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New IVF technique successful in one cycle

Scientists are developing a test that could dramatically boost IVF success rates from a single cycle of treatment.

The technique checks for chromosomal abnormalities in the developing embryo but also looks at two new markers that could potentially cause pregnancies to fail.

Over time, researchers at Oxford University in England hope they can increase success rates towards the 100pc mark from just one cycle of IVF.

The scientific community is so excited by the novel technique that the study has won a prize from the US Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

At present, only around 30pc of IVF cycles worldwide result in a pregnancy, with many failing due to chromosomal abnormalities.

Dr Dagan Wells' team at Oxford have already pioneered a technique for checking embryos for these abnormalities.

Embryos are grown for five days in the lab and analysed to check the chromosome number.

Only those embryos that are healthy are considered suitable for IVF transfer -- increasing the chance of pregnancy to 70pc per cycle.

The test will be particularly useful for older women, who have a higher chance of producing eggs with chromosomal defects, which can cause conditions such as Down's syndrome.

Once developed, the test is likely to cost around ¤2,300 on top of the cost of IVF. It can be used on both eggs and embryos.