Dutch researchers develop urine test for test tube baby success
Researchers at Erasmus University’s teaching hospital have developed a urine test which they say shows if a women is likely to become pregnant following IVF treatment.
The test can spare many women unnecessary and costly ivf treatment, say researcher Dik Kok and fertility professor Joop Laven in Saturday’s Volkskrant.
The test involves looking for four bacteria in urine ahead of IVF treatment.
Women who fail to become pregnant have a very specific volume of the bacteria in their urine which is completely different from those who do become pregnant.
This bacteria shows how receptive the womb is likely to be to the embryo, the researchers say.
Every year in the Netherlands, some 9,000 women undergo IVF treatment in which an egg is fertilized and then placed back in the womb.
Many undergo several treatments and the annual cost is some EUR 48 million.
But just one-third of the women treated with ivf go on to become mothers.
Kok and Laven estimate their urine test can exclude 2,600 women a year because the conditions in their wombs cannot sustain an embryo.
They estimate this will cut EUR 12 million from the fertility treatment bill.
The test has been trialled on 80 women so far.
Gynaecologists say the results are interesting but more research on a larger group is needed.
The researchers are currently being funded to run trials involving several hundred women at different fertility clinics.