significantly Increased Suicide Risk
AUG 15, 2021
Lyme Disease Linked to Significantly Increased Suicide Risk
While about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC every year, the disease has been estimated to cause abu ...
Loading Comments...